4. J.C. Penny Launch of Philippine Made Products | November 11, 1989
Then President Cory Aquino made a monumental partnership with Trammel Crow from J.C. Penny, a US chain of department stores. The parties agreed to have J.C. Penny distribute Philippine products in all of its US branches. For this agreement’s launch in Dallas, a six-membered team from Via Mare was given the crucial task of catering the important event.
With Via Mare’s experience in cooking for important people and for international events multiplying, the J.C. Penny launch would have been an easy task. However, the guests amounted to a whopping 400, leaving the team absolutely under manned. With the well-known work ethic of Via Mare’s Glenda Barretto at full force, the team was able to pull the event off. They asked help from the staff of Via Mare’s L.A. branch and Ms. Glenda was even rendered sleepless, working all night to prepare 1,000 pieces of lumpia by herself.
3. Visit of Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar | July 1, 2000
It’s not every day or even every month that another world leader visits the Philippines. For rare events when Pinoys welcome guests whom are considered the most important person in their respective countries, what those guests will be served to eat is of pivotal importance. Via Mare was trusted to take the wheel for the Spanish President’s visit, and the restaurant slash catering service definitely did not disappoint.
Not only did Via Mare serve scrumptious dishes, they made sure that each one was diplomatically correct. One of the dishes to be served to the Spanish President consisted of lapu-lapu fish, but Via Mare refused to serve a dish that could evoke bitter memories of the Filipino warrior who defeated Spanish forces. After all, it would’ve been tragic if the Spanish President got offended for being reminded of the battle between Lapu-lapu and Ferdinand Magellan.
2. Madrid Fusion Manila | April 24-26, 2015
Pinoy foodies were blessed to experience one of the world’s biggest culinary events, Madrid Fusion, just last year. It was the first time the event was held outside Spain, so it was definitely crucial that things go smoothly. Via Mare was carefully chosen to be in charge of Madrid Fusion’s VIP spread, catering to prominent delegates, chefs and premium pass holders. The organizers were so impressed with the calibre of Via Mare’s food and service that it led the way for being tasked to do an even bigger international event.
1. APEC | 1996 and 2015
The top-notch performance of Via Mare’s catering team in Madrid Fusion Manila sealed the deal for Via Mare being chosen as the APEC caterer of 2015. Also being the caterer during the APEC of 1996 probably played a role in the APEC organizers choosing Via Mare again.
Aside from being a crucial gathering for world leaders, the recent APEC events served as a mini-reunion for the staff behind-the-scenes as well. The waiters, head chefs, butlers, flower suppliers and catering staff were so happy to see each other again and to reminisce about the 1996 APEC.