Tag Archives: makati

About Last Night’s Gastronomique Adventures…

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The wonderful people behind the famous Grey Goose vodka label held a series of events that celebrated the exciting partnership between a skilled mixologist and a master chef.

 

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#lit (clockwise from top left): Grey Goose bottle illuminated from below, Mayura Onglet, Tomato Meringue with Ginataang Langka, Burnt Kalabaza with Sea Urchin and Orange Kamote, Bahay Kubo (Garden Vegetable Salad), Kilaw of Wild Talakitok, Toyo Eatery Silog

 

 

It was a first of its kind, given that it is rare to find an event that focuses on a multiple course dinner of Pinoy food paired with different vodka cocktails made from, of course, Grey Goose.

Grey Goose is one of the leading vodka brands in the world, renowned for its impeccably smooth texture and quality production methods. Made in Cognac, France, the vodka is made from selected French wheat and goes through a five-step distillation process to ensure its exceptional flavour. It is then blended with pure spring water naturally filtered through Champagne limestone. A maître de chai (cellar master), François Thibault, is hands on during the production (from selecting the ingredients to tasting the spirit to see to it that the vodka has reached its optimal taste).

As a treat, we were given a choice of several delicious cocktails that were paired with exceptional interpretations of Filipino food, as prepared and curated by Chef Jordy Navarra of Toyo Eatery.

 

 

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Gorgeous Grey Goose Cocktails

 

 

 

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The evening’s culinary genius, Chef Jordy Navarra

My personal favourite ended up pairing the smooth, creamy Cucumber Fizz cocktail with Chef Jordy’s Bahay Kubo, which was inspired by our local folk song, featuring all 18 vegetables of the song in one dish.

It was made even better by one of the waiters entertaining us with his rendition of Bahay Kubo as we ate.

 

 

Speaking of entertainment, on top of the fabulous gastronomique experience, we were delighted by an audio-visual entertainment provided by DJ Paul’s video music (which featured songs from the 70s to the 90s), and live violin music.

Makes me want to drink more Grey Goose at home.

 

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Feeling the Grey Goose blues!

How do you like your Grey Goose? Cheers!

 

*Special thanks to Masterminds Asia, Chef Jordy, and Mr. Jun for a wonderful evening

An Excerpt from The Diary of an Alcohol Specialist (Part 1)

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Hello, my name is Gail and I’m a slasher.

Not the kind that gets locked up behind bars because of bloody violent tendencies… But the kind that, as an acquaintance pointed out, wears so many hats that my job title requires a lot of “slashes”.

Technically, I’m a beverage specialist/blogger/restaurant consultant/housewife/student. Explaining that to people I’ve just met normally requires a long story, so I decided to dedicate a couple of entries to taking an in-depth look into my life.

 


26 July 2016, Tuesday

Manic-edited and released article about Korean beverages. Felt the effect of my absence from the blog, my stats dipped slightly… But I think it was good to have taken a break. It has been a nutty few weeks, and taking my friend’s suggestion of just being a couch potato was great.

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This of course means that I have a backlog the size of Everest.

Edited my article on Rosés, but I have to go out tomorrow and buy that Hoegaarden Rosée I saw from a friend’s feed… It’s so pretty!

When I decided to avoid getting freebies to make sure my articles are 100% unbiased, I knew there was a hell of a price to pay to maintain some semblance of integrity. It was even worse when I decided to make sure that all the photos that come out in the blog either came from me, a friend (with permission), or any source with explicit consent.

With that in mind, I have to finish my dark beer shoot… Thank goodness our home/office has great lighting and windows. I’ve never had any lessons on photography or photo editing… I’m grateful for my Samsung Note’s camera and Fotor.

 

27 July 2016, Wednesday

Made a mad dash for Bottle Shop along Jupiter Street to get the bottle of Hoegaarden Rosée.

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Must tell the marketing manager about my thoughts (all positive!). Heaven forbid I forget, I’ll send him the link to the article (and blame it on the alcohol)*.

Thank goodness I left when I did, I think our yaya almost throttled the plumber for his incompetence.

I have to make sure I give her an extra hug when I see her again on Friday.

My business is practically a one-woman show, and I’ve been infinitely blessed with wonderful people who I get to work with on a regular basis (suppliers and clients alike)… However, I’m especially thankful for the people that work for us and keep me sane. Our yaya is indispensable (I call her a 5’1” bouncer), our driver is amazingly patient with my direction and schedule-challenged self (and would take a bullet for us), and our ironing lady is a fabulous mix of formidable and sweet (she gives me hugs and cries tears of joy whenever I do any favour for her).

Got inquiries for cheese suppliers… I honestly get mine from Rustan’s Marketplace. They have a wonderfully diverse, delicious selection of about 270 cheeses from different parts of the world.

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Kitty from the Park

Walked around the neighbourhood (need the exercise!) with Chad and met one of the sweetest street cats, which we named Kitty from the Park.

 

28 July 2016, Thursday

I had to do an intense, manic research on beer styles for the dark beer article. It took me about an hour and a half to find decent text on Russian Stout, and a lot of the literature I found emphasised the difficulty in producing this style of beer. It made me appreciate the guys of Baguio Craft Brewery even more for their ingenuity.

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Exhaustive Research!

Here’s the thing about my articles: I never, ever release any without research, preferably from books. I get practically obsessive in getting the details accurate… After all, the goal of the blog is to provide an entertaining resource. It isn’t a lifestyle blog (and I’d rather kill myself than spend 80% of an entry talking about myself and 20% on the beverage), although I do try to entertain (my French teacher, Olivia, says I should work on putting a bit more of myself in my articles).

