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SOL VANZI's  TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE PAGE
FEATURING HER 'TIMPLA'T TIKIM' (Manila Bulletin)
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

WORLD-RENOWN CHEF ANTHONY BOURDAIN FOCUSES ON PINOY CREATIVITY


LONE RESERVATION – Anthony Bourdain, multi-awarded international chef, author and host of the popular travel and food show ‘No Reservations,’ poses with Manila Bulletin food columnist and feature writer Sol Jose Vanzi after the latter’s exclusive interview with the American TV personality at an undisclosed place in Manila Monday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Mr. Bourdain’s staff)  Anthony Bourdain, indisputably the most famous chef in contemporary times, is in the Philippines hosting and producing an episode for the CNN documentary series “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” which has won an unprecedented 3 Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Informational Series. But little is made public of the celebrity’s schedule and activities. The Manila Bulletin managed to secure an exclusive interview with Bourdain, in which he intimated that the Philippine episode will focus not just on the country’s food, but also on the Filipino people’s creativity and musicality. As of this writing, he’s interacting with a select group of Filipino artists, writers and photo journalists at the Oarhouse Bar in Malate Tuesday. Earlier, he was at the Hobbit House Restaurant with a local rock band in Ermita, later joining them in the kitchen. “I have long noticed in my travels to virtually all the continents the Filipino bands, singers and entertainers on luxury liners, in theaters, at Karaoke contests, on Broadway, in London, Australia, Germany; Filipinos are constantly winning at international talent searches,” he said in a short meeting arranged through this writer’s fellow TV field producer. News of Bourdain’s presence in Manila trended on social media last weekend with photos of him at a fast food outlet, a Korean restaurant and along the street beer joints of Malate. The Manila Bulletin finally caught up with him after shooting an episode with a band and their family adobo recipe. READ MORE...

ALSO: Stalking Anthony Bourdain
[On the heels of the world’s best loved traveling gourmand as he lands in Manila]

THE HUNT Multi-awarded international chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain with Manila Bulletin food columnist and feature writer Sol Jose Vanzi. Anthony Bourdain has left the building. Bourdain fanatics may now relax and compare notes on successful and failed attempts at stalking their idol. “Just to be in the same restaurant with him is enough,” posted a diehard fan on social media. Bourdain fever gripped Manila for more than a week as word spread on social media that the most famous chef on the planet went around the city shooting episodes of his popular CNN documentary series “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” Pinoy foodies were everywhere, following every Twitter and Facebook tip. One showed him at a Jollibee outlet; a lucky couple posed with him inside a Malate Korean restaurant. Adriatico Street quickly filled up seconds after a photo of him and his crew at a sidewalk beer garden appeared on Facebook. His popularity is undeniable. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: A season of traditions: A spectacular German feast for the holidays


Chocolate Bavarian cream, (Images by MANNY LLANES) Christmas came early for a lucky group of journalists invited to join Ambassador Thomas Ossowski and prominent members of Manila’s German community for “A Fine German Feast” at the Cucina Restaurant of Marco Polo Hotel. The meal was prepared by two German chefs—Mario Paecke and Christian Scheler—who flew in from the iconic luxury hotel Schloss Elmau to ensure authenticity of all the dishes. Traditions of German origin flood the world during the Christmas season: the Christmas tree, leafy wreaths, Saint Nikolaus, and fruit cakes. Germany also gave us the world’s most popular Christmas carol—“Silent Night.” Fried Veal Shank with Beetroot, which opened the feast, was so good we were thankful there were only two pieces served. The dish took a good two hours to make as it involved browning veal shanks and vegetables before braising with wine or beer. The meat is pulled from the bone, shaped into balls, and browned to achieve a crisp crust. Beetroot slices balance the richness of the meat. Potato Leek Soup followed, clearing the palate for the main course. The soup was well sieved and very smooth. Several twists of the pepper mill provided just the right amount of spiciness to perk up the soup bowl. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Anthony Bourdain focuses on Pinoy creativity


LONE RESERVATION – Anthony Bourdain, multi-awarded international chef, author and host of the popular travel and food show ‘No Reservations,’ poses with Manila Bulletin food columnist and feature writer Sol Jose Vanzi after the latter’s exclusive interview with the American TV personality at an undisclosed place in Manila Monday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Mr. Bourdain’s staff)

MANILA, DECEMBER 21, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi December 16, 2015 - Anthony Bourdain, indisputably the most famous chef in contemporary times, is in the Philippines hosting and producing an episode for the CNN documentary series “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” which has won an unprecedented 3 Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Informational Series. But little is made public of the celebrity’s schedule and activities.

