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It all started with a career change in 1979.  Journalist and information guru Larry J. Cruz became a restaurateur and opened Café Adriatico at the Remedios Circle in Metro Manila.  Thus, the LJC Restaurant Group (named after its late founder) was born.

Larry wanted a place where he and his friends could meet and chat about the day’s events while enjoying good coffee, tasty food and drink. The Café emulated the Parisian sidewalk cafes, offering hearty cuisine, warm service and a charming ambience, all at a reasonable price.  It became the watering hole for Manila’s who’s who and remains a hub for artists, celebrities and foodies, who flock to there for its signature dishes such as Spareribs Adobo Rice, Salpicao, Callos, Lola Ising’s Adobo and Knockout Knuckles in garlic and chilies.

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Pasig’s hottest food magnet puts homegrown freshness at the head of the table. Lo-ca-vore (lôka . vôr) – a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food. Locally nurtured, locally produced and locally prepared. This is the mantra of a hot, new restaurant in Kapitolyo, Pasig whose name reflects the passion to consume anything homegrown and organic. Set up by four young couples – one of whom told Taste, Travel & Trends “are foodies who enjoyed having meals in eachother’s homes until they decided to open their own restaurant” – Locavore Kitchen & Drinks has been quietly

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The cup certainly ran many times over during the 14th Grand Wine Experience staged at Marriott Hotel’s grand ballroom in Newport City. Organized by Philippine Wine Merchants with help from staunch partners such as Diageo, Rustan’s Supermarket, Future Trade International and Resorts World Manila, the event attracted 1,500 ardent epicureans and bon vivants, who savored several hours of grazing through an epic buffet paired with over 500 wines and spirits.

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Amichilu: A Sense of Place, a Sense of Time

Local and family recipes keep fond memories of this charming rustic place alive

A retreat in many ways, Amichilu is a family compound situated on a hill just off Matabungkay beach, 15 kilometers away from Nasugbu and half an hour’s drive from Calatagan. On this fair day, the 10 a.m. sun drenches every surface it touches, while brisk cooling breezes – the amihan – caress the various fruit trees which murmur the same thing: the temptation of a pre-lunch nap. During our visit, the residing family is blessed with members from three generations visiting for the week.

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Normally referring to a table located near the kitchen, the chef’s table usually is where experimental dishes debut for the pleasure of diners who want to be surprised — never mind if the result is a divine dream or something struggling out of its initial stages as a wisp of a whim.
The Chef’s Table Reimagined

But as chef’s tables go, this one at Madison’s is in a class of its own: a small function room that can comfortably seat 10 to 12, commanding its own view of the kitchen, and serving its own menu.

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Asian noodles are invading the Metro. Better know what you’re dealing with before you sit down and attack. Who would think that something that’s been around  for 4,000 years would be anything but stale? Yet against expectation, the Asian variety of these flour paste strings are now so trendy it’s impossible to avoid   tangling with them. Definitely Not Your Usual Cup of Noodles. Ah, the Japanese aesthetic! The simple functionality of a shoji screen, the stylized calm of a aresansui garden, the delicious subtlety of sashimi. We can wax ecstatic—and scour the thesaurus for synonyms—about the beautiful minimalism of Japanese culture.

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Madison’s Bistro is creating its own buzz for several reasons an affordable menu, classic interiors, an enviable bar featuring a fine selection of single-malt whiskey, and an opulent function room that serves as the chef’s table. Except in this case, there are two chefs — Giovanni Sias and Hylton Le Roux — and both are passionate about the possibilities of food. The morning the Taste crew dropped by for a photoshoot, their PR agency was also on the premises with a photographer to capture promotional images. It was almost comical to see the two men mug for both sets of cameras, hustling from one end of the bistro to the next.

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The surprising renaissance in Ilocos Norte’s tourism industry has led to a boom in the dining landscape, prompting local chefs to create new traditions in their kitchens.

A trip to the North, particularly Laoag City, will certainly change your perception about the dining landscape in the province, if not raise awareness of a notable slew of developments enhancing its tourism profile.

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THE NEWEST CULINARY AND TRAVEL MAGAZINE SHARES A PREVIEW OF ITS EXCITING FUTURE. On a spirited note, Taste, Travel & Trends magazine hosted cocktails to preview their maiden issue appearing this month. The chosen venue was The Wine Museum in Pasay City, nominated in 2012 for Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secret Award “Best Enoteca”. The event was sponsored together with The Wine Museum, Philippine Wine Merchants and S&L Fine Foods, along with other co-sponsors Shakey’s, Dunkin Donuts, Project Pie, Sunny Bakeshop, Mix Plant and Bakemasters Inc.

