The global art of mixing

THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee -

It was time again for Hennessy Artistry in China! On its sixth year, the festive event was held at the Guangzhou Gymnasium. And I was one of the privileged guests!

Like a master blender combining eaux de vie to produce an excellent cognac, Hennessy’s Global Art of Mixing presented a fusion of different yet complementary music genres. Together with the brand’s signature long drinks, the occasion created a Hennessy Artistry experience.

The event gathered different bands and singers from all over the world to perform in an unconventional set up. We watched the performers while having Hennessy with tonic, apple, berry or ginger and canapés served on illuminated trays. Food (such as lobster in aspic, crab cones, sun-dried tomatoes on crackers and various desserts) and Hennessy cocktails overflowed until the end of the concert.

This year, the lineup of performers included three-time Grammy Award winner Train from the US, Alexandra Burke from the UK, Zakes Bantwini from South Africa, pop star Park Jung Min from Korea and A-Lin from Taiwan.

In the last six years, Hennessy Artistry has been staged in cities like New York, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Miami, Moscow, Hong Kong, Taipei and Shanghai. Taipei and Manila recently had their Hennessy Artistry concerts as well.

As in the past events, all singers expressed their desire to perform with other artists of different music genres and collaborated on stage. 

Both Train and Alexandra Burke performed songs with some Chinese singers to the delight of the crowd. Alexandra even sang a song in Chinese! The concert ended roughly at midnight and then we proceeded to The Ritz Carlton in Guangzhou. We had our fill of food and wonderful Hennessy cocktails that night.

We were a small group from the Philippines that flew to Guangzhou. Our contingent included Moet-Hennessy Philippines chief representative Olga Azarcon, Amber/Craft/Scarlet owner Howard Co and Liquor Kingdom’s Rudy Ngo. The great thing about our group was that everyone liked eating and we had a great time stuffing ourselves with yummy food in this trip! Even those fantastic cholesterol-heavy Shanghai hairy crabs were in season! Aside from watching the concert and eating good food, we went for a bit of shopping and checked out the sights and museums.

It was indeed a magical weekend with a great company, great food, a great concert. And yes, with truly the greatest cognac in the world.

(Check out www.hennessy.com.)

Bid and build

Once again, Marriott Manila, through its Festive Season celebration, has made a difference in the lives of many by holding a fundraising event for the Habitat for Humanity through Bid and Build, an auction project that gathered a total of 50 items.

Phoemela Baranda, who also donated a limited edition Adidas jacket, hosted the event. The opening number was courtesy of Resorts World Manila’s European theater group, which brought an exciting vibe of “Life is a Cabaret.”

Marriott Manila GM Richard Saul officially started the event by bidding for the young photographer Shaira Luna’s half-day pictorial session. Other great auction items included Bobby Brown’s peony and python palette, Rudy Project items, Liza Ilarde’s Commes de Garcon leather wallet, Sari Yap’s Gucci shades and airfare tickets from Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Zest Air.

To fill the air with the Christmas spirit, Ralph Salazar serenaded the guests. Newly-crowned Miss World first runner-up Gwendoline Ruais led the official Christmas tree lighting together with Edna Calixto and Marriott Manila GM Richard Saul.

Since the event coincided with Thanksgiving Day, guests got a fill of executive Meik Brammer’s tasty and juicy turkey with cranberry sauce, chicken satay, assorted dim sum and Christmas sweets and treats for dessert such as Yule log cake, fondue, fruit cake and brownies. While enjoying the fare, there was also a pass-around of wine selections. While the crowd was in the midst of enjoying fun and entertainment, Santa Claus came into the scene with his bag of sweets, which was a surprise treat for the attendees.

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