As I was approaching the private function room at Sofitel’s Spiral, I heard right away the melodious voice of an “angel” singing my favorite French love song, La Vie En Rose. The “angel” turned out to be Elle Adda, a statuesque Fil-French beauty who is the daughter of my long-time friend Chiqui Veneracion, a stunning charmer herself.
Ms. Adda is the newest addition to Sofitel’s lifestyle workforce. Of course, because she has the Veneracion “blood” in her, she sings like a nightingale, the trademark asset of the descendants of the Veneracion matriarch who was widely known to have put together the multi-awarded world-famous Madrigal Singers. Not only will she be very effective in organizing lifestyle events for the hotel, like the one I attended, Ms. Adda will also be a crowd-drawer. She has the beauty, the height, the charm, and the voice. What more can one ask for?
That lunchtime event at Sofitel trumpeted the hotel’s coming activities which are part of its French Week celebration next month, designed to offer customers a culinary journey across five gastronomic regions in France.
Normandy, in the northwest, is best known for its apples, seafood, and camembert cheese, and Brittany, for its crepes that dot every corner of the place.
Alsace-Lorraine in the northeast is best known for its smoked bacon which is used in the rich and flavorful Quiche Lorraine. Alsatian cuisine highlights the use of pork, often paired with Dry Riesling recognized globally as indigenous to the region.
Eastern France, which includes the Bourgogne and Franche-Comte regions, boasts Comte cheese, yellow wine, smoked ham, and sausages. Burgundy, which is one of France’s top-producing wine regions, is also known for its Beef Bourguignon.
The French Mediterranean region in the southeastern part of the country is known for its Bouillabaisse and Salad Nicoise. Ratatouille Brocciu cheese, from ewe’s milk and whey, is also a popular culinary offering.
Bordeaux and the Basque country in southwest France highlight the flavorful Foie Gras, Confit de Canard, and Dried Plums, usually enjoyed with the rich red wine that Bordeaux is known for.
All these sumptuous regional delicacies will be made available to customers during the hotel’s French Week, thanks to the culinary wizardry of the hotel’s very own French Master Chef Julien Cosse, who is a first-timer here in our country. I had an opportunity to chat with him and he told me how much he enjoys whipping up his favorite French dishes here because we, Filipinos, know how to appreciate honest-to-goodness French cuisine.
Aside from Spiral, which is the hotel’s buffet dining venue, the exquisite French flavor will also be made available to customers at the hotel’s Le Bar where a rich selection of the finest cheeses, wines, and pastries will be served a la La Grande Epicerie de Paris.
What got me interested is the Wine Appreciation Class, The Art of Wine, which the hotel is putting up. I must admit that, even if I enjoy French wine, I still have so much to learn about it. This one-afternoon seminar will be handled by the hotel’s French wine connoisseur Tanguy Gras who will make participants discover the sensory world of wine across the rich wine regions of France.
Being a French luxury hotel brand, Sofitel is really painting a beautiful picture in the consciousness of local residents, using the allure of the French way of life, as its canvas, delivering the message to the public that, in the hotel, life will always be rosy! I can hardly wait to immerse myself in the hotel’s French week offerings because I want to experience what the late Louis Armstrong promised when he sang: “…Give your heart and soul to me...And life will always be...La Vie En Rose.”
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