Taste Travel and Trends - Issue 02

  • 24 Hours in Vancouver

    Built in 1938 and officially known as The First Narrows Bridge, the graceful suspension bridge spans the First Narrows of Burrard Inlet. The bridge heads towards The Lions Peaks, hence the more popular name “Lions Gate Bridge”. Every major city deserves at least a few days of exploration but if you’re tight on time here’s my guide to help you enjoy 24 hours in Canada’s West Coast paradise of Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver is a city that celebrates great global food, sophisticated entertainment,

  • A Chef's Table Reimagined

    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.

  • A Kitchen Big Enough for Two

    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.

  • A Moment with Bencab

    Benedicto — BenCab — Cabrera, the Philippines’ most popular painter, was conferred the Order of National Artist for Visual Arts in 2006. After living in London for 17 years, he decided to return to the Philippines for good in 1986, settling in Baguio. Many years later, he would move to Tuba, Benguet, on a farm on Asin Road. An artist with an intense love for the artistry of life, he assembled his formidable collection of paintings , indigenous artifacts and arts and crafts into the BenCab  museum, a unique attraction that has become a highlight of visits to this part of Northern Luzon.

  • Baguio Sonata

    A mountain spring tumbles down the hillside, cutting a path through highland rain forest. A trail crosses the water via a hanging bridge. Ferns and bromeliads,  home to creatures wild and wonderful, fill the spaces between pine trees. This is Baguio primeval.

  • Beyond Sheer Fun

    If you stop to consider it, there’s something inherently gleeful about playing in the mud. However, the expectation is that past a certain age, we’re expected to tire of it and become adults. It’s almost unanimously agreed upon in society that busy grown-ups have neither the time nor the inclination for frolicking in mud. And yet happily challenging the assertion that adults shouldn’t play in mud are the members of the Land Rover Club of the Philippines. a group of men and women–many of them easily described as successes in their various fields drawn together by a shared love of Land Rovers, and mud. Or more succinctly, off-roading which involves experiencing the country’s off beaten path.

  • Binondo for Beginners

    Most Filipinos are unaware of the district’s cultural and historical wealth. Follow this quintessential guide and be amazed. Founded in 1594, Binondo was created to encourage more Chinese to convert to Catholicism. Otherwise, they would have had to live under constant surveillance in the ghetto across Manila known as the Parian. By the 19th century, it had emerged as the center of commerce for the entire colony. From here, reformers and reedom fighters emerged, fighting to win our independence from, first, the Spaniards, and then the Americans.

  • Children of Paradise

    The Ivatans of Batanes live life in tune  with the  seasons, and a hardy, forthright, and friendly people emerges Beside me on the prow of the ferry is an attractive young guide. She listens politely as I recall my first experience crossing the Sabtang channel 22 years ago. Back then, it was a small, roofless falowa belonging to the Department of Public Works and Highways. The falowa, a round-bottomed boat of the Ivatans, bobs and rolls with the waves. Near me was a cow attempting to break free of its bindings. It was late February, and the swirling waters whipped up by the amihan winds were mountains of froth. Nothing was visible except for monster swells ready to engulf the boat.

  • Feel at Home

    Restoration of the classic Casa Vallejo charms old patrons and enchants first-time guests

    Built in 1909, one of the most distinctive historical and aesthetic landmarks of Baguio City is the Casa Vallejo.  First known as Dormitory 4, it housed American employees from the Bureau of Public Works who helped build the city. Then in 1927, a Spanish immigrant married to a Filipina leased the property, renovating it into Baguio’s first hotel.

  • Hill Station

    Serving Old World charm and slow-cooked cuisine, the award-winning restaurant  occupies one of Baguio’s most storied structures.

