Reservations in Paradise

THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee - The Philippine Star
Reservations in Paradise
Chef de cuisine of Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu Marvin Ampoloquio, executive Chinese chef of Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu Liu Zhijun, dim sum chef of Edsa Shangri-La Manila Andy Liew, executive chef of Shangri- La Mactan, Cebu William Tan, executive sous chef of Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu Nathan Griffin, pastry chef of Shangri-La the Fort Myles Sanchez, Michelin-star pastry chef from Italy Francesca Benedettelli, Italian chef of Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu Luca D’Amora
STAR/ File

Shangri-La Mactan transcended the ordinary, whisking its guests away on an epicurean journey like no other. They hosted “Reservations in Paradise” for the second time. This exclusive weekend of pure luxury was brought to life in collaboration with Bacchus International.

Among the featured culinary artisans were Shangri-La Mactan’s team of chefs, including executive chef William Tan, executive sous chef Nathan Griffin, executive Chinese chef Liu Zhijun, chef de cuisine Marvin Ampoloquio, and Italian chef Luca D’Amora.

Joining the Shangri-la Mactan team were pastry chef Myles Sanchez from Shangri-La the Fort and dim sum chef Andy Liew from Edsa Shangri-La Manila. Flown in from Italy was Michelin-starred pastry chef Francesca Benedettelli.

The setting for the Essence of Italia Dinner.

The Aqua Terra Fusion dinner on the first night was set on the beach and featured Louis Roederer and Château Pichon Longueville wines.  Guests indulged in a lavish affair of champagne and canapés, accompanied by a performance by fire dancers.

The beach setting for the Aqua Terra Fusion dinner.

The culinary journey continued with a sumptuous five-course dinner prepared in a kitchen setup on the beach. The sumptuous dinner included Ways of Duck by chef William, Iberico Grilled Pork Pluma (neck end of the pork loin) by chef Nathan, Roaring Forties Lamb by chef Luca, the exquisite Westholme Tomahawk and Grilled Lobster by chef Marvin, and a selection of refined tropical delights and classical confections made with burns and smokes presentation by chef Myles.

Roberto Bava, owner and managing director of Giulio Cocchi; Clifford Lichaytoo, executive vice president of Bacchus International; Alexander Lichaytoo, president of Bacchus International; Pia Lichaytoo Pritha Oberoi; Amit Oberoi, general manager of Shangri-La The Fort Manila; Paula Junker; Dave Junker, general manager of Shangri-La Mactan; Anna Melissa Lichaytoo; Marisa Avalis of Giulio Cocchi.

The Flavors of the World brunch had several food stations that started at 10 a.m. and ended at 2 p.m. Guests proceeded to the resort’s Buko Bar Garden for a celebration of global gastronomy under a canopy of umbrellas. Brunch included dim sum of fried lobster rolls, abalone taro puffs, and scallop dumplings by chefs Liu and Andy to Seoul street treats and local favorites such as the Cebu lechon and tuslob buwa — a Cebuano dish consisting of pork brain sautéed in oil with onion, garlic, and soy sauce served with puso (rice wrapped in coconut leaves); a grazing board of Italian treats — basically an eclectic spread that catered to every palate, accompanied by refreshing libations and sweet creations.

The final dinner, Essence of Italia, unfolded at Acqua, Shangri-La Mactan’s Italian restaurant, where chefs Luca and Francesca showcased a six-course dinner. Against the backdrop of an ice blue-themed al fresco setting, guests savored Wafers with Foie Gras and Dark Chocolate, Venison Tartare with Marinated Juniper, Ravioli Filled with Pumpkin, Guinea Fowl Stuffed with Foie Gras, and the Super Prime Wisconsin USDA Beef Striploin.

Chef Francesca prepared a dessert of Citrus Granita with Melon, Watermelon, Green Apple, and Vanilla Cream and Jasmine Baba Delight Infused with Jasmine Tea, topped with Passion Fruit and Mango Cream, Mascarpone Foam, and Banana Tuile.

Reservations in Paradise is a highly acclaimed food and wine weekend and for sure, everyone will be looking forward to this exclusive wine-and-dine weekend again next year.

* * *

Visit www.shangri-la.com/cebu/mactanresort and https://bacchusepicerie.com.

Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.

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