Archive for Ines Cabarrus

Philippine Events: Olive Magazine Launched At Ayala Museum

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2010 by JJ Duque

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 Magazine Now In The Philippines

Olive Magazine Now In The Philippines

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.

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Philippine Music: Tune In To Music and Wine Radio

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2009 by JJ Duque

Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb of Music and Wine Radio

Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb of Music and Wine Radio

Music and Wine is an event hosted by lovely couple Elian Habayeb and Ines Cabarrus at Martini’s at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Manila) every Saturday night. Elian Habayeb provides the music, and Ines Cabarrus provides the wine.

Music and Wine has been going on for over a year already. As can be expected, Elian Habayeb is the resident deejay of the evening, churning up some really cool tracks to maintain a funky ambiance while Ines Cabarrus showcases a few select wines for the evening. If you want to try the featured wines of the night, you’ll just have to show up at Martini’s. But if you want to hear the kind of music that Elian Habayeb plays, then you can catch a dose of it at Music and Wine Radio, which is the official podcast of M&W.

Music and Wine Radio launched their maiden episode on July 30, 2009, with a set put together by Elian Habayeb that featured tracks from Frankie Feliciano, Kerri Chandler, Teddy Douglas, Joe Claussell, Innervision, E-man and many other top house music artists from New York and Chicago.

On their second episode (August 26, 2009), Elian Habayeb featured artists like Tortured Soul, Quentin Harris, BKNY, India Arie, Studio Apartment and Carla Prather in a very ecclectic set of wonderful party music.

On the third episode of Music and Wine Radio released on September 17, 2009 (my birthday), Elian Habayeb put together a wonderful compilation of true downtempo lounge music, fusing together some smooth R&B, jazz and Latin lounge music.

The fourth installment of Music and Wine Radio was recently released on October 1, 2009, and it featured some deep house music exclusive from Chicago, New York and New Jersey.

All four episodes are readily available on the Music and Wine Radio site, and you can easily subscribe to it via I-Tunes, and it’ll automatically be updated on your I-Tunes library and ready for uploading on your I-Pod. Best of all, it’s free!!!

So you can get the latest lounge and house music as masterfully compiled by Elian Habayeb, and very much catch a glimpse of what you would listen to if you go to Music and Wine at Martini’s.

Personally, I really like the sets of Elian Habayeb. I may not be a regular attendee at Music and Wine, but I was there when it launched, and am a frequent customer from time to time. The music never fails to captivate me, and certainly Elian Habayeb really knows how to put a good mix together. And of course, there’s Ines Cabarrus, who is a very dear sister to me. She’s an expert on wines and alcoholic beverages, being an instructor of wine and beverage at the prestigious Enderun College. Yes, the lady knows her drinks, and even has a few cocktail creations of herself at the menu of Martini’s. Both Elian and Ines are also the co-authors of Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets, which is an awesome coffee table book that showcases some of the best restos in Metro Manila. So yes – Elian and Ines do know what they’re talking about, and are certainly very expert and capable on the field of Music and Wine. It’s what they are deeply passionate about, and you can certainly feel that good vibe on every Saturday night at Martini’s, and you can surely catch a glimpse of that vibe when you tune in to Music and Wine Radio.

What are you waiting for. Go!

Philippine Lifestyle: Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Awards Night

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine Lifestyle, Philippine News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2008 by JJ Duque

Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb

Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb

Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb shared their passion for good food through a coffee-table book called Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets. The book, of course, was a hit among food-lovers all over. But then the question that most readers kept asking was – “So, what is your favorite restaurant?”

Elian Habayeb and Ines Cabarrus had a difficult time answering the question, and eventually they left the decision to around 80 capable judges that consisted of restaurant owners, top chefs, educators in the hospitality industry, columnists, food critics, magazine editors and food lovers to hand out points on whom they believed were the best restaurants in Manila.

There were 22 award categories all in all with around 4 top restaurants in each category, and all the winners were presented and awarded just recently at the Enderun College campus in Fort Bonifacio with an event aptly titled – the First Annual Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secretes Awards. The MBKRS Awards was billed by Ines Cabarrus as “the Oscars” of Manila’s restaurant industry in terms of the prestige a restaurant would gain from the votes cast by the 80 very capable judges.

