PHNO SOL VANZI's  TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE PAGE
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

and SOL VANZI's 'TIMPLA'T TIKIM'

A FOOD TRIP THAT DEFIES TIME
Cowrie Grill offers all-time favorite flavors that never grow old.


MAY 28 ---When the Manila Hotel opened to host the delegates to the 1976 IMF- World Bank Conference, the hotel’s restaurants became instant hits, not just with bankers and financiers but with the international press as well. Opening the following year, the Cowrie Grill, with its intimate atmosphere and impressive cornucopia of fresh, ready-to-grill offerings, perfectly complemented the hotel’s other food outlets: the romantic Champagne Room, the theatrical Maynila, the refreshing Café Ilang Ilang, and even an authentic Japanese restaurant in a cavernous basement. CONTINUE READING....

ALSO from Panorama: Why don’t you?
An imitation of the late Vogue editor Diana Vreeland’s call for fantasy


MAY 31 ---by AA Patawaran-- So, in our search for what’s beautiful in our lives as Filipinos, why don’t we make like Diana Vreeland and reshape our realities to match our fantasies? Why don’t we… ….Gather everything quotable from Filipinos in the firmament of politics, economics, society, sports, entertainment, fashion, etc. and put them all together to help define who the Filipino is and what he aspires for or dreams to be? Or maybe not. We don’t need what some Filipinos have to say about us to validate the Filipino in us, because we are Filipinos, whether or not we could write a book like New York Times bestselling author Marisa de los Santos, whether or not we could or like to wear Imelda Marcos’s butterfly sleeves all day, whether or image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2119-300x300.jpg 21not we could sing like Lea Salonga, box like Manny Pacquiao, ice-skate like Michael Martinez—all we need is to recognize the potential in us and unleash it onto the world, so then maybe we should forge kindred ties with those who have been able to do so and give the honor back to country and countrymen.

50 Shades (Quotes) of Diana Vreeland By


The legendary Diana Vreeland FROM WIKIPEDIA
Everybody wants their life to be like Diana Vreeland's. Heck, even Diana Vreeland wanted her life to be like Diana Vreeland's. Before fashion editors became personalities/street-style stars/fodder for major motion pictures, there was the imminently quotable, largely self-invented and always fascinating Mrs. Vreeland, whose life took her from Belle Epoque Paris to Studio 54, whose friendships ranged from Coco Chanel and Wallis Simpson to Andy Warhol and Jack Nicholson, and whose imagination and keen eye propelled the pages of Harper's Bazaar (1936-1962) and Vogue (1962-1971) into the future and revolutionized the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute (1971-1989).
Today, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel hits theaters in NY and LA to a collective sigh of it's about time: the documentary chronicles her wild, inspiring life full of vim, vigor, and what D.V. called "Faction" (as in both fact and fiction, because, as she once explained, "why not make a story more interesting?"). “There’s only one very good life and that’s the life you know you want and you make it yourself,” Vreeland famously said. READ MORE..


READ FULL MEDIA REPORT HERE:

A food trip that defies time
Cowrie Grill offers all-time favorite flavors that never grow old

(Images by NOEL B. PABALATE)


Chef Marco Ghini (left) and Chef Michael So Chan (right)

MANILA, JUNE 1,  2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi May 28, 2015 - When the Manila Hotel opened to host the delegates to the 1976 IMF- World Bank Conference, the hotel’s restaurants became instant hits, not just with bankers and financiers but with the international press as well.

Opening the following year, the Cowrie Grill, with its intimate atmosphere and impressive cornucopia of fresh, ready-to-grill offerings, perfectly complemented the hotel’s other food outlets: the romantic Champagne Room, the theatrical Maynila, the refreshing Café Ilang Ilang, and even an authentic Japanese restaurant in a cavernous basement.

CONTINUE READING...
Those were heady, intoxicating days. Everyone dressed up to step out of the house. Slippers and shorts stayed on the beach or at home. Men were polite and women were well-coiffed.

A typical full evening started with well-known cocktails and photogenic appetizers.

