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Happy 5th Birthday The Shrimp Bucket – The Best Shrimp in Town

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Once in a blue lagoon, I get to be invited to savor “the best in town.” This time, I was lucky to grace the birthday celebration of The Shrimp Bucket, which is known to many as being the “Best Shrimp in Town.” I totally agree, not because I was invited, but for the reason that I have had the chance to savor pounds of shrimps from its Greenhills branch, in repetitive visits, of course.


Yeah, I was ushered to the table reserved for “us.” After a few high-fives and fist-bumps with colleagues, my other blogger-colleague and I decided to pre-start with a bucket of cold beer. Call it cocktails? LOL!

Before mayhem erupted, I walked around the tent city and took some photos of their booths.

Fry Station is where two varieties of chicken wings were to be served – one was deep fried or their Plain Salted Buffalo, while the other is called Belachan, an Indonesian version of shrimp paste that’s a bit spicy. Yep, instead of saying, “it tastes like chicken,” this time, the chicken tastes like shrimp!


Beside the Fry Station was their drinks station aptly named “Sip! Sip! Hooray!”


The Grill Station served Braised Beef Short Ribs (I think that was it) with a fourth-serving of corn on the cob. It’s Shrimp Bucket’s way of serving non-shrimp entrées for those who are allergic to seafood, especially shrimp. Though it wasn’t in the outdoor cookout, Shrimp Bucket also serves a variety of fish, pork and, as mentioned above, old fashioned fried chicken.


Then, we come to the Shrimp Station, where they started serving shrimp in two varieties of sauces – The Mardi Gras and Salty Eggspereience. I stuck it out with the latter. Oolala!


Paul Martires, the co-owner of Shrimp Bucket, opened the eat-all-you-can anniversary celebration, thanking everyone who came, and gave a short synapse of how Shrimp Bucket started in 2012. The unique idea of the restaurant was to serve seafood in plastic bags, or “Bags by the Pound,” filled with shrimp, crabs or mussels, with a choice of nine (9) flavors:

  • The Mardi Gras
  • Salty Eggsperience
  • Coco-Sol (South of Luzon)
  • Frenchy Lemon Pepper
  • The Spaniard
  • Coco-Curry
  • Sumatran Surprise
  • Hawkers Delight
  • Salt and Pepper

Mr. Martires also mentioned the way they prepare their diners before eating, by giving them plastic bibs (looking more like aprons because of the length) and plastic gloves for both hands because you will look silly, if not having much difficulty, eating shrimps, crabs and mussels with silver or aluminum utensil that using your hands.

Incidentally, Martires owns a logistics company and was exporting shrimp. That led him to decide to start The Shrimp Bucket because he knew the ins-and-outs of the supply chain of shrimps. Cool, huh?


Hosting the event was the lovely Diana Dayao, public communications consultant, Viva recording artist and composer, radio and event host, columnist and founder of Manila Street Love, a mobile outreach and love campaign in Manila. @dianasotodayao


And so, when the bell rang for each of the food stations to open up (okay… there was not a bell; we just started seeing people literally run to the booths), everyone rushed to the Shrimp Station. I later fell in line when it was half the amount of people compared to when it opened up.


Can’t imagine eating as much shrimps as my tummy can accommodate.


And like I mentioned, you have two selections of sauces: The Mardi Gras and Salty Eggsperience. I kept choosing the latter. That flavor stuck in my head (and my taste buds) since trying Shrimp Bucket several times in the past.


Here’s a quick view of The Shrimp Bucket’s tent city… and (happy) me with my usual #tongueout selfie!


Would you believe The Shrimp Bucket now has seven (7) locations to choose from?

  • Bonifacio Global City
  • Nuvali
  • Greenhills
  • UP Town Center
  • il Terrazo Mall
  • Ayala Malls The 30th
  • Circuit Makati

For more about The Shrimp Bucket, visit:



Reference: PR company PerkComm | personal online research

Photos taken and owned by @raffypekson @miniphils


La Maison Cointreau Manila 2016 Cocktail Champion Cedric Cello

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La Maison Cointreau Manila 2016 Cocktail Champion Cedric Cello 1

What started as just another bar competition turned out to be an exclusive, by-invitation only La Maison Cointreau Manila 2016 bartender’s competition, aptly called Bartenders Battle Royale, where the best innovative talents in the Metro’s hot cocktail scene produced a champion some months back. The challenge then was to serve their original Cointreau-based cocktail with outstanding taste and flavor, technique, presentation and consistency. This champion is no other than Cedric Cello of the Smith Butcher and Grill Room, and his winning cocktail for this year’s La Maison Cointreau is called “Gossip.”