The Manila Bulletin managed to secure an exclusive interview with Bourdain, in which he intimated that the Philippine episode will focus not just on the country’s food, but also on the Filipino people’s creativity and musicality.


Bourdain paid a visit to decades-old Hobbit House in nearby Ermita PHOTO COURTESY OF COCONUTS MANILA

As of this writing, he’s interacting with a select group of Filipino artists, writers and photo journalists at the Oarhouse Bar in Malate Tuesday. Earlier, he was at the Hobbit House Restaurant with a local rock band in Ermita, later joining them in the kitchen.

“I have long noticed in my travels to virtually all the continents the Filipino bands, singers and entertainers on luxury liners, in theaters, at Karaoke contests, on Broadway, in London, Australia, Germany; Filipinos are constantly winning at international talent searches,” he said in a short meeting arranged through this writer’s fellow TV field producer.

News of Bourdain’s presence in Manila trended on social media last weekend with photos of him at a fast food outlet, a Korean restaurant and along the street beer joints of Malate. The Manila Bulletin finally caught up with him after shooting an episode with a band and their family adobo recipe.

READ MORE...

“A chef is like a musician or a bartender,” he told the musicians. “We have to make people happy, yet we ourselves feel isolated.”

Writing articles for prestigious publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Times, Los Angeles Times, The Observer, Gourmet, Maxim, Esquire (UK), the Financial Times and Town & Country and authoring a best-selling tell-all book Kitchen Confidential led to offers from television producers and, at 44, he left the kitchen to tour the world as a TV host.

“I am glad I did it. I am lucky to get out (as professional chef) when I did. The hazards of that profession are like that of a musician’s: late hours, booze, all kinds of temptations,” he confessed.

These days, he enjoys cooking for his daughter, whose birth in 2007 made him quit smoking.

“Working as a professional chef is not all glamour; it is physically and mentally exhausting. At 44, you are like an old athlete. I got out just in time,” he explained with a sigh.


Anthony Bourdain in his show "No Reservations" cutting steak. (Credit: TravelChannel.com)

Before his CNN Emmy Award-winning show, the celebrity host had built a cult following in the Philippines through episodes of his TV shows The Layover, A Cook’s Tour and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.

At the end of our meeting, I mentioned the title of a classic Country and Western song “The Story of Your Life is in Your Face* and asked what his face tells the world.

“It’s a very long story,” he said, ending the interview.


Stalking Anthony Bourdain
SOL VANZI On the heels of the world’s best loved traveling gourmand as he lands in Manila
by Sol Vanzi December 20, 2015 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share0

THE HUNT Multi-awarded international chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain with Manila Bulletin food columnist and feature writer Sol Jose Vanzi. Anthony Bourdain has left the building. Bourdain fanatics may now relax and compare notes on successful and failed attempts at stalking their idol. “Just to be in the same restaurant with him is enough,” posted a diehard fan on social media.

Bourdain fever gripped Manila for more than a week as word spread on social media that the most famous chef on the planet went around the city shooting episodes of his popular CNN documentary series “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.”

Pinoy foodies were everywhere, following every Twitter and Facebook tip. One showed him at a Jollibee outlet; a lucky couple posed with him inside a Malate Korean restaurant. Adriatico Street quickly filled up seconds after a photo of him and his crew at a sidewalk beer garden appeared on Facebook. His popularity is undeniable.

CONTINUE READING...


OH, SHOOT! Parts Unknown director Tom Vitale and Philippine media coordinator Inky Nakpil discuss segment details. (Photo by Ben Razon)

Anthony Bourdain, chef, author, publisher, blogger, TV host, producer, and political commentator stirred controversy with his public admissions on his private life and the exposes of restaurant secrets in his best-selling book Kitchen Confidential.

