04 Aug2012

Snapshots from a dinner we had last Friday night on the Zubuchon terrace. Guests included friends from a well-known lifestyle magazine who brought along a photographer to record the setting and some of the food… Not sure if the photos will ever see print, but to be safe, I am not pre-empting the publication and will merely post snapshots of the setting and flowers… Regulars will know this is an outdoor terrace on a hill, the same area as the Bourdain lunch many years back…

The flower selection in Cebu is far more limited than the wholesale markets in Manila, and it’s a hit or miss kind of proposition, so you can never be sure what you’ll end up with… Yesterday there was a lot of red and yellow flowers…

We went through roughly 25 dozen yellow roses, some 30 dozen red roses, 8 dozen lotus pods, 15 dozen gladiolas and over 20 vines of “foxface”…

Chief of Stuff (CoS) took the lead on most of these arrangements, using low clear glass vases, after I did one or two samples… We weren’t really sure how this was all going to end up, but when we laid the vases out on the large “picnic” table, it started to come together… the blooms were quite striking… a bit bandera espaƱola in daylight…

Quilted red placements and antique silver, capiz lamps with additional votive candle holders and foxface “fruit” directly placed on the table…

…champagne and wine glasses and we were mostly set.

A close up shot. Just as it started to drizzle…

…so the crew carried a rather large tent to cover the table until guests arrived.

I didn’t realize the magazine photographers were going to take so many shots… here a quick snapshot of the photographers taking a picture of some of the appetizers…

The table and two lechons in the background.

A large molave or tugas tree, lit from below. Dinner lasted until nearly midnight and it was a very laid back meal with good friends. Will let you know if this evening makes it to print… because from the preliminary photos I saw, the photographer took some amazing shots despite the really dark conditions… :)



  1. marilen says:

    Some enchanted evening ….la, la, la , beautiful, MM!!

    Aug 4, 2012 | 9:52 pm


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  3. Pink Carnations says:

    Simply elegant! Oozing with warmth and sophistication! Lovely!

    Aug 4, 2012 | 10:22 pm

  4. cecille says:

    very elegant setting MM. :)

    Aug 4, 2012 | 10:53 pm

  5. farida says:

    OOOH, and aaaah. Good morning,MM. the setting is sooo beautiful. You know, I really wanted to have a get together at this place but my schedule was just too hectic. Next time I visit. This is a beautiful place and would love to show this to friends and family.

    Aug 4, 2012 | 11:24 pm

  6. Jade186 says:

    Lovely setting :-) How do you keep the mosquitoes away from this outdoor dinner party, MM? Do lavender plants really keep them at bay?

    Aug 5, 2012 | 4:53 am

  7. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Woooow….striking colors in the daytime and a romantic setting in the evening. Am glad it didnt drizzle in the evening…did you have a backup plan in case it rained? Am curios about the menu…as always….wonderfull MM!!!

    Aug 5, 2012 | 7:32 am

  8. PITS, MANILA says:


    Aug 5, 2012 | 7:34 am

  9. Ken_L says:

    Given the weather lately you were very brave :). Or maybe I should move from Luzon to Cebu.

    Aug 5, 2012 | 7:42 am

  10. linda says:

    Simply stunning!

    Aug 5, 2012 | 8:11 am

  11. chay says:

    just curious, MM. any reason why the silverwares were set French-style?

    Aug 5, 2012 | 8:20 am

  12. bearhug0127 says:

    MM, simply amaaaazing!

    Aug 5, 2012 | 8:52 am

  13. borckx says:

    So it’s called foxface fruit! The lady in Carbon market said they call it “mickey mouse.” heeheehee…

    Aug 5, 2012 | 9:17 am

  14. Marketman says:

    borckx, yes, kmickey mouse or foxface, both common names, I am not sure what the scientific names are. chay, the silver is a French set, and continental size with the pattern on the reverse side, hence they are set upside down. Ken, yes, we were very lucky with the weather… marissa, a plea to the heavens has worked wonders so far, and I am sure my mom, long gone, intervened to provide clear skies in 11 out of the last 12 times we have needed rain-free evenings. :) But I know, I am tempting the fates. Jade186, we lights LOTS of katol coils two hours before the event. It also helped that there was a nice breeze that discombobulates mosquitos. And a barbecue going nearby to singe them in flight. We have lots of tanglad nearby, but someone told me the plants don’t have much effect, it’s their oils that ward off mosquitos.

    Aug 5, 2012 | 9:39 am

  15. EbbaBlue says:

    I have been telling my office mates about your blog and about you. Hindi sila maniwala na wala kang professional education in cooking and arrangements. Hhahhaa, sabi ko “corporate executive” of some sorts ang trabaho mo. Naku hindi raw sabi ng mga kano at mexicano na ito.

    Ganda talaga ng set-up nyo, at mabuti naman hindi kayo nilamok, kahit anong sarap ng pagkain at ganda ng set-up, when the mosquitos attack..naku sira ang lahat.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Aug 5, 2012 | 10:09 am

  16. JE says:

    I am oddly delighted by your comment that you use lots of katol. We used a lot of them in my childhood, as mosquitos were commonplace where my relatives lived and worked (and where I hung out mostly as a child). Not sure if you just don’t fancy those electric bug-killing lights, or if there isn’t a nearby power source where your location is.

