Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila's grand tree lighting ceremony and cookbook launch

Christmas is doubly sweet this year with this five-star Manila Bay area hotel also marking its 10th year anniversary with a book launch and a media party

Event highlights: the launching of Spiral's first cook book as the restaurant turns 10 and the lighting of Sofitel's Christmas tree

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is all lit up and celebrating Christmas as well as marking its 10th year anniversary this year. Last November 22, the hotel located at the bay area in Manila invited media friends for the lighting up ceremony of its 30-foot tall Christmas tree topped with a giant capiz shell star. This was followed by the launch of  its first cookbook called "A Decade of Spiral: Celebrating a Journey of Time", with bestselling recipes straight from Sofitel's popular Spiral restaurant. 

The afternoon event was opened by a parade of white hats, all Spiral chefs, headed by executive chef Denis Vecchiato.

Copies of “A Decade of Spiral: Celebrating A Journey of Taste” cook book were piled on the buffet table with a spread of handsomely-plated dishes featured in the cook book, a 140-pager featuring 40 of Spiral’s most popular dishes. 

A sample recipe you can find in the cook book

The featured recipes were created and plated and displayed at the event for everyone to see and take photos of

Baked camembert

With chef Vecchiato.

Chef Denis, who gamely posed for a selfie with me, said “the cook book is a compilation of Spiral’s recipes that were simplified so you could create the dishes in a matter of 10 minutes or so. The book’s not for professional chefs but for everybody.” When asked what recipes in the book were most popular, he said, “the pan fried goose liver for dine in and the Hainanese chicken for in-room service.”

A master learning from another master: Glenda Barretto, founder of the legendary Via Mare Filipino restaurant, keenly learning how to make Spiral's perfect shrimp tempuraLive cooking show. One of the chefs teaches us how to make pan-seared fois gras (goose liver) and it's quite simple, really

Everyone was treated to drinks and cocktails and a live cooking show.

After the show, everyone was whisked off to Le Bar, decorated in a festive party vibe complete with disco lights, grand cocktail stations offering limitless fois gras, delectable cheeses and cold cuts, raosts, homemade chocolates and pralines, and more; and a bar serving free flowing wine and specialty drinks.

Virlanie Children Choir performs a couple of songs at the evening event at Le Bar

Other highlights for the night included singing performances by the Virlanie Children’s choir, and the awarding of P750,000 (US$16,000) to the Virlanie Foundation, Sofitel’s partner charity since 2007. The cash amount was raised through Sofitel’s marathon event, the Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2016, held last August.

It was also announced that Sofitel’s New Year’s Eve special themed Midnight in Paris will raffle off a trip for two to Paris complete with airfare, hotel room and a winery tour.

The giveaways. Media folks are happy
“A Decade of Spiral: Celebrating A Journey of Taste” cook book retails at P999 at Spiral and Fullybooked outlets. The New Year’s Eve dinner is at P7,499 per person, while the Prestige Package of the dinner costs P30,000++ per person. Tel +632 832 6988, email [email protected], visit Sofitel.

By Monica De Leon

Read our review on Spiral, and our review on Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.

Published November 24, 2016