How Do the Owners of Locavore Throw Their Private Dinner Parties?

    Part of the experience of walking into a dinner party prepared by the women behind Locavore is savoring the appetizing aromas that waft through the kitchen. Dishes laid out on their table are made from scratch using only ingredients that are sourced locally. Entertaining has become second nature to proprietors Tin Magasaysay-Matic, Carla Magsaysay and Alta Lyttle especially after Locavore, a restaurant celebrated for experimental Filipino dishes like Sizzling Sinigang, Sugpo con Mayonesa and Oyster Sisig, first opened.

    Prior to joining the food industry, the girls grew up knowing their way around the kitchen. “We started preparing meals for guests when we were in high school and my super strict parents refused to let us go out. We were instead encouraged to invite friends over to visit. We would cook for them and prepare drinks,” recalls Tin. Her sister Carla adds that they were not allowed to bother help especially late at night so they’ve had to learn food preparation independently. “We had to make do of what was available in the pantry and so that meant we had to be creative.” It was while entertaining at the Magsaysay home or rest house in Zambales when popular dishes now being served at Locavore were conceived. “I can cook but I am usually the one who takes care of the cocktails. I’m very particular about my drinks so I’ve ended up creating new concoctions for guests when we have parties,” adds Carla.

    Alta, who is a close friend of the Magsaysay sisters, is into crafts. She travels to various parts of the world to seek out unique décor, flatware and linen. Although she also likes to prepare dishes from scratch when entertaining, she finds the most joy in creating festive table settings. “It’s therapeutic and it brings out my creativity.” Flea markets in Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia are places where she often finds interesting pieces to add to her table settings.

    In much that same way that they manage their business, the three proprietors often entertain as a collective either in a home or at the restaurant. They each take on roles in making sure that their dinners are unforgettable. Alta usually fusses over the table setting with almost clinical precision. “She’s extremely OC,” the sisters tease. Tin will most likely call out for help in plating her famous Sugpo con Mayonesa or Longganisa Pasta. These are recipes she proudly calls her own, conceived either by accident or out of a need to improvise on the last minute. Carla, meanwhile, will make sure guests are refreshed by whipping up something out of the ordinary like gin tonic with crushed kamias. Good food, lively settings and creative cocktails aside, it is company that the three deem as most important for a successful dinner. “We love bringing crazies together. It’s the crazy, the crazier and the craziest. We have a Whatsapp thread and it’s called ‘The Wildlings.” Go figure.”

    Fruits in season also make for colorful additions to a modern Filipino spread

    Fruits in season also make for colorful additions to a modern Filipino spread

    Sugpo con Mayonesa was first created during a trip to Zambales when Tin had to prepare food for a large group of friends on the spot

    Sugpo con Mayonesa was first created during a trip to Zambales when Tin had to prepare food for a large group of friends on the spot

    SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THEIR FILIPINO DINNER PARTY…

    Tin's Longganisa Pasta With Beer

    Ingredients:

    1 kilo Zambales longganisa

    4 heads of garlic (crushed)

    3 red onions

    3 to 6 pcs of sili labuyo

    Stewed tomatoes

    Beer

    Olive oil

    Crushed black pepper

    Salt

    Sugar

    Preparation:

    1. Fry longganisa and remove skin.
    2. Add crushed garlic, chopped labuyo and fry until golden.
    3. Add a splash of beer.
    4. Mix in stewed tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and sugar.
    5. Combine sauce with pasta and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

    How To Throw A Fun and Modern Filipino Feast

    1. Don’t be afraid to try new dishes or even deconstruct them. Find something that you love about a certain dish and apply it to other proteins.
    2. Know your local suppliers and make an effort to get your fresh produce from them.
    3. Know tradition before you innovate. Research on the origins of the dishes you want to prepare and make revisions from there.
    4. Have fun while preparing for your dinner. It’s good to host as a group and have a good bottle of red or refreshing cocktails while getting ready in the kitchen.
    5. When it comes to drinks, always, always go for premium spirits. This is to ensure that you don’t suffer from painful hangovers the following day.

    Text by Bianca Salonga
    Photography by Floyd Jhocson

    SEE MORE RECIPES, TABLESCAPES AND ENTERTAINING TIPS FROM THE MOST DISCERNING HOSTS AND HOSTESSES OF MANILA IN LIFESTYLE ASIA'S COFFE TABLE BOOK RSVP LIFESTYLE AVAILABLE IN LEADING BOOKSTANDS OR HAVE IT DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR HOME BY TEXTING 0925 558 7929. 

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