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SOL VANZI's 'TIMPLA'T TIKIM' & LIFESTYLE
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

ROYAL TREATS: MANILA HOTEL's NEW EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF WHIPS UP DESSERTS FIT FOR KINGS


Chef Jerome Benda’s trademark French macarons
At the Manila Hotel, desserts play starring roles at every meal. And so, it came as no surprise when the sweet endings created by new executive pastry chef Jerome Benda would create such a stir and brought a new gleam in diners’ eyes. After all, he was, at one time, the head pastry cook catering to the King of Morocco. During his early years as a chef, French President Jacques Chirac awarded him the Silver Medal of the State of Paris. Through the years, he has worked at perfecting his craft around the world, cooking for discriminating clients in Lebanon, Malaysia, China, and Thailand. “I consider the French macarons my trademark. The flavors I make are unique and the textures play with one’s palate. They melt in your mouth,” says Chef Jerome. Macarons vs Macaroons --Notice that Chef Jerome talked of macarons, not macaroons. Macaroons are mounds of baked, desiccated coconut with egg whites and sugar. Macarons, on the other hand, are delicate rounds of almond flour in egg whites and sugar, often served with a filling. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Imelda, Unshod


The woman on the book cover, walking on the beach, is dressed in a shapeless, ordinary house dress. She wears no makeup. Her bare feet are soiled by wet sand. Save for the famous face, there is no indication that she is the most glamorous political figure in Philippine history, one of a handful of world figures known by only one name, no last name or title necessary. She’s Imelda. She did have many titles throughout her colorful life, official and unofficial: Rose of Tacloban, Miss Manila, First Lady, Minister of Human Settlements, Metro Manila Governor, Ambassador Plenipotentiary, jetsetter, friend to royalty, fashion icon, hostess to jet setters, patroness of the arts, and builder extraordinaire. READ MORE...

THE BOOK: IMELDA


The coffee-table book, “Imelda, Unpublished photographs of the Philippines’ former First Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos,” portrays Mrs. Marcos beyond the public eye through old, mostly unpublished photographs taken by veteran news photographer Emmanuel “Jolly” Riofrir from 1974 to 1984 when he was special events photographer of the National Media Production Center (NMPC), assigned to cover the First Couple.  READ MORE...

ALSO: Foreword by the Author -Emmanuel “Jolly” Riofrir READ IN FULL BELOW.........


READ FULL MEDIA REPORT HERE:

Royal treats Manila Hotel’s new executive pastry chef whips up desserts fit for kings


Chef Jerome Benda’s trademark French macarons

MANILA, JULY 13, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi July 9, 2015 - At the Manila Hotel, desserts play starring roles at every meal.

And so, it came as no surprise when the sweet endings created by new executive pastry chef Jerome Benda would create such a stir and brought a new gleam in diners’ eyes. After all, he was, at one time, the head pastry cook catering to the King of Morocco. During his early years as a chef, French President Jacques Chirac awarded him the Silver Medal of the State of Paris.

Through the years, he has worked at perfecting his craft around the world, cooking for discriminating clients in Lebanon, Malaysia, China, and Thailand. “I consider the French macarons my trademark. The flavors I make are unique and the textures play with one’s palate. They melt in your mouth,” says Chef Jerome.

Macarons vs Macaroons

Notice that Chef Jerome talked of macarons, not macaroons. Macaroons are mounds of baked, desiccated coconut with egg whites and sugar. Macarons, on the other hand, are delicate rounds of almond flour in egg whites and sugar, often served with a filling.

CONTINUE READING...

Some culinary historians claim that macarons can be traced to an Italian monastery—where they were modeled after the monks’ belly buttons! The name is derived from the Italian word “maccarone” or “maccherone,” which are themselves derived from the word “ammaccare,” which means “to crush” or “to beat,” referring to the principal ingredient—crushed almonds or almond paste.

Macarons came to France in 1533 with the pastry chefs of Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henri II. At the time, they were plain, round disks of almond meringue. French-style macarons or French macarons are often spectacularly colored and flavored meringue sandwiches, a concept invented by Pierre Desfontaines Ladurée at the beginning of the 20th century, when he joined two meringues and filled them with ganache.

Today, ganache, buttercream, or jam is sandwiched between meringues of seemingly limitless colors and flavors.

