‘La Dolce Vita’ at the Waterfront
“La Dolce Vita” is Italian for “The Sweet Life,” celebrated on film by Federico Fellini back in 1961 to reflect the decadence of Italy, and Rome in particular, after World War II.
That was the theme chosen by general manager Anders Hallden for the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, which recently hosted the latest fellowship dinner of La Chaine des Rotisseurs. Guests were asked to come in black for the men, and white for the ladies.
For an informal event, it turned out to be quite dressy. The venue deserved no less. The hall on the fifth floor of the hotel was transformed into a veritable palazzo draped in white silk and lit by myriad crystal chandeliers.
On the walls were large blown-up photos of the film’s main protagonists—Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg, including the one of her dawn immersion in Rome’s Fontana di Trevi.
“Wow! This is truly great,” exclaimed Michel Lhuillier, Baili Delegue of La Chaine for the Philippines, and his wife Baili de Cebu Amparito Llamas Lhuillier, who was in white lace and diamonds.
With them was Baili de Manille Federico Borromeo, who had flown to Cebu just for the occasion and sat with Michel and Amparito at the presidential table.
Also with them were Hallden, board members Teresin Mendezona, Vivina Yrastorza and Winglip Chang; Stella Bernabe, Glenn and Honey Loop, Carlo Cordero and Brian Connelly, general manager of Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.
Hallden had planned the event to the last detail and made sure it came out perfect. Guests followed a red carpet that led to an atrium of Roman columns, there to sip sparkling wine and partake of substantial canapés.
At a given moment, the curtains opened to reveal the elegant dining salon. Two long tables were laid out with Lucullian splendor. Down the midst of the tables were heaps of cold cuts, olives, breads, nuts, and more for the guests to help themselves to.
The menu was outstanding, starting with the clam soup, homemade tagliatelle with truffle, and pan-roasted tenderloin with Marsala sauce. Dessert was amaretto chocolate mousse and meringue with Chantilly cream.
But that was not the end of the repast. Everyone was asked to return to the atrium and help themselves to an array of local and Italian cheeses, oh so creamy. Here was also an opportunity to congratulate soprano Izarzuri Vidal, who had rendered three operatic arias during the dinner.
Getting the rush was Hallden himself, and the hotel executives who were responsible for making the event a big success: food and beverage director Edwin Acuyan, corporate executive chef Giovanni Sias who had designed the menu, executive chef Linda Hou and executive pastry chef Manuel Salgado.
Present were board members Dr. Nestor Alonso with his wife Joji, Dave Sharpe with his wife Joy, Angie Mathieu with her son Mickey Paulson and Wibitz Stewart, Mariter Klepp and Gemma Buxton.
Also present were Jerry and Pamela Montanus, Jeff and Zaida Lee, Ramon Makilan, Louis Thevenin, Kaiser and Karen Tan, Carlo and Jacquiline Sainz, Direck Bulkley and Rachel Roberts, Jerome and Merlie Escalona, Ed Tongco and his son Joward Tongco.
The next event for La Chaine in Cebu is the formal anniversary gala scheduled for the evening of Dec. 8 at the ballroom of Radisson Blu Hotel. Already 50 have signed up with Elmera Abellanosa, in charge of the secretariat.
Amparito Lhuillier celebrated her birthday on Sept. 23 with an intimate ladies luncheon at her home. Well-wishers included her sister Anna Marie Llamas Dizon, daughter-in-law Johanna Maitland-Smith Lhuillier, sister-in-law Angie Lardizabal Mathieu, and dear friends Rosebud Sala, Margie Taylor, Vivina Yrastorza, Teresin Mendezona, Carmen Campbell, Annabelle Luym, Annie Aboitiz and Honey Loop.
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