LOOK who’s cooking now! It’s none other than controversial fashion designer Puey Quiñones, who turned the first level of his rooftop pad at Bel-Air Place in
Makati early this year into a dining venue for private parties.
Simply dubbed as Puey’s Penthouse, Quiñones’ latest venture is located at the corner of P. Burgos and Durban Streets. Thanks to its glass walls and a garden verandah, the sixth-story venue, which can accommodate up to 25 people for lunch and dinner, provides guests with a sweeping view of old Makati. Call 0916-776-3098.
“I can cater to as few as five people,” said Quiñones in a mix of Filipino and English. “But they have to make reservations at least a week in advance because I personally do the marketing and cooking. For big groups, I require at least a 50-percent down payment.”
Quiñones, a native of Samar, offers three set menus to choose from: Pinoy set; Continental set; and Samar set.
Our hosts chose the Samar set, which included crispy dilis, bulalo soup, salted egg salad with fresh lettuce and four kinds of vinegar, Samar-style laing, adobo with truffle and coconut milk sans soy sauce, and pork humba. Cooked with sugar and tablea or pure, old-fashioned chocolate bar, the latter dish is based on a recipe handed down by Quiñones’ grandmother.
“The crispy dilis, which I serve as an appetizer, is a personal favorite,” said Quiñones. “You can only find that variety in Samar. I used to have it almost everyday with fried rice and eggs for breakfast.”
Unknown to many, Quiñones, 32, despite his reputation as a party animal in Manila, loves to cook even as a youngster growing up in Samar. Apart from sporting cropped hair these days, he has also ditched his gender-bending skirts in favor of a white chef’s uniform without the toque.
To supplement his homegrown knowledge, he’s currently taking up culinary arts as a scholar at the Global City Innovative College in Taguig.
No more skirts
“I’m done with wearing skirts,” Quiñones said with a wink. “In fact, I don’t go out at night to parties anymore.”
There was a time, not too long ago, when the flamboyant designer did the party scene almost every night. After encountering a speed bump in his career sometime last year, he slowed down, withdrew from the social scene and retreated to Samar for a month.
“I was all set to start life anew in the States, but I changed my mind. I was deep in debt, and I didn’t want people to say that I was running away from my obligations,” he said.
(For a full version of this story, including the controversy Quiñones found himself in and how he dusted himself off and eventually reinvented himself, please read the November 8 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Lifestyle section or log on at http://www.inquirer.net starting tomorrow.)