(Images by NOEL B. PABALATE)


Dark and white chocolate cake


Strawberry cheesecake


Fresh fruit tarts


Chef Jerome Benda


Blueberry cheesecake


Cake squares with healthy dark chocolate filling

Filipinized Flavors

Dedicated to his craft, Chef Jerome explored the possibilities of incorporating Philippine fruits and flavors into his French macarons.

The results were astonishing: feathery light, brilliantly hued almond meringue sandwiches in variants new to the Manila scene.

Using the training that earned him a Master’s certificate in Art Sucre Atelier in Paris, Chef Jerome produced unique macarons: deep purple (ube or purple yam) and yellow (mango) with classic and new fillings.

Comfort Cheesecakes

Taking pride in his new creations, Chef Jerome is a stickler to tradition when it comes to mouthwatering cheesecakes. He told an enthralled audience of foodies: “The mille-feuille is my own version of custard cream slices topped with fondant glaze. I also take pride in my baked cheesecakes. One can choose from the traditional blueberry or jelly-glazed fresh strawberries.”

All of Chef Jerome’s creations are available daily at Café Ilang Ilang’s buffet dessert station. Soon, they will be on display and for sale at the Manila Hotel Delicatessen at the Grand Lobby.


MANILA BULLETIN: ARTS & CULTURE by SOL VANZI

Imelda, Unshod by Sol Vanzi July 7, 2015 Share18 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share21

The woman on the book cover, walking on the beach, is dressed in a shapeless, ordinary house dress. She wears no makeup. Her bare feet are soiled by wet sand.

Save for the famous face, there is no indication that she is the most glamorous political figure in Philippine history, one of a handful of world figures known by only one name, no last name or title necessary. She’s Imelda.

She did have many titles throughout her colorful life, official and unofficial: Rose of Tacloban, Miss Manila, First Lady, Minister of Human Settlements, Metro Manila Governor, Ambassador Plenipotentiary, jetsetter, friend to royalty, fashion icon, hostess to jet setters, patroness of the arts, and builder extraordinaire.

READ MORE...


Wearing a veil during their silver wedding anniversary

Her life is immortalized in a successful musical “Here Lies Love” which has been playing in New York and London.

Local and foreign tourists flock to a shoe museum displaying footwear she left at the palace during their hasty departure.

She’s also the Steel Butterfly, the most powerful woman in the country for two decades. Her shoe racks awed the world. Her silverware collection dropped jaws at a Christie’s auction.

Her paintings could fill several galleries. Her jewelry is listed in three collections, the value of which has to be reappraised upward every couple of years.

She spoke before the UN General Assembly and rubbed elbows with world leaders, from MacArthur to Khaddafi, from Castro to Reagan, from Mao Tse Tung to Saddam Hussein.

Culture flourished when she was First Lady.


A hearty laugh with the President

The Bolshoi Ballet and Van Cliburn performed free for Filipinos from all walks of life; Hollywood stars toasted Manila as a center for cinematic art.

oung artists, with her support, gained international acclaim and were given a school for the arts on the slopes of Mount Makiling.

“Imelda, Unpublished photographs of the Philippines’ former First Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos” shows all these facets of the famous woman’s life, and more.


Spending Christmas Day in Baguio (1983)

Photographer Jolly Riofrir’s personal friendship and unmatched access to the Marcos family gave him enviable opportunities to capture intimate moments in Imelda’s life: cooking vats of Arroz Caldo in Leyte, cradling infant grandson Borgy, playing badminton with then General Fidel Ramos, driving a golf cart loaded with Blue Ladies, dancing and singing with her husband President Ferdinand Marcos, singing “Happy Birthday” to a laughing Cardinal Sin.

The book will evoke memories of school children eating Nutribuns, housewives buying P2/kilo rice at state-subsidized Kadiwa stores, Kasaysayan ng Lahi parades that rival Cecil B. DeMille productions.

People who love Imelda will love this book. People who hate Imelda will also buy the book for the memories it stirs and as a historical documentation of the remarkable life of a woman who grew up by the sea and who claims to still dream about “living on the seashore in a small bamboo hut surrounded by a white picket fence.”