    In 2009, Roebling Hotels was awarded the building and property that used to be the Casa Vallejo Inn.  The previous occupant was the DENR, which moved in after the family of the late Salvador Vallejo vacated the premises and the main building containing the Casa Vallejo Inn was left unused for more than a decade. The DENR offices occupied the “newer” annex where Mt. Cloud bookstore, the North Haven spa, and the Cinematheque are now located.  With plans to restore the building and put up a 24-room hotel, Roebling invited Mitos Benitez Yñiguez, of Mario’s fame, to run the

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  • Hill Station’s Baguio Vibe

    Serving Old World charm and slow-cooked cuisine, the award-winning restaurant occupies one of Baguio’s most storied structures. In 2009, Roebling Hotels was
    awarded the building and property that used to be the Casa Vallejo Inn. The previous occupant was the DENR, which moved in after the family of the late  Salvador Vallejo vacated the premises and the main building containing the Casa Vallejo Inn was left unused for more than a decade. The DENR offices occupied the “newer” annex where Mt. Cloud bookstore, the North Haven spa, and the Cinematheque are now located.

  • Hostel to Deluxe Haven

    From a one-cottage shack and three-hole golf course, Baguio Country Club has evolved into the biggest and most exclusive resort in the City of Pines. VIP’s, Presidents and dignitaries frequent the place, sometimes incognito, yet the Baguio Country Club remains one of, if not the most popular members-only lodge in the city. Perhaps not everyone who has been to the so-called “City Within a City” is aware that this spectacular Country Club began as only a small hostel.

  • Molto Vivace Garden Fresh at Café Sabel

    Straight to Café Sabel’s kitchen comes produce grown in the organic farm just below it, including the famous Baguio strawberries. These vegetables, herbs, and  fruits are an essential part of the cafe’s menu. Picked at the optimum time, the vegetables and herbs go into dishes with all their natural goodness intact. Beverages are made from fresh fruits and Cafe Sabel’s signature coffee blend, BenCab’s Brew, is made from Arabica coffee beans harvested from the farm. Chef Mike develops the dishes and menu depending on the seasonality of the ingredients, making for an ever-changing kaleidoscope of flavors.

  • Museo Pambata: The Little Museum that Could

    Dedicated solely to the Filipino child, this 21-year-old institution shows that learning and fun go hand in hand. The Museo Pambata holds a special place in my  heart. My first job was as a teacher in a pre-school called Early Learning Center and it was its owner and director, Nina Lim-Yuson, who hired me fresh out of  college armed with a degree in Economics and not Education. After a trip to the US with her four children that included a visit to the Boston Children’s Museum,  Nina declared that she wanted to set up the same kind of museum in the Philippines.

  • Noodles,Yah!!

    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.

  • Rice 101

    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.

  • Sunny Bakeshop A Warm Tradition

    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.

  • The Chef’s Table Reimagined

    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. 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.  Indeed, the cost per person to book this room may hit four figures — but for some it may be worth it — considering the opulent décor,

  • The Sweet Life

    Managing cafés, baking delectable cassava cakes and raising seven children in Baguio all make up a day-in-the-life of Techie Pantaleon. While Manileños flock the Northern Region in the summertime for the cooling breeze, Techie Pantaleon and her brood have been calling “the mountains” home for more than a decade. “I consider myself taga-bundok (from the mountains) now,” she says with a proud smile. Originally from Manila, the Pantaleons made Baguio their permanent residence only when Techie’s husband was appointed golf director of Camp John Hay back in 1999.

  • Unilever Offers Culinary Entrepreneurs Food for Thought

    On June 4, the press was invited to Unilever’s launch of its series of online videos — now on their Food Solutions website — at Abe’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga in the foothills of Mt. Arayat. Unilever Food Solutions, geared towards helping the food industry, previewed their series of short features on current food trends in SouthEast Asia.

    “As the food service arm of Unilever, we at Unilever Food Solutions believe it is our mission to keep chefs and restaurant operators, big or small, equipped with the knowledge and skills to run their food business successfully,” shared Unilever Food Solutions Philippines Marketing Manager Seanta Reyes.

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