Cedric Cello was asked what would be the Filipino Bartender’s winning edge on the international stage: “Filipino bartenders are creative, passionate and dedicated in what they do and at the same time they easily relate to other people. A bartender should love what he’s doing with a passion and heart to develop his craft. (I love) creating things while using my hands and crafting a piece of art for others to experience. Early on, I didn’t really consciously decide to become a bartender, it was more of a gut-feel that this profession will lead me to greater experiences.”

When asked how he could be able to hold his own in competing with Asia’s top mixologists, he answered simply that “It would all be a matter of the right employment of the craft, reading the room and properly, gauging the mood of the moment, and hopefully the right mix of spirits and flavors would hit the right spot.”

La Maison Cointreau Manila 2016 Cocktail Champion Cedric Cello 2

Cointreau is the French orange liqueur brand established in Loire Valley, France over 165 years ago. It will be holding its Regional Finals this October 24 & 25,  2016 in Phuket, Thailand.

Here is Cedric Cello’s winning cocktail served during last night’s send-off party:

Gossip by Cedric Cello
Inspiration: Marion Cotillard

The Mix:

  • Cointreau 30ml; Greygoose L’ Orange 30ml
  • Basil leaves-3sprigs
  • Green mango-30ml
  • Watermelon-100gms
  • Giffard watermelon syrup-20ml
  • A dash of Angostura bitters; serve in dbl rock glass
  • Garnish: basil, green mango and watermelon

The Procedure:

Muddle 1 slice of fresh watermelon in a dbl rockglass. Add in the mix and shake vigorously, then add some ice.  Garnish with basil, green mango and watermelon.


About Cointreau

Cointreau was created nearly 165 years ago in Angers, deep in the heart of the Loire Valley, but has always retained a profoundly Parisian and chic soul. Its iconic amber bottle presents the perfect balance between sweet and bitter oranges, a subtle taste uncovering incredible strength of character. Cointreau combined with fresh lemon or lime, is the base for Cointreau Fizz and a whole host of classic cocktails like the Margarita, the Cosmopolitan, the White Lady, or the Sidecar.

Uniquely, Cointreau is more than a liqueur, its orange fragrance reveals the true soul of a delicious cocktail, an enticing taste of Parisian art de vivre: authentic, elegant and always avant-garde.

About Rémy Cointreau International

The French-based Rémy Cointreau Group is the global leading manufacturer and distributor of ultra-premium spirits and champagnes. With an annual turnover of over 1.2 billion euros, the Group is backed by an outstanding portfolio of brands leading the premium and ultra-premium spirits markets.

These brands include Rémy Martin cognac, Louis XIII by Rémy Martin, Cointreau orange liqueur, St Rémy brandy, Mount Gay rum, Bruichladdich single malt whisky and The Botanist gin.

Today Rémy Cointreau has a presence in more than 150 countries around the world. Increasingly, Rémy Cointreau brands are regarded as worldwide benchmarks for premium wines and spirits by elite customers, with solid product reputations resulting from strong traditions which have been meticulously upheld. Strong tradition and a passion for developing the potential of its premium brands, Rémy Cointreau is set to continue its growth in both existing and new markets, as it remains committed to its customers, retaining the extraordinary quality and sustainability of its well-loved brands.

Source: Press Release from Rémy Cointreau’s Philippine Office

Title photo from Vimeo | Insert photo from source


Written by Raffy Pekson II

October 21, 2016 at 11:30 pm

Posted in Food & Beverage, Press Release

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The Best Eats in Life are Free with SEATS

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The Seats App, together with Globe Prepaid, recently partnered Earth Kitchen restaurant - 1

The best things in life are free,
But you can give them to the birds and bees.

LOL! I remember the Flying Lizards electronic pop song’s first few stanzas, which makes you realize how ‘80s I can get. But this article isn’t about music, lyrics and songs. This is about a foodie app.