Standout drinks were Black Russian, Manhattan, and Whiskey Sour. Minors had their own colorful mixed drinks: Shirley Temples and Virgin Marys.


Smoked salmon on rosti

GLAMOR RETURNS

Everything returns sooner or later, old folks say, and they are right. These days, young girls are wearing short skirts, halter necklines, clothes that fit, makeup, and high heels. Just like their moms and grandmothers did, and still do.

Young men go to hair salons and use as many skin care products as their sisters. When they go out on dates, they are not dressed for the beach.

At noon last week, the lunch crowd at the new Cowrie Grill in Greenhills was so fashionable we could have shot a magazine spread right there. The ambience was perfect: courteous waiters and receptionists, a uniformed parking attendant at the curb, and an open kitchen that emitted familiar scents of glory days.


Lamb rack with parmigiano reggiano crust

FLAMBOYANT SOUP

After our welcome drink of dry, sparkling wine, we were enthralled as our bowls of lobster bisque were set aflame inches from where we sat. Very firm lobster medallions had been briefly sautéed in olive oil and stirred with broth from herbs, lobster heads, and shells before being set aflame with very good brandy. Fresh cream was carefully spooned on top before we all dug in. It was better than I remember having almost 40 years ago.

THE CAESAR

Caesar salad is on every host’s must-know list. It’s as basic as brewed coffee and chilled wine. When done properly, it becomes half of the meal. If it cannot be done well, it is better to call the salad “a bowl of dressed salad greens.”

An order of Caesar salad at the Cowrie Grill was an intricately detailed tutorial on the iconic dish. All the ingredients and steps were explained by the staff. The amount of anchovy, garlic, cheese, bacon, croutons, and mustard could be adjusted depending on personal preference.


Stuffed cappelleti

STEAK TO DIE FOR

Our main course was US Angus beef rib, grilled on an open fire and served with three sauces. Each serving came with a large head of roasted garlic, which we squeezed and spread on the tender, aged meat.


US angus steak with three sauces

FIRE AND ICE

Baked Alaska never ceases to amaze newbies and veterans alike. Just like its namesake state, this dessert is a delicate combination of fire and ice: ice cream at the center covered with sponge cake and smothered in meringue.

At Cowrie Grill, the spectacular climax occurred when the concoction was covered with a ladle of flaming brandy, which gave the meringue a scorched crust, all the while keeping the ice cream core frozen.

At the end of the meal, we all had one conclusion: In the hands of a team led by Chefs Marco Ghini and Michael So Chan, each meal at the Cowrie Grill becomes an unforgettable experience that never grows old.


MANILA BULLETIN 'PANORAMA' by AA Patawaran May 31, 2015

Why don’t you?
An imitation of the late Vogue editor Diana Vreeland’s call for fantasy


by AA Patawaran: Lifestyle Editor at Manila Bulletin;
author of "Write Here Write Now" FROM LinkedIn

So, in our search for what’s beautiful in our lives as Filipinos, why don’t we make like Diana Vreeland and reshape our realities to match our fantasies? Why don’t we…

….Gather everything quotable from Filipinos in the firmament of politics, economics, society, sports, entertainment, fashion, etc. and put them all together to help define who the Filipino is and what he aspires for or dreams to be?

Or maybe not.

We don’t need what some Filipinos have to say about us to validate the Filipino in us, because we are Filipinos, whether or not we could write a book like New York Times bestselling author Marisa de los Santos, whether or not we could or like to wear Imelda Marcos’s butterfly sleeves all day, whether or not we could sing like Lea Salonga, box like Manny Pacquiao, ice-skate like Michael Martinez—all we need is to recognize the potential in us and unleash it onto the world, so then maybe we should forge kindred ties with those who have been able to do so and give the honor back to country and countrymen.

READ MORE...
We must read up on our fellows and be proud so we do not become great people elsewhere in the world and pretend we’re not Filipinos when other Filipinos cross our path.

