can’t believe that Christmas is just a month away. When you work two months in advance on an issue, you simply lose track of time. And now, it’s November already! But no matter how 2018 turned out for you, time goes on—we have to live, learn, and move on.
In this issue, we start by highlighting the 50 Gastronomes in Asia, a list of individuals who are making a difference in the food and beverage scene in the region. Then get to know the eight hottest chefs who are cooking up a storm in the Philippine culinary scene. While on the subject, we have an exclusive interview with Clare Smyth, MBE, hailed as the Best Female Chef by the 2018 Word’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards.
Moving away from food and going to fashion, the TERNOCON, a terno design competition involving designers from all over the Philippines selected from three-day regional workshops conducted last year, is happening this month. The TERNOCON is an expression of the desire of its organisers to bring back the Philippine terno to its former glory. Kudos to Ben Chan, Inno Sotto, Gino Gonzales, and Margie Moran-Floirendo for this endeavour. My salute and full support!
Then, of course, we come to Berna RomuloPuyat, our cover lady for the month. I have known her for quite some time and have been cheering her on, especially after the death of her husband Dave, who was “the smiliest” man I know. As she raised her two children on her own, she continued to earn laurels in her government posts, especially as an Undersecretary of Agriculture, where she spearheaded the Madrid Fusión Manila while remaining a staunch advocate of the slow food movement.
Today, the gargantuan task of the Secretary of Tourism falls upon her. She inherits it from a controversial tenure, bearing the responsibility of the good and bad effects of the closure and reopening of the country’s most famous and visited spot, Boracay. And the list goes on. How will she succeed? Read “Woman on a Mission” (page 212) where she explains her plans and the pivotal role she is doing for the country. Her parting words, “Just work and stay away from politics and definitely love what you do.”
What has been obvious in the years I have known her is that beneath the beauty, politeness, and passion lie tenacity, strength, and integrity. I am definitely more than a friend; I am a fan who, like many in this country, is looking forward to seeing her succeed.