Of course, the award itself is a boost to Manila’s restaurant industry, but I personally wouldn’t go so far as calling it “the Oscars.” While it may have been a star-studded cast among the restaurant industry’s finest, there could have been a lot of improvements with the presentation of the awards, which could’ve used a healthy adrenalin boost in the visual area, maybe showing pictures of the restaurants and the concoctions that have made them famous.

Nevertheless, the event had a glorious red carpet that led to a buffet tent that was catered by 10 awesome restaurants, covering every imaginable taste for your palate from Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Asian Fusion, Persian, Filipino and Thai food. There was also an overflow of awesome wines from 3 major wine distributors, and even an after party at the very trendy NUVO right after.

But, of course, the MKBRS Awards are all about the nominees and the awards, and the winners include the following:

  • Best Italian Restaurant – L’Opera
  • Best French Restaurant – Je Suis Gourmand
  • Best Spanish Restaurant – Terry’s Selection
  • Best Continental Cuisine – Lolo Dad’s
  • Best Steak House – Elbert’s Steak Room
  • Best Japanese Restaurant – Sugi
  • Best Filipino Restaurant – Abe
  • Best Thai Restaurant – People’s Palace
  • Best Chinese Restaurant – Zong
  • Best Central European Restaurant – Old Swiss Inn
  • Best Specialty Restaurant – Hussein’s Persian Kebab
  • Best Bistro – Sala Bistro
  • Best Enoteca – Barcino Gourmet
  • Best Fusion Cuisine – M Cafe
  • Best Newcomer – Aubergine
  • Best Restaurant/Bar – NUVO
  • Best Wine List – Cav
  • Best Hotel Restaurant (International Buffet) – Spirals (Sofitel)
  • Best Hotel Restaurant (Fine Dining) – (will update once Ines reminds me who won)
  • Best Hotel Restaurant (Specialty) – (will update once Ines reminds me who won)
  • Best Chef – Ariel Manuel
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Larry Cruz (posthumous)

Philippines Fun Wall will have an exclusive interview with Ines Cabarrus in the very very near future, and we will talk more about the book Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets and other things, so keep a watch for that.

In the meantime, of course you are more than welcome to try out the restaurants that were awarded and see for yourself if these restos do live up to their reputation as being the best. You can also view the other nominees of each category at the Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Multiply site.

To make an online purchase of the coffee-table book Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets, then go here.

Team Yap Is One Of The Top Contenders During San Mig Pub Quiz Night

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine Lifestyle with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2008 by JJ Duque

If you’ve lived in the Alabang area, you know very much that San Mig Pub is an institution, being one of the oldest watering holes in the area. At one point, you must’ve at least been to San Mig for lunch or for a few drinks, or maybe a lot of drinks. Well, at least, you know where it is, and you can’t not see it when you go malling at Alabang Town Center.

Throughout the long history of the very famous San Mig Pub, it’s only now that they’ve had a quiz night. Every Wednesdays, San Mig Pub hosts a quiz night that is very different from all the rest of the other quiz nights/ trivia nights of places like Murphy’s or the old Blarneystone or something like that. While the other places give you a pen and paper to record your answers as an individual contestant, the San Mig Pub Quiz Night allows you to participate in the competition as a team along with your friends. And instead of submitting your answers on a piece of paper, you have to raise up your hands and beat out the rest of the other participating teams in being the first one to get the right question. In case of a tie, then there is the roll of the dice that will be the basis of breaking the tiebreaker.

Team Yap at San Mig Pub Quiz Night

Team Yap at San Mig Pub Quiz Night

San Mig Pub Quiz Night quizmaster Deeg Rodriguez started this just a few months back, and one of its consistent regulars is the group of Team Yap, who has the distinction of being the first ever winner of the San Mig Pub Quiz Night. In their first title defense, however, Team Yap had to settle for second place after quiz master Deeg Rodriguez skipped all questions pertaining to alcoholic beverages. Apparently, Team Yap is also discreetly(?) known as the S.S. Alcoholics, and just had a huge advantage in that category.

Team Yap went on a brief hiatus following the recent passing of the mother of a Team Yap member, but returned to earn another second place finish. In Team Yap‘s last outing, they had to settle for a third place finish.