His show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on CNN received three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards, setting a record for the genre Outstanding Informational Series. Earlier TV projects : A Cook’s Tour and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations as well as The Layover continue to be shown worldwide, with audiences clamoring for replays.

Parts Unknown follows the world-renowned chef and author as he travels the globe to uncover the little-known, off-the-road, and seemingly unfamiliar areas of the world in a celebration of their diverse foods and culture.

BOURDAIN FEVER


HAPPY STALKERS Sol Vanzi, veteran photojournalists Romy Gacad and Mark Navales at the segment taping of Parts Unknown at The Oarhouse Pub of Manila. (Photo by Ben Razon)

Still holding his third Emmy last September, Bourdain told a Philippine TV Hollywood reporter that he was returning to the country soon.

“I’m coming back to the Philippines! Start getting the lechon and sisig ready!” he said, referring to previous Philippine trips that introduced him to the Pinoy pork dishes.

That red carpet promise started a Bourdain watch among Filipinos, who are in love with the highly opinionated host of TV shows that go beyond the usual travelogues and food trips. His TV comments on Filipino food are cherished and repeated to the point of sounding like promotional blurbs. Think Cebu lechon and Jollibee halo-halo.

We love him because he loves our food. Whenever critics attack Filipino food, the popular defense is: “Bourdain doesn’t think so; he loves Filipino food.”

SIGHTINGS

Jim Turner, founder of Hobbit House, told me Bourdain’s group rented his place to shoot a rock band whose members were to cook adobo with Bourdain the following day. The TV host, meantime, was casing the joint, as it were, scouring the Malate-Ermita area all night for B-roll scenes.

Some fans who stayed outside The Hobbit House bar until dawn were disappointed; their idol was not part of the scene being shot. The small people working at the world-famous bar were tightlipped about what went on.

ALMOST HOME


What Bourdain ate Pampanga’s mini longanisa, chicharon bulaklak and beef kaldereta (Photo by Vincent Go)

Like a ray of sunshine, a group posting Sunday announced to fellow North Syquia tenants that Bourdain had rented a flat to shoot Bourdain cooking adobo. We all requested to be let in to watch, but our hopes were dashed when the local producer ordered a total lockdown.

My neighbors, who are in food and media ventures, were extremely disappointed. I was, too, but I understood the producer’s predicament; I had ordered similar lockdowns while working for foreign TV productions. By a stroke of luck, I was allowed in for a photograph with the celebrity.

He looked relaxed, much younger than in last season’s shows. Not a hint of the long days and nights of interviews and location filming. His answers were straight to the point, with no wavering. And his eyes always seemed to be smiling, just like my idols Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson.

His staff took a perfect picture showing cold beers, adobo, the sun sinking into Manila Bay, a modern Filipino painting with riotous colors, and Anthony Bourdain beside me. Looks like I had died and gone to heaven.

ANOTHER DAY WITH A STAR


Oarhouse at dusk in its new location in Malate, Manila - 10.12.2010 © ben razon

The next day, I was added to the short list of artists, writers, and photoournalists to interact with Bourdain at The Oarhouse Pub and Restaurant, our neighborhood hangout.

Call time was at 2 p.m. and everyone was on edge. Bourdain’s crew strung twinkling Christmas lights all over the walls, adding a few Pampanga-made parols for a Philippine flavor. The star of the show arrived after 3 p.m. in very casual slacks and a shirt with roll-up sleeves.

After short introductions, he sat at the bar and started discussing the Filipino psyche with bar owner Ben Razon and GenSan-based photojournalist Mark Navales, who had reportedly been target-shooting with Bourdain earlier in the day.

“Why are Filipinos such happy people despite all the calamities, the traffic, and all other negative things around?” That, or something like that, was what Ben could remember Bourdain asking.


The Manila Bulletin's Roy Mabasa has his copies of Bourdain's books autographed by the author.

Shooting wrapped up after an hour, and the very affable Bourdain posed for group and individual souvenir photos. After he left, we were all reminded by the producer that nothing could be shared of our experience until after Bourdain leaves the country on Dec. 20. That’s today, and that’s why I can now boastfully share this once-in-a-lifetime episode.


