Celebrity kitchens

STAR BYTES - Butch Francisco -

In today’s modern condominium living, the area that greets the visitor to the home of building dwellers is usually the kitchen.

In the more traditional homes, where the house sits on a lot, the kitchen is usually hidden from view. Starting in the ‘60s, in fact, homes of the middle class to upper began building an auxiliary or dirty kitchen where the actual cooking is done. The formal kitchen is mostly for display. That is a practice still observed today in residences that are blessed with bigger space.

Why are we talking about kitchens? It just dawned on this writer that the kitchen is the busiest area of most homes during this holiday season — what with all the cooking and preparations being done for Yuletide festivities.

Below is a description and overall feel of the kitchen areas of two respected women in the entertainment circle. Let’s begin with film producer Lily Monteverde’s kitchen in her home in Northeast Greenhills.

The house — renovated only a couple of years back — has a kitchen that looks very simple. However, it is the most efficient you can find, at least, compared to those operated by other showbiz people.

The Monteverde kitchen is just square, but spacious. Its most interesting feature is the sub-zero freezer that according to Mother Lily cannot be opened every so often. If we remember correctly, she said that there has to be an interval of at least 20 minutes. The helpers are not even supposed to open it because it is a very delicate piece of appliance and has to be handled with utmost care. However, it is the best storage for food.

Once in a while, Mother Lily entertains huge groups in her residence, but the most convenient for her will always be the poolside of her Imperial Suites at the corner of Tomas Morato and Timog.

Ali Sotto has a well-planned and charming kitchen. Its cabinets and drawers are of fine wood craftsmanship.

The condo-tel will soon undergo renovation to provide clients with even better service, but it will still be business as usual since Mother Lily is going to do the work by phases. Even the current residents will just wake up one day and discover the amazing changes within.

Imperial Suites is where the Wednesday group led by Malou Choa-Fagar meets weekly. Held at the poolside, this is where huge birthday parties for members of the press are conducted.

In all the parties, friends from the profession will notice that there are basic and regular features on the buffet table. A lot will not mind eating the same dishes, especially the fish fillet and chopsuey because these are very tasty — with a homemade cooking touch to it. And to cap the meal, there is always the fruit salad, which is the favorite of many.

However, the most delicious part of the party activity there will always be one-on-one, private conversations with Mother Lily. If you choose, she will never even discuss gossip with you. Actually, what comes out from Mother Lily’s mouth will not be labeled as tsismis since she always knows the real story — being the producer who deals with stars.

To guests who prefer substance, she will share with you lessons in life and if you listen well, you will learn and be able to apply it in planning the future. Although she always makes sure that she feeds everyone well, what you will relish are not necessarily the dishes she serves, but her very nutritious talks and insights.

The kitchen of Ali Sotto in her Loyola Grand Villas house is one area that even Ricky Lo and his former QTV Private Conversations staff saw in progress — from the time when the house was being constructed.

It is well-planned — and charming. The kitchen cabinets and drawers are of fine wood craftsmanship.

Actually, there are two kitchens in the house. The other one is the service kitchen where members of the house help do their cooking. (Ali even buys them organic food every Sunday at Centris in North Triangle.)

The formal kitchen is used every day — even off-meals. The Personalan host does her Internet chores there and it is where she sometimes also meditates.

Tonight, it is going to be very busy again because this is where preparations will be done as she hosts the Christmas Eve gathering for the family Carag (Ali’s maiden name).

Like most other sensible people, she acknowledges that it is the one part of the house that is as essential as the bedroom and bathroom.

Tonight, whether you do the cooking in your house or have it catered outside, remember that the noche buena you will be feasting on came from the kitchen.  

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