▪▪▪▪Read up on poverty in the developed nations, the ghettos of New York (now being “gentrified”) or the gypsies of Europe; the family of three who might have died of hypothermia in Saitama, Japan because they had no yen to pay for heating; the 10.6 million people trapped in absolute poverty in the United Kingdom as of 2013, according to labourlist.com; the 10 million children working at China’s factories as estimated on an International Labor Organization report; or Sevron, a northeastern suburb in Paris, one of the poorest in France, whose mayor Stèphane Gatignon went on a hunger strike in 2012 in a desperate call for help and attention?

Poverty is everywhere and nowhere is it justified, but it happens.

▪▪▪▪If you suffer it, it happens to you—It’s not who you are. It’s not what the Philippines is, although that seems to be the picture if you stay tuned on CNN or if you listen to all the crap some of the ones that got away, living middle-class migrant lives in Los Angeles or Milan or Sydney or Singapore, have to say about the nation they have escaped from or more like abandoned.

▪▪▪▪Learn the ways of the rich, instead of lambasting them all the time and thinking of them in general as thieves or insensitive or shallow or arrogant or self-absorbed? Not all of them are. A great many of them are like you and me, at times driven by passion, at times paralyzed by fear, always dreaming of a better place, looking for meaning, searching for peace, hoping for the best. We’re all ordinary people who can be extraordinary if given the chance.

Rich or poor, the devil is the devil, and a saint is a saint, except that the rich devil can buy his way to the Vatican. Still, neither riches nor poverty can define who we really are, but it always helps to dream, even if the dream is no more meaningful than a breakfast of sirloin steak and black pudding with eggs at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London or a bottle of Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 1998 or the 2016 Bentley Mulsanne.

▪▪▪▪Have a glass of red wine with our everyday meals? It helps calm the senses and keep us in tune with the good life. A slightly altered state gets us in touch with all that is light and happy inside us. Plus the resveratrol is good for our heart as well as our skin’s fight against aging.

Try the Signos 2011 Malbec Shiraz, cheap, no more that PhP500 per bottle, but enjoyable enough with its spicy, herbal, plumy, minty notes, according to Manila Bulletin columnist and acclaimed chef Gene Gonzales.

▪▪▪▪Catch up on our Filipino reading with Jose Rizal’s “The Indolence of the Filipino,” perchance we will at last be rid of our notions that we as a people are as lazy, as slothful, and as inept as the friars and our conquerors once painted us to be and, over a hundred years since our independence from Spain, as we have continued to paint ourselves to be?

▪▪▪▪Help others? Pour your excess energy into helping solve one problem that is not exactly yours, maybe the education of abandoned children, the rescue of battered women, the campaign against climate change, the rescue of neglected dogs, the planting of trees on your neighborhood streets.

If that’s all they do, all these charitable efforts, all these others-oriented endeavors keep your mind off your own lack and limitation. People who need people are the luckiest people in the world, but no luckier than people who come to their aid.

▪▪▪▪Pray? It helps to make you feel better, if nothing else, as long as you know you cannot expect God to change things around while you stay on your knees mumbling a litany of petitions.

▪▪▪▪And lastly, keep our sense of fantasy in practice, our sense of wonder at work, our skepticism at bay?

I’ve learned from my decades-long obsession with Diana Vreeland, the late Vogue editor and Harper’s Bazaar whim mistress and author of the legendary “Why Don’t You?” column, that there is in our harsh reality a factory of lovely dreams from which, in turn, we can take off to a new, better, more beautiful life.

We think, therefore we are, so dream away, and keep the dream vivid enough that you can see it, smell it, taste it, touch it, feel it even before it comes true. 


FROM THE 'Into the Gloss' INTERVIEWS

50 Shades (Quotes) of Diana Vreeland By


The legendary Diana Vreeland FROM WIKIPEDIA

Everybody wants their life to be like Diana Vreeland's. Heck, even Diana Vreeland wanted her life to be like Diana Vreeland's.