Yep! I’m here to talk to you about the SEATS App, the restaurant reservations app that’s going to kickstart your holiday season of no cooking at home and just purely binging out, eating out to your heart’s delight; and Earth Kitchen, a new restaurant with a new moniker: farm-to-table restaurant. If you’ve got Uber, Grab, AirBnB, GCash, HotelQuickly and the rest of ‘em service-oriented apps that make life easier for the digital Filipino, then there’s got to be one for dining out, too.

Worldwide, online booking has been the preferred way of making restaurants reservations. Without the need for a phone call or waiting for your calls to be answered, it is the easiest and most convenient way of finding and making restaurant reservations.

The Seats App was created by a group of young professionals passionate about technology and food. The Seats App is a service that ties these two together. Its aim is to provide better customer experience by connecting restaurants with their guests. In turn, the Seats App provides restaurants with the right tools so they can manage reservations more efficiently, improve in-house productivity and provide restaurant customers with better service.

The Seats App takes away the hassle that comes with trying to get a table at restaurants. The Seats App provides free and instant bookings at your favorite places.

The Seats App recently partnered with another dining institution – Earth Kitchen. With the Seats App, sure-seat reservation is now guaranteed at BGC’s farm-to-table restaurant.

The Seats App, together with Globe Prepaid, recently partnered Earth Kitchen restaurant - 2

Earth Kitchen is a restaurant dedicated to support local farmers and indigenous communities around the Philippines. Its dishes are specifically crafted to showcase the produce of the Got Heart Farms in Tarlac and its partner communities from Luzon to Mindanao. Earth Kitchen is a partnership project of Got Heart Foundation and Hizon’s Catering. Today, the Got Heart Shops and Earth Kitchen now have more than 100 community partners.

The Seats App, together with Globe Prepaid, recently partnered Earth Kitchen restaurant - 3

Use your Globe Postpaid Plan with the Seats App because you are sure to discover more great finds to match your lifestyle, with much ease, speed, and freedom; nothing beats getting the best seat in the house.

With Globe Postpaid, you can create your plan by choosing one that lets you live the way you want. You can keep your budget on track with myStarter Plan and getting it for as low as P300 per month. You can roll over your data with myLifestyle Plan. You can stay connected with 6 GB shared data plus unlimited calls and texts for 3 lines and 3 devices for only P999 per month with myShare Plan. You can experience longer browsing time plus non-stop calls and texts to family and friends without any lock-up.

To apply for a Globe Postpaid Plan, visit For information, go to

Sources: Press release from Globe Telecom | Seats | Earth Kitchen | Globe Prepaid

Photo from sources.


Written by Raffy Pekson II

October 12, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Posted in Food & Beverage, ICT, Press Release

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The Perfect Pint Brewpub Opens in Alabang

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The Perfect Pint brewpub just recently opened another of its gastronomic and gastropub-o-nomic (is there such a word?) The first one was a year ago at the 32nd Street of Bonifacio Global City (BGC); and the next? The Perfect Pint at Molito Lifestyle Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. My blogger-friends dared to trek the bustling super hi-way of the south to end up a little early than expected.

Original URL:

The Perfect Pint craft beers have been around my palate for more than a year. I’ve invited and brought a lot of friends and relatives to its place in BGC and would venture in tasting one type of craft beer after another. But The Perfect Pint gastropub offers more than just craft beer; it made sure the food was beyond contemporary. How? It partnered with one of the more famous chefs in the country: Chef Gene Gonzalez of the Café Ysabel fame (friends would smile when I quip my famous phrase – SentiSabado, anyone?) The Perfect Pint food pairing is exactly what it is – food paired by a famous chef for each kind of craft beer. If you’ve been to food and wine pairing, and not everyone goes for wine, then this is your place to be. Beer enthusiasts love The Perfect Pint because it serves a unique ensemble of food.

The Perfect Pint brewing process is where its Molito branch becomes different. High up the second floor encased in glass walls is where The Perfect Pint craft beer is made. Brothers Alec, Noel and Raymond Tempongko, owners of The Perfect Pint, proudly toured us guests around the second floor where The Perfect Pint fermentation rooms are located. Master brewer Alec Tempongko explained to us each step in each room until at last four perfectly brewed craft beer flavors were loaded into the familiar-looking beer-on-tap dispensers. But I heard from master brewer Alec that The Perfect Pint craft beer flavors were six, not just four: Thirsty Dog Wheat Beer, Hoppy Road IPA, Street Smart Pale Ale, Oakey Dokey Bourbon Barrel Porter, Black Mamba Stout and Holy Grail Double IPA. The latter was the best for me, someone who likes strong beer with that distinctive brewed taste. And just for that evening, they came up with The Perfect Pint Anniversary Pale Ale.

