Raquel Choa’s favorite childhood tales of Maria Cacao shape not only the artisan chocolates that she creates but the spaces where one gets to appreciate them.
At a gathering to launch the second phase of the partnership between Choa’s The Chocolate Chamber and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, she explained that she imagines Maria Cacao with dainty ceramic pieces for her banquets while the chandelier represents the fireflies that provide the dazzling glow to her palace.
Through the collaboration with the resort, Choa gets to show guests the local way of tablea production as a precursor to TCC’s artisan cocoa drinks (locally known as sikwate) and chocolate products.
Talks on cacao and its history and experiential activities will be regular features at The Chocolate Chamber.
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa General Manager Rene Egle said he was looking for a local product that can be brought from farm to table in 2015.
Hazelnut, creme brulee, sandwiches, cakes,and martinis all come infused with cacao in culinary creations served at the Lobby Lounge of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa as it presents Mugnâ, a series of events that seeks to highlight the best of Cebuano creativity.
Exquisite jewelry pieces that feature unique South Sea pearls and signature couture by Mia Arcenas and Rhett Eala were the centerpieces of last Friday’s Mugnâ installment.
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa guests were treated to a display of Jewelmer Joaillerie pearl jewelry that included its first ever collection with the Filipino name Pamana.
Jewelmer’s Sarimanok brooch features a lustrous, baroque pearl enveloped by the wings of this mythical creature of Philippine legend. Colorful precious gems were used to enhance the mystical Sarimanok’s plumage. The brooch sells for $US18,800.
A private sale was held for select clients the night before the April 1 showcase of Jewelmer’s pearl jewelry collections at the Lobby Lounge.
Chocolate High Tea
The jewel of the Lobby Lounge’s refreshments turns the spotlight on the world-class Cebu tablea (raw chocolate).
Shangri-La Mactan’s Chocolate High Tea, at P550 net per order, is a menu of treats made using Cebu tablea and paired with premium tea. It is available from 2-6 p.m. at the Lobby Lounge. This collection of savory fares, prepared by the resort in partnership with The Chocolate Chamber (TCC), includes roast beef and chicken inasal in tablea-infused buns, tablea hazelnut, five-spiced tablea praline, chocolate brulee, and flourless tablea cake.
There is an order of eating that needs to be followed for the Chocolate High Tea to bring out their particular flavors so wait for the restaurant staff to explain it to you before digging in.
A lineup of signature cacao-infused martinis, prepared in partnership with Grey Goose Vodka, is also available under such choices as Classic Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate, Chili Choco, Orange Chocolate, Mint Choco, Choco Bomb Shot, Warm Orange Cognac Sikwate for only P300 net per order.
Mugnâ means “to create” in Cebuano, a fitting term for Shangri-La’s showcase of flourishing local talents marked by a series of events from April to August. It kicked off with a grand launch last March 12.
Last Friday’s parade of jewelry and couture was a prequel to the April 9 show that will highlight the creations of Philip Rodriguez and Arcy Gayatin.
The Fashion Lounge at the Lobby Lounge will present the collections of two top designers from the Fashion Council of Cebu made exclusively for the resort every month month from April to August. The couture pieces will then be on display at the resort’s Events Center.
Mugnâ culminates in a grand finale parade on August 31.
Little kids garbed in white double-breasted chef jackets paired with red and yellow aprons and colorful toques smeared themselves with flour as they busily kneaded dough with their fingers.
They flattened the dough using wooden rollers before putting sauce and cheese and toppings to create their very own pizza masterpiece.
Saturday’s “Little Chef, Big Chef” cooking class at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa was a happy chaos of clumsy hands and inquisitive children’s voices (speaking mostly Korean) asking for more instructions.
On the sidelines are the parents, just as excited as the kids and happily snapping pictures, who helped translate Acqua Italian Chef Massi Ascione’s biddings.
Shangri-La, an upmarket beachfront resort in Mactan, makes weekends more exciting for families and kids with two family-oriented activities: the Little Chef, Big Chef class and Funch or fun lunch at Tides Restaurant.
The cooking class begins at 10 a.m. every Saturday and is open to children four to 12 years old, whether in-house or day use guests of the resort, said Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa communications executive Monica Tan.
She added that the Little Chef, Big Chef rate is P1,500 per child and comes with a shirt and group photo. Chef Massi handles the cooking class, which starts with the children coloring and decoring their toques or chef’s hats.
Since the class can only accept a maximum of 25 kids, those interested in joining the cooking activity must register a day ahead, according to Shangri-La communications executive Fiona Escandor.
Funch at Tides
Another resort offering every Saturday is Funch or fun lunch at Shangri-La’s Tides Restaurant.
Funch is a new resort promo geared towards families, said Escandor. It includes a buffet lunch with a wide selection of Filipino and international dishes, entertainment, and some activities for kids. Last Saturday’s funch had in-house entertainers going from table to table to sing to guests.
Aside from having a wide selection of desserts featuring minion characters to choose from, children also get to make their own minion cupcakes.
Escandor said funch is at P2,080 net per person and is open to in-house and walk-in guests.