By Monica Araneta Tiosejo | Images by Ronan Capili
’Tis the season, and no one knows how to celebrate it quite so elegantly and generously like Bea Zobel, Jr. and Sofia Zobel Elizalde. This year, add the word deliciously. Allow the sisters to curate your menu for a truly festive spread.
Designers’ Holiday Bazaar has always been an impressive buffet of proudly Philippine-made products. The project, however, showcased mostly fashion and home finds. For the bazaar’s sixth run, the organizers have finally added some more food.
Bea Zobel, Jr. and Sofia Zobel Elizalde
The yearly event has been helping children at Ayala Foundation’s Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education (CENTEX) move up to Ayala Corporation’s Affordable Private Education Center (APEC) high schools. And for the past two years, the red-letter affair has also been raising funds for the Steps Scholarship Foundation, which offers dance education and training to deserving students from all walks of life.
The exhibitors’ booths are rattan stands (think afternoon tea or high tea), the size and the shape of Christmas trees. Instead of fairy lights adorning the body, the decoration is food, glorious food! Do yourself a favor and drop by. A portion of the proceeds will help a lot of people, and isn’t that what the season is all about?
Food is always in fashion, but this Christmas, make your feast designer.
Paint the town red velvet! Many say Cukay’s produces the best of these cocoa and cream cheese confections. What started as a home-based business by Cukay Viray is now a fixture at bazaars. Aside from cakes and pastries, the brand now sells deli products, specializing in Spanish-Filipino food. The crowd favorites are the Gourmet Tuyo and Spanish Chorizo.
For years, classically trained Juan Carlos Pertierra has been creating dining experiences for private clients. He even holds tutorial programs on how to improve the overall service in people’s homes. Majordomo’s bestsellers are must-have pantry staples to spoon and slather on your food. These are the Chili Cheese Pimiento, Anchovy Pâté, and Black Olive Tapenade. The item that stood out, however, was one from Beata, a brand Pertierra just started a few months ago with Bea Roxas. Beata carries organic goat’s cheese, the only one that’s artisanal and homemade in Manila. Pertierra learned the craft from a Japanese cheese master. Try the chèvre. It’s tangy, tart, and French. They will insist that it must be served at room temperature.
Alex Tiaoqui and his wife Mayet were supposed to put up a restaurant but decided to start the first online steak delivery service in the Philippines. For this holiday season, they are offering steak gift boxes and free delivery. Your order will be at your address in 90 minutes. Alex recommends the Harris Ranch Ribeye, cut three quarters of an inch. The beef comes from California-grown Black Angus that is primarily grass-fed for 24 months. For the last 120 days, the cows are corn-fed for flavor and tenderness.
THE GOOD SEED
The Good Seed is popular these days, thanks in part to The Game Changers, a new documentary about the benefits of plant-based eating for athletes. The owner, Denise Celdran, a self-confessed lazy cook, says that a lot of what’s available at the vegan stall are ready-to-eat, and good for apartment living. The gluten-free, guilt-free Lentil Chips are addictive. You’ll want to swipe on thick smears of the Mushroom Sisig Tapenade and Green Olive Salsa. The revelation was the Biryani Adlai in a bottle. Put the contents in a pan with a bit of olive oil, just to toast the spices. Add two cups of water. Leave for about 20 minutes. Add a bit more water if it’s dry, and in 30 minutes…voila!
Tsaa Laya is helping people rediscover the herbal traditions of the Philippines by promoting locally-sourced and organically-farmed herbs, fruits, and spices. The premium tea is packaged in designs that are beautiful, but the story behind the brand is even more so. It’s a social enterprise that partners with farm communities to develop sustainable herbal livelihood programs. In Calauan, they support mothers and women who were relocated from cities to the countryside due to natural disasters and city zoning. The herbs they use are resilient to climate changes, just like the women. In Kiangan, the company supports indigenous people and their initiatives of conserving the Ifugao Rice Terraces, a UNESCO heritage site.
The Designers’ Holiday Bazaar runs until Dec. 15, 2019 at the Gallery of Greenbelt 5 | Instagram and Facebook: @designersholidaybazaar