Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Lola Mommy.

How do you start a love story when it begins with death?

Life will be so different without her. Since the beginning of my time in this world, Lola Mom always had a very strong presence in my life. She always told me and everyone in my family that I am the only in the Dizon family that will take after her. Now, that is not a bad thing. Lola Mom was a great business woman. She handled mega-construction contracts that most men can't imagine handling. While my toys are diamonds and precious gems, hers were forklifts and bulldozers. But despite working with tough businessmen and a hundred construction workers, she was still a lady with a gentle heart. But when she said that I am the only to take after her, she actually meant her physical frame. We always had a laugh about that.

She loved to laugh. To talk about her sons and daughters and what she went through to raise them properly. She is Kapangpangan and that can only mean that she is a great cook and an even greater eater. And that passion to eat good food was, for sure, passed on to the next generation and fell entirely on my lap.

She is not the knitting on the rocking chair kind of lola. She never read us books to sleep either. She did, however, go to Boracay, Palawan and just last month, plan a Meditteranean cruise with her children and their wives. We were all shocked to hear of this plan of hers and were a little apprehensive about making her go through this kind of physical activity at her age. But if you know Lola Mom, nothing can stop her from what she wants.

10 day cruise and a few days in Barcelona was how she spent the last days of her life here on Earth. The last time I saw was half a year ago. And I can't believe that I won't ever see her again, alive.

Her jokes.
Her soft white hair
Her flabby cheeks
Her flower printed dresses
Her voice, her loud and strong voice that I can hear a mile away.
Her smile...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not so Regal in La Regalade

Heard and read so much about it. So excited to try it out and see what this 2 Star Michelin Chef of La Regalade in Vancouver is all about.

But firstly, what the heck is this star anyway?

Basically, it is a guide book where stars are given to restaurants based on the quality of food and service.

The guide awards one to three stars to a small number of restaurants of outstanding quality.

Stars are awarded sparingly; for instance: one star is given to a very good restaurant in its category, two stars are given to excellent cooking, worth a detour kind of restaurant, and three stars to exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey establishments.

Back to La Regalade, Makati. According to another blog this is what this restaurant is all about....

The Philippine version of the Vancouver based La Régalade, no relation to Yves Camdeborde’s former restaurant La Régalade in Paris, is owned by Alain Rayé who opened the original in Vancouver, Canada in 2001 after moving there with his family from France. He earned a Michelin star at two restaurants he previously owned in France, his first star in a restaurant in Albertville and a second at La Belle Epoque in Chateaufort, where his cuisine earned him another Michelin star. The Philippine site in Makati opened this month August 2008. Among those who frequented his bistro in the suburbs of Western Vancouver and braved the creaky old Lion’s Gate Bridge was Perfecto “Bubot” Quicho, a former hotelier who made history in 1984 when he was named General Manager of Hyatt Regency Manila, the first Filipino to attain such a position in a five-star worldwide chain.
Perfecto “Bubut” Quicho (pictured) is the manager and one of the partners along with Alain Rayé and Tonyboy Cojuangco. They have put together an “A List” group of customers that are filling the 70 odd seats nightly.

But what is it REALLY about?

The food aint all that....that's what I say. Nothing great and after 2 visits, I don't see myself going back. The 7 hour marinated lamb that they are so proud of tasted so sour that it sent chills up my spine. It was drenched in white wine. Had it wrapped and gave it to the driver. The other dishes were not bad but definitely not great. When you say MIchelin Stars, you think Wolfgang Puck. Food for The Oscars kinda dishes but our version of Martha Stewart, Minena Garcia, I believe cooks much better than the chefs in La Regalade.

Another thing I noticed is that this place doesn't really know what market it wants to target (hey, that rhymes!) My friends and I dressed and put on the bling blings because we thought it was a posh place that would turn clients away if they were wearing jeans. The kind of restaurant that would scoff if they see a child running around the dining area. As we sat down, we noticed that there were high school students (still in their uniform), employees of hotels (also in their uniform) and toddlers running and shouting as we eat out sour lamb!

I suddenly miss Sala.

Here are some photos.

The desserts did not make me happy. And because I can brag about my expanding knowledge about the sweets, I can honestly say that the bite I had of the Valrhona Tart was not worth the calories. Cheffie even told me that it wasn't really Valrhona but chocolate pudding. At least it tasted like it.

So what did we do to get our sugar fill? We went to Minena's house and had chocolate biscuits from Kirkland. YUMMY!

Thanks to Kit Marshal for the info about La Regalade.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fashion in the Jailhouse.

Event: Fashion Show sa Bilibid
Date: Nov. 5, 2008
Attire: Anything but orange (hahaha)

Ok folks. Here's something interesting. What do you get when you put Puey + prisoners + fashion show? To start with, a terrified bloggerina who promised to attend only to find out that there's nothing to be scared of. Secondly, you get 35 male prisoners, all interested in making clothes (no, they are not necessarily gay) and a tiny Puey Quinones, producing a fashion show to showcase the jailbird's work.

I have to be honest. The clothes, they were quite bad. I don't have to be Tim Gunn or Heidi Klum to know how bad it was BUT I have to admit, I can't help but admire them for the effort to create something from the little knowledge that they have for this art. I believe that putting a dress that one can wear and walk around with is difficult enough. I can only do the running stitch. They were so proud that their work is being recognized and even shown on national TV (TV PATROL). Not only that, Puey gave the winners cash prize, art supplies, cologne (sponsored by Afficionado) and eyewear (sponsored by Ideal Vision).

Now, the prize money might not have started out to be a lot (1st prize - P5,000, 2nd prize - P3,000, 3rd prize - P2,000) but because of the kind hearts of Joel Cruz and RC (who opts to remain anonymous), the cash prize turned out to be P40,000, P18,000 and P12,000!

With Puey's influence in the fashion industry, he was able to get Ms. Lulu Tan Gan, Robbie Carmona and Liza Ilarde to judge the "Bilibid Runway Project". The guests were mostly officials of the government and their wives. There were also the staff members of Bilibid and the family members of the contestants, all wanting to see the hard work of Puey and his students under the spotlight.

Top model, Ria Bolivar even came down to give support to PQ and walked the runway showcasing Puey's beautiful collection. Another good friend, Carmina Sanchez also offered her support by being the host for the evening. There are a lot of people that I am sure Puey is grateful to but I am sure that nothing can compare how grateful the prisoners feel towards Puey.

Let the show begin...

Not really sure which of the dresses here won but perhaps Puey can leave a comment to inform us of the winners. Congratulations to all the winners and to all those who participated in making this show a success.