Before fashion editors became personalities/street-style stars/fodder for major motion pictures, there was the imminently quotable, largely self-invented and always fascinating Mrs. Vreeland, whose life took her from Belle Epoque Paris to Studio 54, whose friendships ranged from Coco Chanel and Wallis Simpson to Andy Warhol and Jack Nicholson, and whose imagination and keen eye propelled the pages of Harper's Bazaar (1936-1962) and Vogue (1962-1971) into the future and revolutionized the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute (1971-1989).

Today, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel hits theaters in NY and LA to a collective sigh of it's about time: the documentary chronicles her wild, inspiring life full of vim, vigor, and what D.V. called "Faction" (as in both fact and fiction, because, as she once explained, "why not make a story more interesting?").

“There’s only one very good life and that’s the life you know you want and you make it yourself,” Vreeland famously said.

READ MORE...
And she devoted herself to this infectious, all-encompassing idea that you could make yourself as interesting—as fabulous—as you wanted. Why be boring?

She also, luckily for us, never seemed to say anything that didn't qualify as a perfect (not to mention totally Tweetable!!) little life quote.

In honor of the film—and in case the only offering at your local cinema is Finding Nemo 3D—we spent days pouring over both her 1984 memoir D.V. (as told to George Plimpton) and Visionaire 37:

The Vreeland Memos to pick out 50 of her best zingers. Below, presented in no particular order (and in some cases, condensed by ITG), the D.V. 50:

(P.S. If we left any good ones out, holler at us! We tried to keep things fresh.)

1 “Unshined shoes are the end of civilization.”

2 “You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it, you’re nobody. I’m not talking about lots of clothes.”

3 “Of course, one is born with good taste. It’s very hard to acquire. You can acquire the patina of taste."

4 “A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste—it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.”

5 “The first rule that a geisha is taught, at the age of nine, is to be charming to other women...Every girl in the world should have geisha training.”

6 “Where Chanel came from in France is anyone’s guess. She said one thing one day and another thing the next. She was a peasant—and a genius. Peasants and geniuses are the only people who count and she was both.”

7 “You know the greatest thing is passion, without it what have you got? I mean if you love someone you can love them as much as you can love them but if it isn’t a passion, it isn’t burning, it isn’t on fire, you haven’t lived.”

8 “There’s no such thing as a slack French face. Haven’t you ever noticed that? I’ve given this a lot of thought and I think it’s because the French have to exercise their jaws and the inside of their mouths so much just to get the words out. The vowels demand so much.”

9 “I think part of my success as an editor came from never worrying about a fact, a cause, an atmosphere. It was me—projecting to the public. That was my job. I think I always had a perfectly clear view of what was possible for the public. Give ‘em what they never knew they wanted.”

10 “Style—all who have it share one thing: originality.”

11 “There’s only one thing in life, and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.”

12 “Unfortunately, Hungarians don’t impress the world anymore—they’ve never been successful, and success is the only thing the world we live in now understands and remembers.”

13 “Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.”

14 “Balenciaga often said that women did not have to be perfect or beautiful to wear his clothes. When they wore his clothes, they became beautiful."

15 “One never knew what one was going to see at a Balenciaga opening. One fainted. It was possible to blow up and die.” [ed. note: it's also possible for the seating to malfunction and leave you standing for the duration of a presentation.]

16 “I think when you’re young you should be a lot with yourself and your sufferings. Then one day you get out where the sun shines and the rain rains and the snow snows and it all comes together.”

17 “Prohibition. Insane idea. Try to keep me from taking a swallow of this tea and I’ll drink the whole pot.”

18 “Still, my dream in life is to come home and think of absolutely nothing. After all, you can’t think all the time.

19 “If you think all the time every day of your life, you might as well kill yourself today and be happier tomorrow.”

20 “I adore artifice. I always have.”

21 “‘Worse things happen at sea.’ That was [my father’s] great expression. It summed up any unpleasantness.”

22 “...Don’t think you were born too late. Everyone has that illusion. But you aren’t. The only problem is if you think too late."

23 “Everything is new. At least everything is new the first time around.”

24 “I was always fascinated by the absurdities and luxuries and the snobbism of the world that fashion magazines showed. Of course, it’s not for everyone...But I lived in that world, not only during my years in the magazines business but for years before, because I was always of that world-- at least in my imagination.”