The Perfect Pint craft beers are exclusively distributed at The Perfect Pint branches. I’m already thinking that other bars, pubs and gastropubs will be asking to serve their homebrewed flavors very soon, like my neighborhood Bugsy’s Sports Bar and Grill. Yeah?

Now, you have The Perfect Pint BGC and The Perfect Pint Molito to choose from – central Metro Manila or the south.

Source: Press Release

Photos and images: The Perfect Pint | @raffypekson


What’s In Store for Shangri-La at the Fort

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I was walking to the new Shangri-La hotel inside Bonifacio Global City for the first time. Since I came from Burgos Circle, I could walk straight towards The Mind Museum, cross 3rd Avenue and traverse to the new walkway beside the Shangri-La hotel. I started asking around the construction people since I couldn’t find a security guard or hotel-uniformed guy, where the hotel entrance was. Eventually, two of them pointed to an area already near 5th Avenue.

As I was walking to the Shangri-La hotel entrance, I noticed posters announcing what restaurant was going to open. I also saw that Brotzeit was already operating on a hot 2 o’clock day. Naturally, I took my trusty ol’ Kata M2L smartphone and took these photos.

Gads! Shangri-La hotel’s entrance led me a long walk coupled with two elevator rides before I ended up at Narra function room. That entrance beside the walkway turned out to be the upcoming mall of the Shangri-La hotel. Only did I learn that the hotel entrance was at an inclined ramp up the second floor fronting 30th Street, where the driveway was a roundabout with an oblong island in the middle.

Now I know!

Well, we all know who Brotzeit is, right? No? Okay. Brotzeit is a chain of restaurants based in Singapore, and now operating throughout the Asia-Pacific Region. I’m not sure how many it has in the Philippines but I frequent its Shangri-La EDSA Plaza mall.

A quick Google and I see Maisen already has its first branch in Greenbelt 3. Our Awesome Planet blog writes that Maisen is one of the finest Tonkatsu restaurants in Tokyo founded by a Japanese housewife, Mrs. Koide, in 1965 and later on bought by Suntory Holdings Limited of Yamazaki and Hibiki whisky fame. The name means “go for it”. Ben Chan’s Group (Suyen Corporation) brought the Maisen franchise to Greenbelt 3.

Pink’s Hot Dogs is a landmark hot dog restaurant in the Hollywood district of the city of Los Angeles. Pink’s was founded by Paul and Betty Pink in 1939 as a pushcart near the corner of La Brea and Melrose. This will be Pink’s first international restaurant which has partnered with the French restaurant and bakery company République, which owns the famed Wildflour Café and Bakery.

And finally, Davide Oldani of Milan-fame, three Michelin-star D’O restaurant expands his empire with a concept restaurant called FOO’D that opens at the Shangri-La hotel at the Fort, Manila. Oldani boasts as many sponsors as a Formula One driver. He’s backed by Samsung, which supplied equipment for the R&D section of his new kitchen, and Mercedes, which every year gives him a new car to drive. The fashion designer Giorgio Armani is so enamored of Oldani’s cuisine, he flew the chef to Paris last year to cook for 480 guests at his One Night Only soiree at the Palais de Tokyo.

Ooooh! Good food and good things coming soon!


Sources: Google | Our Awesome Planet | Wikipedia | The Daily Meal | WSJ

Photo by @raffypekson


Hong Kong Experience

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A young blogger with an awesome story about her Hong Kong trip. A must read!


Written by Raffy Pekson II

October 27, 2015 at 5:24 am

Ginger is the Root of Antioxidants

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In April, I was introduced to Turcumin, the herbal food supplement that uses the ginger root as a source of antioxidants. Is ginger good for our body? Of course, it is. I wrote about it a month later – see The Fuss About Ginger, Turmeric and Turcumin. What is Turcumin? It is the brand of the herbal food supplement by Health Rich Pharma Corp. group. Every 500mg capsule contains Rhizome of Turmeric that helps in digestion and removes the free-radicals in our bodies. These free-radicals damage our cell membranes, tampers our DNA and may even cause death.

