National Bookstore recently brought into Manila and Cebu four New York Times best-selling female authors to sign books and meet with fans. Zubuchon had the opportunity, on two separate dates, to host dinners on our garden terrace in Cebu for the authors and other guests. Kiera Cass, Alyson Noel, Melissa de la Cruz and Margaret Stohl write mainly young adult or teen novels and some of them have upwards of 20 books written and millions of copies sold. I have to admit I have never read one of their books but some of the kids of our managers had, and we were all thrilled to have them as guests.
We set up one of the classic feasts for each of the evenings, and an extra dose of flowers (we always lose money on these dinners when I do the flower shopping, but we consider it good PR and it’s always our pleasure to leave foreign visitors with a good impression) and prayed for an absence of rain which the powers that be provided for several hours during each dinner despite the otherwise stormy conditions.
The menu was made up of lechon and several other dishes, with a few more grilled seafood items thrown on in case guests weren’t too keen on meat. Several salads and vegetable dishes provided a meatless option as well.
Large vases of tropical blooms on the buffet table and lots and lots of candles in glass votive holders and capiz dotted the venue.
We created vases from fresh bamboo and filled them with rosal (gardenia) leaves and lots of white roses on the dinner table.
Large anthurium leaves were laid directly on the table, partly to cover some blemishes on the all-natural wooden “picnic” tables.
The authors had grueling schedules and I feared they would pass out from jetlag at dinner, having just arrived a day or so before, but they seemed to have really enjoyed their meals and I know they tweeted and instagram-ed updates of the meal and the food so I guess that was a mission well accomplished. Thanks to Xandra Ramos-Padilla for insisting that the dinners be held on the Zubuchon terrace, and for fearlessly insisting they be done outdoors despite the potentially disastrous weather conditions. :)