A season of traditions: A spectacular German feast for the holidays by Sol Vanzi December 17, 2015 Share0 Tweet0 Share1 Email0 Share3


PHOTO COURTESY OF http://www.pepesamson.com/

Christmas came early for a lucky group of journalists invited to join Ambassador Thomas Ossowski and prominent members of Manila’s German community for “A Fine German Feast” at the Cucina Restaurant of Marco Polo Hotel.

The meal was prepared by two German chefs—Mario Paecke and Christian Scheler—who flew in from the iconic luxury hotel Schloss Elmau to ensure authenticity of all the dishes.

Traditions of German origin flood the world during the Christmas season: the Christmas tree, leafy wreaths, Saint Nikolaus, and fruit cakes. Germany also gave us the world’s most popular Christmas carol—“Silent Night.”


Chocolate Bavarian cream, (Images by MANNY LLANES)

The Feast


Ambassador Thomas Ossowski (© German Embassy Manila)

Fried Veal Shank with Beetroot, which opened the feast, was so good we were thankful there were only two pieces served.


Veal with beetroot  (Images by MANNY LLANES)

The dish took a good two hours to make as it involved browning veal shanks and vegetables before braising with wine or beer. The meat is pulled from the bone, shaped into balls, and browned to achieve a crisp crust. Beetroot slices balance the richness of the meat.

Potato Leek Soup followed, clearing the palate for the main course. The soup was well sieved and very smooth. Several twists of the pepper mill provided just the right amount of spiciness to perk up the soup bowl.

READ MORE...

Gosh, Goulash!


Beef goulash with Spaetzle (Images by MANNY LLANES)

Universal favorite beef goulash was the main course, served with homemade Spaetzle, red cabbage, and cranberries.

Goulash is so easy to make for even a big crowd. The secret is using a lot of onions.

Brown beef cubes, set aside. Slowly brown onions (equal in volume to beef) in beef drippings. Add paprika, garlic, green and red pepper and cook for three minutes. Stir in cooked beef, add broth, wine, or beer, and cover. Braise over low heat until tender. Serve topped with cream or sour cream and sprinkle with parsley.

Spaetzle noodles

The easiest noodles to make at home, and also the lightest accompaniment to meats and roasts.

Mix one cup flour, a dash of salt, and white pepper in a bowl. Slowly add two eggs beaten with ¼ cup milk. Beat until very smooth.

To cook, boil a gallon of lightly salted water. Place a colander above the pot and pour batter into the colander, lightly pushing the mixture out the colander holes to drop into the boiling water.

The noodles are cooked when they float. Scoop them out immediately and immerse in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.

Reheat the noodles with melted butter or stir into fried crumbled bacon and some bacon grease.

Cucina traditions


Seafood paella (Images by MANNY LLANES)

While at Cucina, we could not help but indulge in the well-loved specialties of the house, particularly the seafood paella prepared on the spot using special cookware (gas stove and pan) available only in Spain.


Executive chef Lluis Cantons Pesarrodona of Marco Polo Hotel

Under the supervision of executive chef Lluis Cantons Pesarrodona, spectacular seafood from remote islands of the Philippines dominates the cold section of the buffet: glistening giant oysters, rare palm-size elephant clams, and exceptionally large mudcrab claws, which the staff crack and deliver to one’s table.


Cod Fish cakes,  (Images by MANNY LLANES)

Sushi, sashimi, roasts of pork, beef, and turkey also beckoned, along with juicy fresh cod patties. Cakes, ice creams, chocolates, and fruits were mixed and matched for dessert.


Sushi and cold cuts bar
 (Images by MANNY LLANES)


SOL JOSE VANZI's PHNO PAGE


Photo from Kyle Victor Jose's iPAD
Lifestyle/Food and Arts & Culture columnist of the Manila Daily Bulletin.
Signature title "Timpla't Tikim"
http://www.mb.com.ph/lifestyle/


Sol in 1997 Photo: PHNO Editor/Travel & Leisure page
http://www.newsflash.org/staff/solvanzi.htm


Photo of Sol and young Kyle Victor Jose in March 2005 at PHNO/QCNet
office in Levitown, Paranaque. Photoshot by Leo Q. Carolino.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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