MANILA, March 29, 2005 (STAR) C‘EST CEBU By Honey Jarque Loop  -  The members of the active Cebu chapter of the L’Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs and their discerning guests had a pleasant surprise recently, and the Casino Español de Cebu was responsible for it.

Instead of the familiar yet very popular Spanish fiesta fare we often enjoy at the city’s most prestigious club, the intimate gathering of wine enthusiasts and believers of la buena vida had everything there was to offer, and everyone just simply loved it.

The affair was conceptualized by Swedish-born Cebu-based chef Robert Lilja who meticulously prepared an excellent menu, assisted by Tita Trillo, president of Anthony’s Wines and Spirits, who selected the perfect wines con mucho amor to complement the equally excellent dishes con mucho sabor.

The avocado shrimp tartar topped with Beluga caviar was served with the old world Baron Philippe de Rothschild (Bordeaux) chardonnay 2002. The lovely ruby-red highlights of cabernet sauvignon 2001 came in with jamon serrano, and the fine deep, red color with a violet tint merlot vin de pays 2002 complemented the salmon a la Wellington filled with lobster tail and spinach. The prime rib steak topped with horseradish and masala sauce was served with the new world Baron Philippe de Rothschild (Chile) merlot valle central 2002, with its red berry fruit aromas of cherry and raspberry that mingle with black fruit, especially blackberry, and a touch of spice. For dessert, we had chocolate pudding cake with raspberry sauce served with Caliterra Seña 1999.

To appreciate the gastronomic feast even more, a visual presentation and a brief lecture of the featured wines followed and were received with great interest.

Seen holding on to their glasses were vice enchanson Michel Lhuillier, Cheese and Wine Club president Dondi Joseph and his bubbly wife Corinne, civic-minded lady Mariter Klepp, food critic Nestor Alonso, and ophthalmologist Billy Jaca. L’Ordre Mondial, an organization affiliated with the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, is a social club whose aim is to enhance the member’s appreciation of the different excellent wines, while having a wonderful time in good company.

Membership is solely by invitation. To date, the club has 30 associates, comprising a mix of leading businessmen and entrepreneurs, all leaders in their own fields and all wine connoisseurs, who meet regularly at different locations to relish a respite from more formal gatherings.

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The Alumnae Network of Cebu, an organization composed of various high school graduates of the ’60s, got together recently at the Grand Convention Center to jam with longtime friends and relish fond memories. The homecoming highlights included live performances by the Ricochet, the Renaissance, and the Viscounts, all popular bands of the ’60s.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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