Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Menu for a farewell dinner for two ambassadors and a lady

At the spa of the Royal Mansour in Marrakech on Saturday,
just before one of the best deep tissue massages
in recent memory

So until last weekend, we were driving all over Morocco, eating in some pretty fancy restaurants and staying in some of the most amazing places in that part of the world.

Living a never-endingly eventful Travelife, of course. 

More on these experiences in this blog and in future issues of Travelife Magazine, the leading travel & lifestyle publication.

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ARRIVING IN TOKYO
AFTER 36 HOURS IN MANILA

And then I was in Manila for something like 36 hours, before flying to Tokyo.

Tonight I arrived at Tokyo's Narita Airport to perfect 20 degree weather and a rather busy schedule of things to do.

The appetizers for lunch
onboard Japan Airlines today
Manila to Tokyo

In-between all this flying and driving around, I was planning a formal dinner party for about 40 persons, to reluctantly say farewell to two of my favorite ambassadors.

Arrivals and departures are a regular part of diplomatic life and my own calendar has its own fair share of invitations for farewell dinners for ambassadors all the time. But I have to admit that I always hate saying goodbye, and I try to avoid it when possible.

Narita Airport tonight

ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE DINNERS

One especially popular ambassadorial couple who left last year had a mountain of farewell dinners hosted for them by their friends, and I was fortunate to have been invited to at least eight of the farewell dinners hosted for them.

These dinners, hosted by some fellow ambassadors and also some of the most prominent personalities in local society, were all very enjoyable and elegant.


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A HOUSE WITH ITS OWN AMAZING MUSEUM

One dinner party, in particular, blew my mind away.

It was held in one of the biggest homes I've ever stepped into in Forbes Park, with its own museum of rare antiquities of a quality you would find in a museum in a major international city.




The Chinese eight-course meal had every single rare ingredient I could think of, and the entertainment consisted of two of the brightest names in Philippine opera.

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BREAKING THE BARRIERS

Meanwhile, for my own farewell dinner for two ambassadors, I decided to break protocol as I'm not a diplomat anyway, and combine two farewell dinners into one.

It's mainly a time issue as I return from Tokyo just a few days before the dinner and then I fly to Paris the next day -- and I won't be back for weeks.




It's one reunion after another in Europe this July, as we meet up with friends from Manila all over who will be in Europe at the same time. 

So we're meeting friends in Paris, in Bordeaux and in San Sebastian. And I'm especially looking forward to lunch at someone's chateau in Bordeaux, around the second week of July.

At the Four Seasons Marrakech last week,
taken just before we stepped out to dinner
at one of Morocco's most talked-about restaurants,
living a Travelife....

OUT OF PROTOCOL

Again, a little bit out of protocol, I've invited some of my own friends to join this dinner as the two ambassadors are close enough to me, for me to do this. However, the main guest list has been given entirely to the guests of honor to decide, as is the usual case for diplomatic dinners.

And with the help of a young chef I've just met, I'm planning a very special dinner for 40 persons.

The menu is still in the finalizing stages, but I've more or less decided to do a Filipino fusion degustation menu of 13 courses just because the guests of honor will have little chance to sample such cuisine in the future.

And here's what my very talented young chef has come up with so far, for my approval:



The Travelife Magazine Farewell Dinner
for two well-loved ambassadors

Appetizers 
Liver adobo pate and mango brule 
Aubergine crisps 
Tuna kinilaw with ginger mayonnaise 
Chicken inasal shawarma with a cilantro glaze 

served with
Pan de sal & monay 
Honey and peppercorn, roasted pimiento, and parsley butter 

*     *     *


Salad 
Salted fish salad
with calamansi vinaigrette 

*     *     *

Entrees 

Salmon Pochero 
with garbanzos, cabbage, and fine beans 

Lamb Caldereta 
with mint jelly, roasted potatoes, and carrots 

*     *     *

Dessert 
Banana cue with salted caramel
Cashew streudel
Peach and vanilla ice cream 

*     *     *

Petit Fours 
Cheese turon truffle
with a choice of
Honey kapeng barako or salabat


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