THE BOOK: IMELDA By SOL Vanzi

The coffee-table book, “Imelda, Unpublished photographs of the Philippines’ former First Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos,” portrays Mrs. Marcos beyond the public eye through old, mostly unpublished photographs taken by veteran news photographer Emmanuel “Jolly” Riofrir from 1974 to 1984 when he was special events photographer of the National Media Production Center (NMPC), assigned to cover the First Couple. 

READ MORE...

Riofrir, a former president of the Press Photographers of the Philippines, chronicled Mrs. Marcos’ many official roles. He also captured touching moments of Mrs. Marcos as a housewife and mother.

Some photographs illustrate Mrs. Marcos in private, intimate moments with the late president and precious times spent with her children and grandchildren inside the private quarters of Malacañang.

Riofrir was a news cameraman for Channel 13 and worked for famous film and TV directors Lino Brocka, Mitos Villareal, Ateng Osorio, and Ismael Bernal.

He is now based in California where he published Balita Today in the early ‘90s.

The book, published by Emmalie Books, Inc., is initially available at the Arko Foods Market in Glendale and at SM Seafood and Asian Market in San Bernardino.

It will soon be available at Barnes and Noble, www.amazon.com , and currently on sale through www.emmaliebooksinc.com .


FOREWORD BY THE AUTHOR

I was filming a documentary for the TV station Channel 9 in 1974 for the birthday of Philippine President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos with Kitchie Benedicto when I was asked to proceed to the National Media Production Center by Information Secretary Gregorio Cendana. The affable Cendana wanted me to work for him as special events photographer and cinematographer for government TV Channel 4.

That same year, I joined the delegation of the First Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos, in her first visit to the People’s Republic of China that paved the way for the presidential visit in June 1975 that, in turn, led to the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China. Mrs. Marcos didn’t know me much at that time.

The NMPC media group that included former Evening Express Managing Editor Marita Manuel made a film documentary of the visit. While Mrs. Marcos was previewing the film, she kept asking each time she saw a good photograph, “Who took that picture?” and each time, Marita would stand and say “Jolly Riofrir.” From then on, I was part of the small circle of staffers and friends that went with Mrs. Marcos in her many trips abroad, with or without the President.

In one of those trips, specifically on October 24, 1979 in Washington D.C., after separate meetings with US Vice President Walter Mondale and Agriculture Secretary Robert Bergland, Mrs. Marcos and her entourage had to rush to the airport before it closed during a harsh winter storm. In their rush, Mrs. Marcos’ car careened off the road and landed on the snow-covered embankment. We all ran towards the car and Mrs. Marcos had to be pulled out of the car. I had to bring down my camera to hold the umbrella and shield her from the falling snow. Not a bit shocked, Mrs. Marcos took another car and we all made it to the airport in time for the flight.

As their official photographer, I saw many facets of Mrs. Marcos’ life that only those close to her knew. Not many know that Mrs. Marcos loved to cook and personally supervised the kitchen when there were special occasions, such as the birthday of her eldest daughter, Imee, who is now governor of Ilocos Norte and her only son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Jr., who is now a senator.

She spent a lot of time with her husband, children and grandchildren despite her very tight schedule as First Lady, governor of Metro Manila, Minister of Human Settlements, Ambassador-at-large, and later as assemblywoman representing Metro Manila. Mrs. Marcos, who used to sing for her uncle’s music store in Manila as a young teen, loves to sing and she would sing for Malacanang guests, sometimes with the President.

Mrs. Marcos spent a lot of time with close friends, especially the so-called Blue Ladies. She played cards with Cabinet members on board planes, played badminton with General Fidel V. Ramos and actor George Hamilton, frolicked on the beach with Blue Ladies friends during breaks between functions, and undertook other activities that never made it to the newspapers.

The pictures appearing in this collection are products of my 10 years spent with the First Lady from 1974 — two years after President Marcos declared martial law — up to 1984, two years before the Philippine leader was forced to fly to Hawaii at the height of the People Power Revolution on EDSA in 1986.

I am sharing those 10 years with you in the form of very rare photographs that I kept with me through the years. I hope you find value in them as I did.

Emmanuel “Jolly” Riofrir

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EMMANUEL M. RIOFRIR is now based in California, USA, where he once published a Filipino weekly newspaper, Balita Today.



Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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