What is Turmeric? Is Turmeric good for our body? In my previous blog, I did a little research about Turmeric and the wonders it does. “In India, turmeric has been used traditionally for thousands of years as a remedy for stomach and liver ailments, as well as topically to heal sores, basically for its supposed antimicrobial property. Turmeric was a medicine for a range of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains, and liver disorders. A fresh juice is commonly used in many skin conditions, including eczema, chicken pox, shingles, allergy, and scabies. The active compound curcumin is believed to have a wide range of biological effects including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumour, antibacterial, and antiviral activities, which indicate potential in clinical medicine.”

Since the time I wrote about it, I’ve taken one or two capsules after a hefty meal. Well, not religiously but if I remember to bring some or I remember at all. There’s a warm sensation a few minutes after taking it, which means those capsules are working inside your system. My term was “warm and fuzzy.” I’d always feel a little recharged or more. The Health Rich Pharma group says the turmeric, the rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, is working properly.

Turcumin comes in a box of 100 capsules that retails for 1,500 Pesos (or 15 Pesos per capsule). Not bad if you take two capsules per day or a P30 daily expense for better health.

Photos by @raffypekson


Best Travel Photographer Contest Launched by AirAsia and Nikon

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AirAsia in cooperation with ThinkDharma Inc., the exclusive distributor of Nikon cameras, got together to launch the first AirAsia Travel Photographer for 2015. Four newbie photographers and office workers will be coached and assisted by multi-awarded photographers from the Philippines and Malaysia as they all travel across Asia for one week starting July 21, 2015.

AirAsia Philippines Chairperson Maan Hontiveros was present during Thursday’s event held at the function rooms of ActiveFun in Bonifacio Global City. She introduced the four mentors and coaches of the contest, namely:

George Tapan – a self-taught photographer, Tapan served as director of photography of Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Magazine for eight years, won the ASEAN Tourism Association Award in 1999, won the gold prize for Pacific Asia Tourism Association twice, and first place in the Places Category for the National Geographic Photo Contest in 2011.

Christian Raymond Cruz – a graphic designer and one of the pioneers of landscape photography in the Philippines, also a self-taught photographer who spent the last seven years traveling the country and the world to capture the best nature scenery, and spends time sharing his knowledge and experience under the Redefining Vision Landscape Photography Workshops.

Philip Anthonie (Parc) Cruz – started as a hobbyist photographer in 2005, Cruz spent a lot of time tagging along with other photographers until he found his niche – portraits and cinematic shots. He is a privileged part of Nikon’s pool of endorsers and has since traveled around the Philippines and the world while imparting and encouraging other photo hobbyists to develop their creativity through visual images.

Adam Lee – an award-winning portrait and travel photographer who was trained in Los Angeles, he spent the last seven years assisting organizations to use photography as a means to tell stories and build communities. Lee is AirAsia’s resident photographer who contributes a large portion of his work to the airline’s in-flight magazine, marketing and communications, social media and brand management. Lee has won three silver awards and two honorable mentions in the Prix de la Photographie Paris 2014 competition and awarded the 27th ASEANTA Award of Excellence for Best Asean Tourism Photo in 2013.

The selected newbie photographers who will partner with these four photography masters are:

Marie Velvet Lagman-Macasaet – Marie is 36-year old an Executive Assistant to the SVP and Country Manager of VXI Global Solutions and mom to a 5-year old boy named Paco. She recently finished a half-marathon and bathing in an onsen (Japanese hot spring) while backpacking in Tokyo. She enjoys hiking, trekking and scuba diving. She is partnered with Coach Adam Lee.

Sarah T. Garcia – Sarah is a Front Office Agent at the Lancaster Hotel n Madaluyong City and loves to eat, love everything extraordinary and loves art. She is partnered with Coach George Tapan.

Paul Vincent Delfin – Paul is a Barista of Starbucks at the Greenbelt 3 branch. He’s into Indie music, loves football and loves long trips. He is an eager photography enthusiast as a form of art. He is partnered with Coach Parc Cruz.

Antonio Nepomuceno III – a marketing professional of Toyota in Taytay, Rizal, he is definitely a car enthusiast who is outgoing and loves the company of people, a necessity for his type of job. He is partnered with Coach Raymond Cruz.