Nonetheless, Team Yap is still noted among one of the top contenders during the San Mig Pub Quiz Night held every Wednesday nights at the San Mig Pub in Alabang Town Center. Members of Team Yap have included Brian Banta, Carlo Aguinaldo, Marge Camacho, Ysa Laurel, Tals Diaz, Ines Cabarrus, Yesu Cabarrus, Noel Orosa, Paolo Rosero and JJ Duque among other members.

This coming Wednesday night, Team Yap hopes to improve from its last disappointing outing and come away with a second victory – one that is long overdue. Apart from pride and recognition, the San Mig Pub Quiz Night winners get gift certificates from San Mig Pub. Team Yap is very well known for sharing the spoils with the other contestants when they win.

Double nipples for everyone!

Music and Wine Saturdays at Martini’s Mandarin Oriental

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine Lifestyle, Philippine Music, Philippine News with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2008 by JJ Duque
Elian Habayeb and Ines Cabarrus

Elian Habayeb and Ines Cabarrus

For the past few months, lovebirds Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb have been hosting Music & Wine Saturdays at Martini’s Bar in the Mandarin Oriental Manila in Makati City. Their concept is pretty simple – Ines Cabarrus features a wine for the night, and promotes it to be tasted while Elian Habayeb spins some wonderful music to set the pace for the evening. Of course, Ines and Elian do it naturally well.

First of all, Ines Cabarrus teaches wine and beverage at Enderun College, a hotel management and culinary arts school based in the Ortigas Center, and undoubtedly she is naturally fond of the bacchic arts and exercises. She co-penned the coffee table book Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets along with Elian Habayeb, and together they wrote about some of the best restaurants around Manila and put it together in a book. And for the very privileged few, Ines is also a founding member of the S.S. Alcoholics. YAR!

Next, Elian Habayeb knows his wines as well as an enthusiast for culinary delicacies among other things. Of course, his fame around Manila is that of a deejay, who spins some captivating music that adds that extra oomph to any gathering. And yes, as partner to Ines, he himself is also part of the S.S. Alcoholics. YAR!

Since they started doing this weekly Saturday gig at Martini’s, I’ve had the opportunity to party with them on several occasions. Needless to say, the crowd at Martini’s is an eclectic mix of fun people who really know how to have a good time. Last Saturday (8/2/08), I was there again after maybe a month of being away. Still the same crowd who have gotten to know each other quite well, and still a cozy sociable atmosphere with great music courtesy of Elian and great wines as suggested by Ines.

For that particular Saturday, the wonderful suggestion was an Australian wine called from the Rosemount Estate. The blend labels from Rosemount was what was offered, blend basically meaning that the wine was created by combining two grape varieties to give a distinct flavor. For that particular Saturday, the crowd at Martini’s were able to get a taste of Rosemount Semillon Chardonnay and Rosemount Cabernet Merlot.

I am so thankful to Eric Kahn, the Senior Marketing Manager of Future Trade International, for allowing me to sample the Rosemount wines, which he exclusively imports to the Philippines among with other wines and alcoholic beverages, including Grey Goose Vodka, Bacardi Rum and so much more!

Nathalie Danks and Ines Cabarrus

Nathalie Danks and Ines Cabarrus

The Rosemount Semillon Chardonnay is an excellent light white wine that combines the lively citrus aroma of the Semillon with the fig and melon taste of a Chardonnay. Meanwhile, the Rosemount Cabernet Merlot is a thick red wine that has the blackcurrant flavours of cabernet contrast perfectly with the plummy fruit of merlot. Yummy!

Of course, good wine tastes even better with good company, and I was happy to be in the company of good friends Ines and Elian, Incubus concert posse Miguel and Djuna Rocha, the birthday girl Nathalie Danks (Bless you!), drinking partner Angela Trillo, poker playmate and (just recently) karaoke partner James Calero Aspinall, high school buddy Paolo La’O, master of the universe Gio Bacareza, long-time-no-see friends Jay Cochin, Boompy Martel, Robbie Dinglasan and Matt Lim, (thanks for finding the hoodie I left behind), and lovely gals Clu Alvarez, Tanya Escaler. Oh fuck, I did it, I made it into a society column!

Anyway, until the next time for Music & Wine at Martini’s!