Food, fun, fashion, family and friends are just some of my favorite F words. These were all present at the surprise party we threw for my dear sister Sandy Romualdez who celebrated her big 5-0 this year.

I asked Adworks Graphics (contact adworksgrfx@gmail.com) to create tropical themed invitations and giveaways for Sandy’s bash. Requesting guests to come in green or floral attire, the party scene was pretty festive with indoor plants and décor from Ambiance by Pido (contact pidovillanueva@yahoo.com) to add more color.

Keeping the guest list at exactly 50 was most difficult especially since the Rufino clan is already quite large. Thank goodness the caterer, Holiday Inn & Suites Makati, prepared for more guests as many more arrived to greet Sandy.

The Holiday Inn & Suites Makati has always been known for their excellent service in the hotel industry but little has been written about the exceptional food that the hotel serves. Those who have eaten at Flavors Restaurant always rave about how delicious and carefully curated the selections and dishes are.

Looking at opportunities for the hotel to grow, the natural progression for the F&B department was to expand by venturing into outside catering. With a crew headed by Thelma Valdepenas – Director for F&B, Raquel Gella – Director for Catering, Elmer Marquez – Executive Chef and Camille de Jesus – F&B Banquet Supervisor, the future is very bright for Catering by Holiday Inn & Suites Makati.

Sandy’s birthday party was the first catering service to the amazement of the 50+ guests. Instead of the usual buffet spread, the hotel arranged the set-up in several cooking and dessert stations as well as appetizers and salad and cheese boards.

The Salad Station had roasted assorted vegetables; Fried Halloumi cheese and asparagus salad; and Grilled shrimp salad. Caesar Salad was a “Live Station” where the hotel’s chef mixed the salad as it was ordered.

The soup served was Double Beef consommé with wanton, dice boiled beef with julienned vegetables Mushroom soup. Assorted breads were also served in stylized breadbaskets.

The Carving Station had marinated roasted U.S. Rib eye with assorted herbs and red wine sauce. Sides included baked potato, Yorkshire pudding, crispy bacon, sour cream and chives.

For the main course – Maple Glazed Roast Pork Loin,
Roast Chicken,
Seared Pink Salmon Fillet,
Pan roasted superior white fish and Baked Cheese and spinach cannelloni
Parmesan duchess potato.

The Pasta Station was another “live station” with two chefs taking orders for pasta choices, sauces and condiments.

And my favorite of their desserts was the Ube cheesecake. Tiramisu
Chocolate, Mud Pie, and Crunchy chocolate Truffle Brulee were the other choices. Guests still had room for Crepe Samurai in the Live Crepe Station with assorted fruit, vanilla sauce, chocolate sauce and citrus sauce.

Catering at Holiday Inn & Suites Makati is not limited to social parties. They also cater corporate functions and weddings too. For intimate parties of 20 to big events of 300, their menus and service can be customized to the needs of any client.

For more information please call 909-0888 local 7484 or email hism.events@ihg.com

Speaking of desserts, catch the mini version of Inquirer Lifestyle Best Desserts 2017 at Central Square, BGC. Together with SSI Group and Central Square, the Mini Best Desserts Fair has assorted selections of delicious cakes and pastries that shoppers can buy until today only.

Furniture is another favorite F word. As an interior designer, I love arranging and rearranging the furniture in my house. The latest addition to my living setting is the Mason wing back chair that I co-designed with Philux, a local furniture company that excels in Filipino craftsmanship and customized, high-quality pieces.

My chair was part of Philux Fix, the brand’s latest campaign that was recently launched through a furniture and photo exhibit at SM Mega Fashion Hall. Philux collaborated with influencers of different backgrounds to customize furniture of their choosing while infusing their own sense of aesthetics.

At the exhibit, Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez, Philux’s head of sales and business development and eldest daughter of Max and Zelda Kienle, founder of the furniture company passionately shared their family business humble beginnings with just two skilled carpenters creating rattan furniture 37 years ago.

Other collaborators included Karen Davila, Erwan Heussaff, Bianca Gonzalez Intal, Joey and Angie King, Heart Ongpauco Escudero, Chris and Clarisse Tiu, Pam Quiñones, Philux’s power duo Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez and Jessica Kienle Maxwell, Stephanie Zubiri Crespi, Cristalle and Justin Pitt, and top photographer BJ Pascual who designed his own piece as well as photographed all the other collaborators with their furniture.

The production was seamlessly executed by Yaparazzi Events’ Javi Martinez. A few of the Philux Fix pieces are currently on display at Philux Rockwell and Philux Megamall.

And finally, Fila is in the list of my favorite F words. Last month, Fila sponsored the Gala night of the Red Turnip Theater’s “The Nether” at the Spotlight Theater Power Mac Center, Circuit Makati. After successful runs Off-Broadway and in the West End, this dystopian play has made its Asian premiere. The Fila CEO Cris Albert welcomed guests at the Fila Gala night that started with cocktails care of Ralph’s Wines and Spirits.

This production boasts a powerhouse ensemble led by Bernardo Bernardo, Jenny Jamora, Bodjie Pascua, and TJ Trinidad. Making their Red Turnip debuts, young actresses Alba Berenguer-Testa and Junyka Santarin alternate in one of the play’s pivotal roles. Proud parents Javi and Lexi Berenguer-Testa were present at the opening night too.

Red Turnip founder and award-winning actress Ana Abad Santos returns to the director’s chair with her own, intelligent take on this one-of-a-kind thriller. After only four years since its debut, Red Turnip has already left an indelible mark in theater scene and is sure to add The Nether to its growing list of groundbreaking achievements. The Nether runs all weekends until April 9.

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