I arrived late at the recent Olive magazine launch held at the Ayala Museum lobby just this week. I immediately greeted Bella Luce Publications big boss Nick Tuason, and gave my heartfelt congratulations for another magazine under his belt. So far, Bella Luce Publications has Wedding Belle, Digital Photographer, Lonely Planet Philippines, iCreate, Junior and now Olive!
Olive is a monthly magazine published in the UK by BBC Worldwide, and Bella Luce Publications have been able to get the license to open up a local version of Olive here in the Philippines. Here in the Philippines, the magazine’s editor-in-chief is none other than Stephanie Zubiri, who earned her star in the culinary scene with the very reputable The Modern Epicurian Kitchen – an institution which is part cooking school-slash-catering business that promotes the fine art of living, and the process and results that are part of that palatable journey. Definitely, Olive is blessed to have someone like Stephanie Zubiri, who exudes a good energy and has a fresh perspective on the culinary scene in the Philippines and abroad.
While I didn’t get to congratulate Stephanie Zubiri personally that night (she was too busy being hounded by everyone else), I managed to pass along the message through her brother and old friend Senator Miguel Zubiri, who was with his beautiful wife Audrey. My congratulations also to the ever efficient people of Bella Luce Publications like Marta Luque-Araneta, Pilar Tuason and Madie Pfiffner-Dinglasan.
It was a fun night overall – and it was great to see friends like Audrey Carpio, Joanna DeOcampo, Jackie Verano, Jay Pou, Cay Rodriguez-Araneta, Fiona Lucas-Araneta, Pip Zorgani, RJ Ledesma and his wife Vanessa, and Ines Cabarrus, who will be having a second run of the annual Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Awards soon.
My only concern – I feel like I should be the one to say it – is that the open bar wasn’t running as optimal as I would’ve expected, considering that it was the launch of a culinary magazine. You just simply can’t serve warm beer over ice on a wine glass, nor can you serve wine on a margarita glass. The lack of glassware to match the cocktails was befuddling. I would’ve thought that the launch of a top culinary magazine would’ve hired a caterer equal to the task of serving Manila’s glitzy set. The caterer should’ve known to have chilled the beer earlier, and prepare the right glassware for the occassion. I mean – if it were the launch of an un-culinary magazine, then this faux pas could’ve been forgiven. I just had to say – not to bitch – but to raise constructive criticism for the caterer, or maybe just to the poor schmuck responsible for hiring them.
But then again, that’s just the open bar – and I’m sure that slight glitch won’t take away anything from the greatness of the magazine, which will certainly continue to have an impact on the Manila food and restaurant scene. There will be great articles in Olive, ranging from exciting recipes, restaurant reviews and so much more, and it comes at a great time in Philippine lifestyle history when our range of tastes and foods has started to expand.
Once upon a time, you would mention a handful of good restaurants when you mention Japanese cuisine or Chinese cuisine. Now – there are too many to mention because of the growth of the restaurant and food service industry throughout the country. The launching of Olive will certainly be a critical portal which will open many eyes to the wonders of the food scene in the Philippines as well as share articles from the mother publication of BBC Worldwide.
Needless to say – you should go find a copy of Olive soon.