Each team will be traveling around some exotic places in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to help everyone capture their best entries in categories that include landscape, food, portrait, architecture and travel. Winners will be awarded with over 200,000 BIG Points, AirAsia’s global loyalty program, or its equivalent free flights to any of AirAsia’s 100 destinations.

Online voting through will be opened to the public starting August 20, 2015 with Nikon cameras and BIG Points to be given away to lucky voters. The grand winner will be announced on September 11, 2015.

During the launch, AirAsia and Nikon drew lots to pick four lucky bloggers who will accompany each team in their respective trips to Asian destinations. My colleague in the Philippine Bloggers Network or PBNet Edel Santiago of The Kitchen Goddess blog won a spot among the four chosen bloggers.

Source: Press release – Manila, 16 July 2015

All photos by @raffypekson


Written by Raffy Pekson II

July 23, 2015 at 12:01 am

Posted in Fashion & Lifestyle, Food & Beverage, Incentives & Promotions, News & Articles, People, Planes, Transportation, Travel & Tourism

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Le Cellier, P. Ferraud & Fils, Sofitel and the Beaujolais Experience

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Bernard Flour of Le Cellier and Monsieur Ferraud of P. Ferraud & Fils at the leftmost with Adam Laker of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila at the rightmost.

Wikipedia describes Beaujolais as a French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée wine generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins. AOC is the French certification under the auspices of the French government bureau INAO. Like most AOC wines they are not labeled varietally. Beaujolais is also a historical province and a wine-producing region in France.

Every year and every third Thursday of November, the French all over the world celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau – the new wine from the rich, fertile grape fields and wineries of Beaujolais region in France. It is the most popular vin de primeur or nouveau, fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November every year.

It is also the second time Le Cellier French Wine Selection and Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel hosted its Beaujolais celebration by pairing food from Spiral Buffet Restaurant with wine from the Beaujolais region, just a few days after the worldwide Beaujolais celebration. This time, Monsieur Yves-Dominique Ferraud of P. Ferraud & Fils presented his family’s wine selection which includes red wine made from Gamay called Beaujolais Villages, Fleurie and Moulin A Vent, and white wine made from Chardonnay called Pouilly Fuisse, to mention a few.

The selection French cheeses and cheeses from all over the world are stored and served inside a temperature-controlled room at Spiral Buffet Restaurant in Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel.

Monsieur Ferraud is a 5th generation winemaker from the Beaujolais Region of France. The Maison P. Ferraud & Fils was founded in 1882 and has been handed down from father to son for five generations. Monsieur Ferraud’s short visit to Manila was highlighted by the wine-pairing dinner held at La Veranda, a section within the Spiral Restaurant.

Madame Jorinda Flour (far left) welcome guests at La Veranda, together with Monsieur Ferraud (middle), Bernard Flour (3rd from right) and Arabelle Jimenez (2nd from right).

Le Cellier French Wine Selection imports and distributes French wines in the Philippines by relentlessly tasting and selecting the very best wines that France wine-producing regions can offer and ensure their availability in Manila through adequate air-conditioned storage to maintain quality always. Its wine list is always updated and new wines added on a regular basis.

For more information about the Beaujolais wines and other medium range and premium wines from the many wine regions of France, contact Le Cellier French Wine Selection:

Le Cellier French Wine Selection
(Le Cellier Quality Store Corp.)
Unit 201 Sunette Tower, Durban St. Makati City Phils.
Tel. No.  : +63 (2)897-1840
Fax No.  : +63 (2)890-0019

Photos from The Kitchen Goddess and Beautiful Life.


Loire Valley Wines From the Garden of France

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A month ago, I was privileged to be invited to a wine tasting event at the La Veranda of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila hotel, hosted by Bernard and Jorinda Flour, the dynamic management team of the famed Le Cellier French Wine Selection.

The title of the dinner was “Loire Valley Wine Dinner.”

The Loire Valley is located in Central France, in the middle of the Loire River stretch; hence, the name. Because of the abundance of vineyards in the area, it is often referred to as the Cradle of the French or the Garden of France. Besides the vineyards, fruit orchards and artichoke and asparagus fields also line the banks of the river. The climate in Loire Valley can be cool with springtime frost while wine harvest months may have rain. The Loire Valley wine region is one of the world’s most well-known areas for wine production and includes several French wine regions, too. Loire wines tend to exhibit a characteristic fruitiness with fresh, crisp flavors.

