Tonight I went over to Enderun Colleges for Youth with a Future, a charity auction and a very good multi-course dinner cooked by Chef Jerome Lacressoniere of the Ducasse Education Institute, with Chef Alain Ducasse himself as guest of honor.
The Enderun Colleges Tent was full of sponsors, patrons, generous diners intent on bidding for charity, and lots of foodies who didn't want to pass up the chance for a good meal that would benefit the culinary center of the Tuloy Foundation as well.
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JUST IN TIME FOR DINNER
AND DELICIOUS BEEF FROM BUKIDNON
Cocktails started at 6 PM but I had to much too much catching up to do at work to leave early, after being away for so long. So I slid into my designated seat just before the start of dinner at 8 PM.
The six-course meal was lovely. I especialy enjoyed the second main course, which was a local beef filet with truffle jus.
After two weeks in Japan eating lots of wagyu, I was frankly not prepared to be very impressed.
However the wagyu-style beef from Bukidnon was tender and tasty, and not as fatty as Japanese beef. I finished everything on my plate.
SERIOUS TEMPTATIONS ON AUCTION
INCLUDING DINNER FOR TWO
AT BEIGE IN TOKYO
Meanwhile, the items for auction were all very interesting, and some were downright tempting.
One of the items I was seriously thinking of bidding for was a dinner for two at Beige, the restaurant of Alain Ducasse in Ginza, Tokyo, just because this is pretty convenient for me to use.
I used to go there a lot when it first opened, a lifetime ago, but I haven't been in a long time. I thought this was the perfect excuse I needed to revisit Beige.
OVERNIGHT STAY IN MONTE CARLO
WITH DINNER AT LE LOUIS XV
The second item that really tempted me was an overnight stay for two in Monte Carlo, at the famous Hotel Hermitage, which many finicky travelers consider the only place to stay in this part of France.
It also happens to be the location of Alain Ducasse's flagship restaurant Le Louis XV, a formal Michelin three-star restaurant.
The auction item included the overnight stay and dinner for two at Le Louis XV, in The Aquarium, which is at the heart of the restaurant's kitchen.
This is the equivalent of the chef's table, and Alain Ducasse promised VVIP treatment to the winning bidder.
PERFECT FOR TWO TRIPS TO FRANCE
IN THE NEXT TWO MONTHS
I've got two trips to France in the next four months, and I was actually in the middle of sorting out the itineraries and places to stay via my Blackberry, while the dinner and auction were going on.
The first trip to France is a complete "Me trip," while the second is a food trip. For the latter, I've booked three places I've been wanting to stay in, but have never had the time.
And just tonight, almost everything got sorted out quite nicely after a couple of stressful days trying to find time for everything in my never-ending Travelife. Too many beautiful places and simply too little time.
MOROCCO COMING UP SOON.
AND WHAT AN AMAZING TRIP THIS IS GOING TO BE.
To complicate my dinner tonight, the final touches for an upcoming trip to Morocco were ironed out as well exactly as I was in the middle of my steak.
I had to do a lot of work on this trip, plotting places I wanted to go to and hotels I wanted to stay in, and then creating a workable schedule for everything.
The Travel Companion and I are doing this trip together, and as usual he's left the hotel choices to me, just like in South Africa and Tanzania.
So I've chosen some of the best places on the planet, including a hotel I've been wanting to stay in since my first trip to Morocco, but that I've never had time to include yet.
LOTS OF MONEY RAISED
WHILE I WAS ANSWERING EMAILS
When I finally looked up from my phone, after about a dozen emails, there was lots of clapping and smiling people around the stage.
The auction was over and we had a couple of winning bids.
Everything went way over market value. The dinner for two at Beige in Tokyo went for around PhP 50,000, while a dinner for 10 persons to be cooked personally by Chef Jerome in the winning bidder's private residence, for instance, went for PhP 200,000.
So the auction that Enderun Colleges had organized, in cooperation with Ducasse Education and the Ducasse Institute, raised close to a million pesos for the culinary center of the Tuloy Foundation tonight.