Speaking of Olivia, I gotta finish my French homework.

 

29 July 2016, Friday

Released my Rosé article… I can’t get over the fact that the Sospechoso from Barcino’s worked well with the longganisa our friend, fashion designer and chef Ryan Madamba brought over.

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I love having friends over for dinner… It makes for excellent conversations, challenges my food and wine pairing and mixology skills, and… Food. Cooking is therapeutic for me.

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The gratin I made for friends during one epic dinner (over tons of alcohol and food!)

Speaking of friends, one of ours is in Korea… Her adventures are making me envious. Maybe it’s time to schedule a trip to Korea.

Olivia came over for my lessons. It was also her birthday! We gave her an H&M gift card, and had dinner with her.

People wonder why I’m still continuing my French lessons. Honestly, I need to know a Latin-based language to help me decipher wine terms, and I decided on French during the time when Chad was working for a French company (it was useful for both of us). I’m not a total pro at it, but the French winemakers I’ve met so far were kind enough to meet me halfway and correct me when needed.


 

End of Part One. The next article will showcase what normally happens when I have events. 🙂

Cheers!

*I eventually forgot, eheh…

The End is the Beginning…

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“Here I sit halfway to somewhere, thinking about what’s in front of me and what I left behind”

Mr. Big, Goin’ Where The Wind Blows

 

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…is not the end 😉

This song, perhaps, sums up the melancholy I felt when we hung out one last time in Cyrano’s old location.

I know I’m breaking one of my old rules by talking about an establishment instead of the drinks, but I think I’ve covered some of Cyrano’s drinks in a previous entry.

It’s just that I realized, as I looked at all the old familiar faces of the bar’s regulars, that no other place has been such a part of my “wine life” than Cyrano.

Just to give readers an idea on how the place is to regulars like myself, think Cheers… Everybody literally knows your name.

I started going to Cyrano in the middle of 2008, when I was working for a wine company. My then landlord and I decided to hang out, and since his office was in Legaspi Village, he took me to Cyrano.

It was then that I met Cyrano’s resident snarky bartender, Alex, who introduced me to the art of wine. See, I knew a little bit about wine before I met Alex, but he was instrumental in changing my perspective. I would have never perceived wine as a lifestyle without him. To this day, I owe coming up with the conclusion that wine involves gastronomy, culture, geography, and science to him.

Since then, Alex has become such a part of our lives; we even got him to attend our wedding (in his Wallace and Grommet tie).

Here are other things I will never forget from the ultimate neighborhood wine bar:

  • Imogen Heap – I’ve never heard of Imogen Heap before I started hanging out in Cyrano… Alex’s sister was playing it during one of my visits around October/November 2008. Heap’s album Speak for Yourself was still in my head when I met Chad in December 2008, so I will always equate Imogen with good memories (Alex, since then, has disallowed Imogen Heap to be played in the bar).
  • Wine Books – One of the proprietors loaned me a wine encyclopedia when I started to study wine. Unfortunately, the books (along with about 75% of my stuff) were damaged by Ondoy in 2009. The books, however, started me on the path of collecting wine literature (admittedly one of my favorite guilty pleasures).
  • Appreciation for Live Music –We got to watch Nino Alejandro and Lee Grane in Cyrano as they got really famous. It was also great to hear one of our friends, Aia De Leon, play in Cyrano’s “smoking lounge” (which is where Curator is now).
  • Victoria’s Secret – I theoretically knew about Victoria’s Secret’s legendary fashion shows, but Alex started a tradition of watching it in Cyrano since 2012. It then became our equivalent of the Super Bowl.
  • Eurovision – It’s so campy, it’s good. As with Victoria’s Secret, Alex held “public screenings” in the bar for a couple of years.
  • Anthony Bourdain – People reading this blog know about my “hero worship” of Bourdain for his no-nonsense take on food, drink, people, culture, and travel. I actually discovered him during one of Alex’s “film showing” evenings… I remember the first episode I ever saw: It was No Reservations in Naples (still one of my all time favorites).
  • Cyrano’s grassy patch – People have smoked there, passed out drunk on it (and were woken up by the barangay police in the morning), thrown up on it, and even brought dogs there (yep, Schrumpf was there!).
  • The glassware – Here’s a bit of trivia: Alex gets so anal about his glasses that he refuses to use them without extensively wiping off the watermarks. I can honestly say that he has some of the cleanest glassware in Makati.
  • The back of the bar – I felt so at home that I actually served drinks on occasion, and even helped myself to the wines in the refrigerator when Alex got too busy (before they hired Fiona, Alex’s equally catty bartender).
  • The PEOPLE – The moment guests walk in the door, they get introduced to everyone. I’ve met a German wino with a penchant for sweet wines, a woman who loaned me her glass with “Bitch” engraved on it (because it totally suited me), law students studying for the bar exams (yes, over wine), runners, musicians, comedians, businessmen, radio personalities, and Mr. S (a Japanese regular who, unfortunately, drowned earlier this year, RIP).

 

Old regulars marveling at how much our lives have changed made Cyrano’s last night in Legaspi Village particularly sentimental. We realized we don’t hang out until 4am anymore, we don’t drink like fish the way we used to, and we’re in bed by 12 midnight… Totally titos and titas of manila.

To further drive home our age, we decided to play power ballads of the 90s (which is the reason why Mr. Big is stuck in my head). After all, is there a better way to end an era than with lots of food, wine, friends, and belting out songs we grew up to?

Much as we titos and titas will miss the old place, we are also very excited to see it re-open in a different location: Cordova Building along Valero street in Salcedo Village. This should happen in a couple of months, so hey… We are totally looking forward to that. 😉

Cheers!