Philippines Chapitre
Bailliage of Manila
Manila, March 10, 2018
'The days of wine and roses'

The Bailliage’s 46th Gala Induction Evening took place at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel. Amongst the notable guests were Bailli Délégué Michel Lhuillier, his wife, Amparito, who is Bailli of Cebu, and Rajesh Taneja, Bailli Délégué Elect of Vietnam.

Michel presided over the Induction Ceremony after which we moved from the function room to the gallery outside which, in honour of the occasion, had been transformed into a dining space with two long, elegantly-adorned tables. Each one seated 41 guests in the manner of royal banquets at the time of King Arthur. No less impressive were at least a thousand long-stemmed red roses arranged in tall vases at intervals along the tables.

The Italian-themed dinner was a culinary masterpiece. It was created with loving care by the hotel's Executive Chef, Nicola Canuti, a native Italian. The dishes were paired with meticulously-selected wines, French and Italian, in honour of the Chaîne's French origins and the theme of the dinner.

Of particular note, and much appreciated by many of the guests, were the red wines. Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2015 paired with the beef tagliata and the Luccarelli Il Bacca Old Vines Primitivo di Manduria 2015 went perfectly with the cheese.

Also making a positive mark on the palate was the pairing of the Lhuillier Champagne Brut Rosé with the first course of octopus, prawn and Oscietra caviar, as well as with the second course of lobster consommé, squid, black cod and saffron potatoes. For the digestif, guests had a choice of Amaretto di Saronno or Knob Creek Bourbon.

Entertainment came by way of songs and a short dance number featuring American favourites from the Twenties and Thirties, the days of Prohibition when people drank to drown their fears and sorrows in a time romanticized as “the days of wine and roses”.

At the conclusion of the dinner, both kitchen brigade and service staff members were called in for the "curtain call". They received well-deserved applause for an excellent dinner that the palate will long remember and served in the impeccable manner for which the Shangri-La is known.

Julius "Jay" Labrador