Sunday, April 27, 2014

36 Hours in Manila, and then it's on to Tokyo for a meal of a lifetime, cooked by a Michelin three-star chef



In Manila for all of 36 hours, living a Travelife, I hosted one lunch for some overseas visitors and then hosted one dinner.

Two separate menus, as well, since I served Filipino food at lunch and Western food at dinner.

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OFF TO TOKYO
WITH A NEW CHANGE OF CLOTHES

And then, in about 24 hours, I'm off to Tokyo to make it just in time for a very special dinner.

I've had lots of amazing meals in my never-ending Travelife, but I'm pretty sure this dinner in Tokyo this week will rank pretty much near the top.

A famous Michelin three-star chef has been persuaded by a friend of mine -- and I'm sure you can imagine exactly how -- to cook dinner for just six people in his beautiful home in Tokyo.



And my friend is opening wines from some of the best vintages in the 20th century to accompany this 12-course meal.

Yes, you read right. 12 courses. All that walking I did in France was advance calorie burning for this 12-course meal in Tokyo this week.

THE EXTRAS ARE PRETTY IMPRESSIVE, TOO


And the wines have been flown in specially from a cellar in London, where my friend has another home and keeps his main wine cellar, supervised and managed by a famous wine merchant house.

Plus, a pretty famous violinist will be playing throughout the evening as well.

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EVERYTHING 
YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO EAT

There's a theme to the dinner, too.

The chef was asked to create 12 dishes for dinner based on the 12 most extravagant ingredients on the planet -- including the best caviar, foie gras, truffles (even if they are not in season now), oysters and Otawara beef, among others.



DON'T BOTHER ME WITH COSTS, PLEASE

This friend -- a very big businessman on the global stage, but quite publicity-averse in his private life -- is hosting the dinner to celebrate something special, and he told me that he actually didn't give the chef a budget.

Yes, he basically said: "Surprise me."



In fact, apparently -- and these are his very words -- he actually told the chef: "Don't think about the cost, and don't even mention money. Make me the kind of dinner that has so far existed only in your dreams. Order whatever you want from anywhere in the world, do whatever you need to do. Just make this dream dinner happen for me."

And yes, the chef is a very famous Michelin three-star chef. If you're a serious foodie, you'll definitely have heard of him or have already eaten at his restaurant.

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A MEAL WORTH FLYING FOR

With these parameters for dinner, I'm sure you'll understand why I'm flying to Tokyo just to make it for this meal.

Unfortunately, I can't say much else as there's a privacy issue involved, especially as both the host and the chef are well-known in the financial world and the foodie world respectively -- and both are public figures who are overly zealous about their privacy.

NO TIME FOR JETLAG.
BUT JUST ENOUGH TIME TO BUY A DESIGNER DRESS.

The Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul.
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I've just spent 24 hours in airplanes and airports trying to get from Paris to Manila via Istanbul and Hong Kong, and so far I've had about four hours of sleep.

When I woke up at 6 AM today, which is technically the middle of the night in Europe, a ton of work was waiting and I had two meals to plan out for today. I had guests coming for lunch and dinner.

Jetlag has so far been non-existent since there's been very little sleep in the first place, but I expect it'll hit me in some form in a few days.



Nevertheless, I'm back on a plane as soon as I get some work out of the way tomorrow.

I'm arriving in Tokyo just in time to change into a pretty black dress I picked up in a fancy Paris boutique a few days ago. And then I'm going to slide into my designated seat -- just one out of six -- and enjoy a dinner that a famous chef has spent months planning for.

How's that for another chapter in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife?

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