One of the best sources of fine wine | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

t0219col-picornell2L’Ordre Modial des Gourmets et Degustateurs is an entity within La Chaine des Rotisseurs, and there is an active chapter in Cebu. It holds periodical gatherings to promote, taste and celebrate wine and spirits amid an atmosphere of camaraderie and good fun.

L’Ordre in Cebu is headed by Dave Sharpe, and the latest gathering of the group was held at the Bibendum wine store on the second level of the Streetscape mall. That is beside the gate to posh Maria Luisa Estate Park.

Genial host was Hans Georg Eulenhoefer who, with his mom, Margie Richards Taylor, runs what is one of the best sources of fine wine in Cebu. At very attractive prices, too.

“We are family,” he told Michel and Amparito Lhuillier as they arrived. Margie Taylor and Michel are cousins.

Michel also happens to be the head of La Chaine for the Philippines, while Amparito presides over the Cebu chapter. Michel had words of congratulations for the well-planned party, and so did Amparito who punctuated her message with “I am very happy, I’m a happy person!”

Hans was the perfect host. Michel was sticking to his prescribed glass of mineral water, until Hans popped open a bottle of red Pomeral. “Just a bit,” he told Hans, who poured more than just a drop.

There was a sideboard with attractive pica-pica like cubes of queso Manchego and slices of delicious salami, plus other delights which Dr. Nestor Alonso pronounced exquisite.

Among those present were Michael Hennessy, Mickey, Paulson, Bethilda and Mike Smith, Jimboy Scalona and Aida Patana.

On any day or night, at Bibendum you may sit at a table in the cellar room, or out on the terrace to enjoy the wine, and nibble on a variety of cheeses and cold cuts.


Stupendous ‘paella’

You may also order from the nearby Gorliz restaurant of David Ugarte, who specializes in Spanish cuisine. David explains that Gorliz is the town in the Basque region of Spain from where his grandfather came.

It is wise to make reservations if you want to lunch or dine at Gorliz. The food is very good, and the prices just right. Recently Darwin and Choco Laplana celebrated his birthday there.

The paella was stupendous, as were the Spanish croquettes stuffed with bechamel sauce. Present were their daughters Alya and Andrea, plus Choco’s mom Maria Pilar Escaño, sister Ana Maria Escaño and brother Ramon Escaño Jr.

Maria Pilar and Ana had arrived just a couple of hours earlier from Malitbog, Southern Leyte, braving the inclement weather that day. There was no service from Maasin, so they had to go further north in Leyte, to Hilongos. It was well worth the trip, they agreed.

Going back to La Chaine, it is all set for the grand induction gala on March 16 at the ballroom of the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel. On this occasion Michel Lhuillier, golden sword in hand, will welcome 11 new members, and induct eight to a higher rank than that of “chevalier.”

Theme of the gala is “L’Art de Vivre,” which is equivalent to The Art of Living-Different Elements of Art. Marco Polo Cebu general manager Julie Najar envisions it as an evening of gastronomy at its best, with varied artistic expressions.

There will be 128 seats available for which reservations have already started to pour in, in earnest. As La Chaine secretary Elmera Abellanosa says, “First come, first served.”

Dress code is formal long gown for the ladies, and tuxedo or dark suit for the men. Members must wear the chain with the medallion, but the ladies may wear their miniature medal on a silken bow.

Punctuality will be greatly appreciated. Cocktails start at 6:30 p.m.; the induction program is at 7:30 p.m.; and everyone should be seated for dinner by 8:30 p.m.

The rules of La Chaine will be strictly implemented. Among them are topics forbidden for conversation—religion, politics and philosophy.

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