Posted by DOT on June 10, 2006 at 08:23:01:
Gastronomic treat ushers in Independence fete
June 4, 2006
LOS ANGELES -- With the snip of a pair of scissors, Philippine Consul General Willy C. Gaa officially opened this year's Flavors of the Philippines Lunch Buffet on Thursday morning at the Azalea Restaurant located at Hotel New Otani in Los Angeles.
Assisting him was Mr. Chester Ikei, general manager of the hotel. Among those in attendance were Congen Gaa’s wife, Linda, Deputy Consul General Hellen Barber, and Director Annie Cuevas and her Deputy Manny Ilagan of the Department of Tourism.
An enthusiastic crowd formed soon after to sample the gastronomic offerings of the nine-day food fiesta. It is a cooperative effort of the consulate and the downtown hotel which was started by former Consul General Marciano Paynor, Jr. in the past to usher in the commemoration of Philippine Independence Month in June.
Earlier Congen Gaa stated that “mainstream American chefs are getting curious about Philippine flavors and spices. He also said that David Botelho and Elizabeth dela Pena, Otani's executive chef and corporate sales manager, respectively, are committed to showcase the best of the Philippines.
It may be recalled that upon assumption of his new post in February Congen Gaa promised to carry on a policy of continuity while further building on the accomplishments of his predecessor. Deputy Congen Barber, however, said that the consulate has not decided yet on whether to make the event a continuing tradition because it is possible that some other venues may be interested in hosting it in the future.
Meanwhile, Deputy Tourism Director Manny Ilagan confirmed to BALITA that the Honorable Juan M. Flavier, president pro tempore of the Philippine Senate, will be the Guest Speaker during the Grand Ball on June 10 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles to commemorate the 108th Anniversary of Philippine Independence. (DIONESIO C. GRAVA)
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