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Cebu’s lechoneros share their secrets in preparing the country’s tastiest roast pig

At the risk of being fiercely regionalistic, the best inasal nga baboy or lechon (roasted pig) still comes from Cebu. Cebuanos seem to have perfected, if not advanced, the art of lechon-making, placing their version of the Filipino food icon a notch higher than those of other provinces.

 

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Coffee and cocktails with Rizal After paying a visit to the shrine of our National Hero, Jose Rizal, why not hop over to the newest hangout in the area – The Hub at Kilometer Zero at the heart of Rizal Park in Bulwagan ng Kagitingan. A lounge, cafe, bar, restaurant and ticketing office all rolled into one, it’s the brainchild of 2GO Travel, the domestic shipping and passenger business unit of 2GO Group, Inc. Indulge in history while chilling over beverages like freshly brewed Batangas coffee and espresso blends. Brit native Daniel Slakmon, who has worked in prestigious international cruise ships, has trained local baristas to create the perfect cup for brew-passionate patrons.

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Food tripping in the Summer Capital should include these unique restaurants and cafés

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Prevent outbreaks of food poisoning
by following these steps:

1 RECEIVING
• Inspect your deliveries.
• Familiarize yourself with product information.
• Check for date of expiry on processed foods and dry goods.

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It’s just a little past 10 a.m., and already, it’s a full house brimming with buoyant conversation. At the center of it all is the cordial host, Ralph Lim Joseph, who hops from one table to the other, making sure everyone is feeling good that day.It’s literally a haven for wine lovers and connoisseurs as Joseph successfully encourages guests to drink some wine. It is, after all, the very point why everyone is here – to appreciate the world’s finest wines and the important process and history that went into their creation. “Aside from a place where you can dine and drink, it’s most of all a place for those who want

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Juan Carlos de Terry was born in 1944 in Puerto de Santa Maria, a small town in Spain along Cadiz Bay, to a family that regarded wine production as an integral part of their business endeavors. Such environment made it natural for him to learn the mysteries of sherries and brandies first hand from his very own father. These early experiences, combined with witnessing how his mother hosted countless magical feasts for family and guests, led to the maestro’s own intense  pursuit of his varied passions, fueled by the many wonderful memories of heavenly flavors and aromas that spiced up his childhood.

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Rice is the principal food of the majority of the world’s population. All edible rice comes from only two species, Oryza sativa (Asian rice) and Oryza glaberrima (African rice), with the Asian type vastly surpassing the African one in use and in variety. It is also the staple grain that needs the least processing to prepare for cooking.

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Farm-to-fork restaurants are fast becoming the norm in Metro Manila’s dining scene, but one establishment has advanced the concept further by creating ways to help less fortunate Filipinos build a better life for themselves.

Earth Kitchen, in White Plains, Quezon City and at Bonifacio Global City, is an offshoot of the Got Heart Foundation, which, says its website www.gotheartfoundation.org, is “a non-stock, non-profit organization, promoting the values of love and gratitude, which open possibilities for shared blessings that are used in creating real, lasting change among marginalized communities”.

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An enterprising couple in Cebu takes dried mangoes to a whole new level, dipping them in premium Belgian chocolate and creating an irresistible snack

When entrepreneurs Angel and Elizabeth Ong set up in 1992 AEO International Food Corporation – producers of Cebu Best chocolate mangoes –  their aim was merely to enhance a family legacy and not to compete with it.

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Joel Binamira, owner of Zubuchon, believes his version of lechon – pronounced by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain as the “best pig (lechon) ever” – was probably the same one Magellan sampled when he landed in Cebu in 1521. Those meals with the locals, according to historian Antonio Pigafetta, also included servings of millet, fish, vegetables and turtle eggs.

Zubuchon serves what he describes as the traditional Cebuano lechon. There are no shortcuts, no MSG. “We don’t do anything funny to it to make it look better than it should.”

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It is always a delight to see a tradition that’s treasured and passed on.

In Metro Manila, many cherished establishments have fallen victim to the rapid urban development. The clamor to preserve them borne out of deep sentiments that went beyond the food they served. The sweet memories that went with dining there linger only to disappear with each brick demolished.

The great news is fond memories need not fade, and traditions worth keeping do stand the test of time. Sunny Bakeshop has been serving freshly baked goodies for more than 50 years.

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