The valley is also famous for its châteaux (or castles in English terms), numbering more than three hundred of them. This represents a nation of builders starting with the necessary castle fortifications in the 10th century to the splendour of those built half a millennium later. Their presence in the lush, fertile valley began attracting the very best landscape designers. In addition to its many châteaux, the cultural monuments illustrate to an exceptional degree the ideals of the Renaissance and the Age of the Enlightenment on western European thought and design. Many of the Châteaux were designed to be built on the top of hill and all had extremely detailed and expensive churches on the grounds, or within the actual Châteaux itself. This was because all of the French kings who reigned during the building of the Châteaux were devout Catholics.

On December 2, 2000, UNESCO added the central part of the river valley, between Maine and Sully-sur-Loire, to its list of World Heritage Sites. In choosing this area that includes the French départements of Loiret, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, and Maine-et-Loire, the committee said that the Loire Valley is “an exceptional cultural landscape, of great beauty, comprised of historic cities and villages, great architectural monuments – the châteaux – and lands that have been cultivated and shaped by centuries of interaction between local populations and their physical environment, in particular the Loire itself.”

Going back to the wine dinner hosted by Le Cellier, the latter actually paired each of the wines to a specific type of food found at the very long buffet tables of Spiral restaurant in Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila hotel. The actual photo or bottle of the wine was prominently displaed beside the area to which type of food it was being paired with.

Bernard Flour of Le Cellier welcoming his guests to the “Loire Valley Wine Dinner.”

Loire Valley Wines Paired with Spiral-prepared Food

Muscadete Severe et Maine Sur Lie
Domaine de la Levraudiere, 2011
100% Merlon de Bourgogne


Sancerre Blanc – Les Belles Vignes
Fournier Pere Et Fils, 2011
100% Sauvignon

Salad and Appetizer
L’Ecailler – Seafood on ice
Sushi sashimi

Pouilly Fume Blanc – Les Deux Cailloux
Fournier Pere Et Fils, 2011
100% Sauvignon

French stove – Mussel mariniere, Soupe de poisson
Chinese Wok – Braised sea cucumber
Filipino – Grilled Mahi-Mahi

Anjou Rouge
Domaine Des Forges 2010
Cabarnet Franc

Peking Duck Overn – Roasted duck
Hot Japanese – Beef ribe eye angus teppanyaki

Chinon Rouge – Clos Du Saut Au Loup
Domaine Dozon, 2010
100% Cabarnet Franc

Chinese Wok – Beef in black pepper sauce
Filipino – Pork adobo

Coteaux Du Glennois Rouge – Biaum
Mathieu Coste, 2005
Gamay and Pinot Noir

French Stove – Duck confit, Orange marmalade
Thai – Port satay

Saumur Rouge – Cuvee Nathalie
Chateau De Beauregard, 2006
Cabernet Franc

Churrasco – Lamb leg
North Indian – Chiecken tikka

Sancerre Rouge – Les Belles Vignes
Fournier Pere Et Fils, 2005
100% Pinot Noir

L’Epicerie – Selection of cheeses & cold cuts

Coteaux Du Lavon
Les Terriades, 2008 (semi-sweet white wine)
Chemin Blanc

La Patisserie – Panacotta, Puto bumbong, Bibinka

Many thanks to Arabelle Jimenez of Ecrit-Com, Inc., and Bernard and Jorinda Flour of Le Cellier for inviting me to grace this exquisite wine dinner extravaganza. It was a “magnifique” experience to taste all these wines paired with food prepared nonetheless by the French hotel chain, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.

Edel Santiago, Jorinda Flour and Arabelle Jimenez

Me, Edel Santiago and Arabelle Jimenez

For more information about the selected wines from last month’s dinner and the food pairing, please contact Bernard and Jorinda Flour of Le Cellier French Wine Selection at these contact information:

Le Cellier French Wine Selection
(Le Cellier Quality Store Corp.)
Unit 201 Sunette Tower
Durban St.
Makati City 1200 Philippines
Tel. No. +63 (2) 897-1840
Fax No. +63 (2) 890-0019

Some text taken from

Photos by @raffypekson.