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THE PROSECCO boom is real: Sales are projected to reach 412 million bottles annually by 2020, up from 150 million a decade ago.
SYNERGY means quite simply, the “creation of a whole, greater than the sum of its parts.” We witnessed synergy on Nov. 13 in The Peninsula’s Old Manila when two budding masters, Allan Briones and Jordy Navarra, joined forces for a memorable preview of a dinner called “A Fourtaste of Things to Come” set for Nov. 28.
LAST FRIDAY I was among the large contingent of oenophiles that trooped to the Marriott Grand Ballroom in Newport City amidst the usual insane pay-day weekend traffic mayhem, to take part in the Philippines’ only annual large-scale wine gathering, also popularly known as the Grand Wine Experience. It is by far the country’s most prestigious annual wine event, and already ranks as one of Asia’s most important wine spectacles as well.
IT TOOK a while for a franchiser’s ambition to bring Rico’s Lechon, the popular lechon (roast pig) brand of Cebu to Manila.
JUST ABOUT every Filipino is introduced to Rebisco products at a young age — from finding the snacks in their school lunch bag to receiving a can of assorted biscuits from relatives during special occasions. This year, the company marks its 55th year with the launch of special edition designer biscuit tins.
WHILE GrabFood, transport services app Grab’s food delivery system, has been operational for quite a while now — it has been in place since June in select cities, expanded operations in July to cover all of Metro Manila, and in October began beta testing in Cebu and Mandaue — it was launched officially on Nov. 10 in an event called Crave City. Crave City is open to the public until Nov. 10, with customers able to order food via the app (provided onsite) from establishments Mom & Tina’s, El Chupacabra, Señor Pollo, Bawai’s Vietnamese Kitchen, Charlie’s Grind and Grill, Gong Cha, Ersao, Aysee, Sunrise Buckets, Manila Creamery, and Stockpile, which have stalls in BGC’s Globe Amphitheatre.
SORRY, but your industrial-inspired restaurants will have to take a backseat this Christmas. BusinessWorld just had a preview of Christmas dinner at Discovery Suites’ Hangar 43, and let me tell you, dining with a view filled with real cranes and cables, and actual buildings and city lights, concrete and exposed pipes won’t look the same anymore.
LAST WEEK, Michelin released the 14th edition of its Bib Gourmand list for New York — also known as the acclaimed guide’s “cheap eats” list. The five boroughs scored 129 restaurants, including 27 new spots. That compares with last year’s 127 Bib Gourmands and only 14 new spots, which means a lot of places were taken off the list because they either closed, weren’t worthy, or moved up to Michelin-star status.
FOR its 16th year, the Doreen Gamboa Fernandez (DGF) Food Writing Awards tackled bagoong, the smelly, salty, fermented fish paste that is a staple on Filipino tables, achieving such a status that Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero, defended it.
In 2017, Hard Rock Café Makati City closed its doors, ending a more than 20 year run of good food and good music, but Hard Rock Café isn’t gone forever as barely a year after its disappearance, the international restaurant-bar chain has announced a comeback in Manila, with a plan to open in Conrad Hotel’s S’Maison in December.
MAX’S GROUP Inc., opens its 196th location with a new concept that targets a market not “typical of a Max’s restaurant,” by combining the casual dining experience with a family restaurant concept the group is known for, according to a company executive.
PAN DE SAL is a staple on Filipino breakfast tables. With the onslaught of rising prices though, families have had to scrimp and save. Mondelez International’s Eden, a processed cheese food, kicked off its #GiveGoodness campaign on World Pan de Sal Day (the country’s counterpart to World Bread Day, which fell on Oct. 16). The campaign’s launch took place at Quezon City’s Kamuning Bakery Café which participated in giving away Eden goodie bags to guests and the local community together with 50,000 pieces of pan de sal. Some of the campaign’s beneficiaries include Metro Manila’s urban poor families, Quezon City residents, public school teachers and students, among others.
THROUGHOUT the month of October, a number of companies are holding special events and promos to improve awareness of breast cancer, and in many cases to raise money for research, awareness, and treatment centers.
WHEN A private Asian collector bid an eye-popping $558,000 for a single bottle of 1945 Romanée-Conti at Sotheby’s sale this past Saturday in New York, a world record was smashed. This was not just the highest price ever reached for a 750 ml bottle of Burgundy, but also the highest for any bottle of wine ever at auction.
IF YOU want to save the planet, put down your burger. Or rather, finish it, savoring every single bite, and mentally prepare yourself not to have another until at least next week.
IN A chilly wine warehouse in the Bronx two weeks ago, a famous Portuguese wine maker pried ancient corks from five-gallon glass demijohns of 19th century Madeira. Was the wine inside still drinkable? Madeira ages longer than other wines, but 150-plus years?
THE WORLD’S leading Scotch whisky is also known for its so-called Johnnie Walker Houses “designed to immerse (patrons) in the history, provenance, and pioneering spirit of the... brand,” as a “lifestyle space and part museum (which brings together) luxury whisky innovation with art, design, fine-dining, and culture.”
FANCY A few cocktails at the world’s best bar? Better be quick: It’s preparing to close.
A BOTTLE of wine holds within its confines time and space, for a wine maker has distilled into a liquid the soil, the sunshine, and the care that went into making it. An Australian wine maker is proud to say that he has done that, all while embracing nature and minimizing Man’s touch.
HERE’S a sad truth. Most pinot grigio is so watery, bland, and just plain dull that wine snobs scorn it and sommeliers at top restaurants won’t list it. Asking for “just a glass of pinot grigio” has almost become an admission that you don’t pay attention to what you swallow.
A BOTTLE of rare 60-year-old Macallan could fetch a record price at a Bonhams Edinburgh auction on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) as buyers show an unslakable thirst for limited-edition scotch whiskies.
MUTALE, South Africa — From before dawn, 54-year-old grandmother Annah Muvhali weaves between baobab trees that loom over her rural South African home, collecting fruit that enthusiasts worldwide hail as a “superfood.”
THE JAPANESE have a gift in stripping something down to its core, allowing for the most essential and most important to come through. We had a taste of the essential on Sept. 19 at the Conrad Manila’s Brasserie on 3’s food promotion, A Taste of Japan. The promotion will run until Sept. 23.
TRUFFLE, deemed as one of the most luxurious and expensive food in the world, finds its way to Newport Mall with truffle-lovers getting the rare chance to taste an array of specialties made with this culinary gem hailed by many as the “diamond in the kitchen.”
STILL SMARTING from being kicked out of his Michelin-starred restaurant halfway up the Eiffel Tower, France’s most famous chef Alain Ducasse is pressing on instead with a new restaurant almost directly underneath it—and, he boasts, it floats.