    I do love that tennis racket-like bug killer I’ve seen in some places, though, as it makes the activity seem like a sport.

    Aug 5, 2012 | 10:49 am

  17. emsy says:

    Bold, exciting and cheers you right up. Nice work MM and your Chief of Stuff must be really efficient!

    For the mosquito concern, I’ve heard that Neem trees are effective repellents. The dried leaves can be burnt slowly to achieve the same effect of mosquito coils without much of the mosquito coil smell.

    Aug 5, 2012 | 10:50 am

  18. Marketman says:

    emsy and JE, surprisingly, katol comes in a variety of fragrances now… so they aren’t as cloying as they used to be. For me, the trick is to saturate the area BEFORE the event, then keep some coils going throughout the event…

    Aug 5, 2012 | 11:07 am

  19. Coleen says:

    Hi Mr. MM,

    Where do you buy your dinnerware and flatware?

    Aug 5, 2012 | 11:56 am

  20. Dragon says:

    Hi MM,

    Instead of using katol, which is actually a pesticide, use citronella candles instead as it is a natural product.

    Neem plants/trees are known natural anti-lamok too…

    Aug 5, 2012 | 1:27 pm

  21. Marketman says:

    Citronella works, but are far more expensive and difficult to find in quantity here. And you need a LOT of citronella candles as well. We do use citronella at home as well, but again, you need a lot of it… Coleen, plates are from a restaurant supplier, but for the most part plates and flatware are purchased on trips abroad, or given by relatives who purchased them abroad…

    Aug 5, 2012 | 3:53 pm

  22. millet says:

    the preps for your events always take my breath away, MM. and i repeat myself, but “stunning” is the word that best describes this scene. the capiz candleholders give it an informal but sophisticated finish.

    MM, have you ever tried using those LED lights that are shaped like tealights? they’re now my new best friends, because i can use them for all kinds of arrangements without fear of the candles burning something, or the wax dripping over something. and they’re great for treetops, pathways, tabletops and especially for indoor use. i use them for a small wall-mounted sculpture with spaces for candles – this way, candle soot/smoke does not stain my walls. they last long too! (i buy mine by the dozen at handyman)

    Aug 5, 2012 | 5:24 pm

  23. Ceej says:

    I like the table arrangement! I’ve always dreamed of having a simple garden setup like this for outdoor dining.

    Aug 5, 2012 | 6:43 pm

  24. Andrea says:

    me too!

    Aug 5, 2012 | 10:15 pm

  25. joanie says:

    Its beautiful MM. That arrangement is something you see in a magazine.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 3:19 am

  26. EbbaBlue says:

    Old days in the linang at Quezon Provice, my tio and tia scatter around their house – semi-dried lansones peelings (mixed in some tree barks) and light them up creating a smoke. The scent is not nakka-sulasok, actually nice. Smoke repellant daw yon.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 4:43 am

  27. Cecile says:

    Good morning! All I can say is __ WOW! :)

    Aug 6, 2012 | 8:16 am

  28. Netoy says:

    love that last picture! ganda ng lighting effect. kudos!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 10:32 am

  29. jack says:

    As always ang ganda talaga ng table arrangements + masarap na food = successful and blockbuster na dinner for sure :)

    Aug 6, 2012 | 10:40 am

  30. corrine says:

    I like your table! Thanks for the tip about the mosquitos. It’s a real concern especially these days. What brand do you use? Please give tips also about how to shoo flies away during outdoor lunch. Really hate them!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 12:20 pm

  31. dhanggit says:

    i cant wait to see the rest of the photos of this dinner :-)

    Aug 6, 2012 | 5:58 pm

  32. W says:

    Hi Mr. MM,

    May I ask the size (L x W)of your 10-seater table please. Many Thanks and more power.



    Aug 6, 2012 | 11:38 pm

  33. Marvin Dalag says:

    Will someone please tell me where this place is? Thanks in advance. I would like to visit the place in December when I’m home for vacation.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 11:55 pm

  34. Amdd89 says:

    Hi MM, I’m curious, is the Zubuchon terrace for rent for small events? Tnx

    Aug 9, 2012 | 5:51 am

  35. Marketman says:

    Amdd89, yes, the terrace is available for small events, see posts here and here. There are three fixed menus. But with recent rains, an outdoor event is a bit iffy for the next couple of months… Please contact Zubuchon at 032.236.5264 for more information. Marvin, the terrace is in Cebu City, close to the provincial Capitol building. Thanks.

    Aug 9, 2012 | 7:33 am

  36. Marketfan says:

    I like the last photo the best. That molave tree is a treasure.

    Aug 9, 2012 | 12:31 pm

  37. GerryT says:

    Simply elegant! ang ganda! MM where can you buy those red outdoor chairs? Its almost the same as the chair sold in Crate and Barrel. Ty for all this awesome ideas… = )

    Aug 9, 2012 | 5:31 pm

  38. Marketman says:

    W, it is roughly 10 feet by 4 feet in width. GerryT, they are available from several retailers, including dimensione, etc.

    Aug 10, 2012 | 9:23 am

  39. W says:

    Thanks Sir MM! All the best!

    Aug 11, 2012 | 3:32 pm

  40. GerryT says:

    Ty MM! =)

    Aug 17, 2012 | 7:10 am

  41. Lambchop says:

    Beautiful table setting as always, MM!

    Aug 21, 2012 | 8:01 pm


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