See How Chef Jessie Sincioco Makes Afternoon Tea Special

    A mainstay of the Manila dining scene for the last decade, Jessie Sincioco, fondly known as Chef Jessie considers merienda as “the only meal I can serve and enjoy with friends,” owing to the very busy lunch and dinner service at her eponymous restaurant, Chef Jessie. Bay windows overlook the space and let in natural light, making it the perfect place for a light, breezy meal.

    “My afternoon tea has at least three to four different tea sandwiches, an assortment of five to six kinds of French pastries, quiche, sherry trifle or cream pots, freshly-baked scones with homemade jams and clotted cream and an assortment of teas,” she says. For her choice of table accouterments, she says her tastes lean towards the practical and contemporary, because the central element should always be the food. “I consider excellent food to be my entertaining trademark,” says Chef Jessie. “I make sure that my guests are really happy and satisfied with what I serve them.”

    Although entertaining is not a regular activity for her, it is all the more special when relatives and friends from overseas visit. “An ideal guest list for me should have all the people I would like to spend precious time with. Normally, I invite according to groups.” A merienda she put together had Rafael and Yvonne Romualdez on the guest list, where the conversation was lively and plentiful. “I prepare everything myself: food, set up, including flowers because I want my guests to feel that they are very important to me.” After all the preparation, the busy chef says her most favorite part of a gathering is “when I finally get to sit down and is able to give undivided attention to my guests.”

    Chef Jessie’s Tips for Entertaining

    1. Our preparation should revolve around the people we invite. Remember our main goal is to make our guests happy and feel welcomed. 
    2. We should be choosing accents, flowers, the music, your color motif and especially the selection of food  that we know our guests will truly appreciate and enjoy.
    3. Research on their favorite dishes to surprise them and create a memorable and unforgettable occasion.


    1. Whiskey as the Centerpiece: Kevin Tan at the Dalmore Lounge 
    2. Comfort Food on Heirlooms: Dette's Delectable Dinner Spread 
    3. Fruits and Flowers in Bountiful Display: Emmeline Villar's Dinner of Abundance 

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