25 “The West is boring itself to death! And talking itself to death!”

26 “You can’t say ‘My masseur told me this.’ And then again, why can’t you?”

27 “I’d like to have been Elizabeth the First. She was wonderful. She surrounded herself with poets and writers, lived at Hampton Court, and drove that little team of spotted ponies with long tails....She’s at the top of my list. I loved the clothes. It took her four hours to dress—we have a lot in common!”

28 “I’ve learned a tremendous amount from maids in my life.”

29 “Where would fashion be without literature?”

30 “Oh, the ‘Why Don’t You,’ column first appeared in 1936 [in Harper's Bazaar].

‘For a coat to put on after skiing, get yourself an Italian driver’s, of red-orange lined in dark green.’ That was one of them. ‘Have a furry elk-kid trunk for the back of your car.’

They were all very tried and true ideas, mind you. ‘Knit yourself a little skullcap. Turn your old ermine coat into a bathrobe... ‘Wash your blond child’s hair in dead champagne, as they do in France.’”

31 “Oh, but I think that thoughtfulness and manners are everything.”

32 “All my life I’ve pursued the perfect red. I can never get painters to mix it for me. It’s exactly as if I’d said, ‘I want rococo with a spot of Gothic in it and a bit of Buddhist temple’—they have no idea what I’m talking about. About the best red is to copy the color of a child’s cap in any Renaissance portrait.”

33 “Lighting is everything in a color.”

34 “Black is the hardest color in the world to get right—except for gray...”

35 “This story went around about me: Apparently I’d wanted a billiard-table green background for a picture. So the photographer went out and took the picture. I didn’t like it. He went out and took it again and I still didn’t like it. ‘I asked for billiard-table green!’ I’m supposed to have said. ‘But this is a billiard table, Mrs. Vreeland,’ the photographer replied. ‘My dear,’ I apparently said, ‘I meant the idea of billiard-table green.’”

36 “When I arrived in America, I had these very dark red nails which some people objected to, but then some people object to absolutely everything.”

37 “Vogue always did stand for people’s lives. I mean, a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later."

38 “She was just putting on the ritz, keeping things up. Why say you were born in a hovel? Who wants to hear that?”

39 “In my leisure time I appear rather... impractical. But I do think that I’ve made a practical woman out of myself. You can’t have worked the number of years I have, through hell or high water, without being basically practical.”

40 “You’re really on a dead horse. Don’t you love that phrase? A friend of mine and I once got out of a movie house across from Bloomingdale’s, and we stepped into a taxi standing there at curbside. A guy leaned in the back window and said, ‘Hey, you’re on a dead horse. No driver.’ We looked and sure enough there wasn’t anybody in the front seat. Heaven knows where he was. In the movie house? Perhaps he was off having a hamburger.”

41 “To be contented—that’s for the cows.”

42 “Power has got to be the most intoxicating thing in the world—and of all forms of power the most intoxicating is fame.”

43 “I was the most economical thing that ever happened to the Hearst Corporation. Perhaps they loved me because I never knew how to get any money out of them.”

44 “Truth is a hell of a big point with me. Now I exaggerate—always."

45 “A lie to get out of something, or take an advantage for oneself, that’s one thing; but a lie to make life more interesting—well, that’s entirely different.”

46 “I always say I hope to God I die in a town with a good tailor, a good shoemaker, and perhaps someone who’s interested in a little quelque chose d’autre.”

47 “Fashion must be the most intoxicating release from the banality of the world.”

48 “One thing I hold against Americans is that they have no flair for the rain. They seem unsettled by it; it’s against them: they take it as an assault, an inconvenience! But rain is so wonderfully cleansing, so refreshing, so calming...”

49 “I have a terrible time remembering exactly when my birthday is. Age is totally boring...”

50 “The best time to leave a party is when the party’s just beginning. There’s no drink that kills except the drink that you didn’t want to take, as the saying goes, and there’s no hour that kills except the hour you stayed after you wanted to go home.”




Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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