Sure, for his Philippine restaurant, Edi Tekeli would have wished a chef with a marquee title, and why not? But a relatively unlucky dialog with a movie star chef soured the concept completely for the businessman.
Tekeli, Manila’s former fashion mogul, was a common at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Beverly Hills, and he broached the concept of bringing Spago to the Philippines to its movie star chef-owner.
Tekeli nonetheless smarts from the brush-off.
“He said, ‘Why the Philippines? Singapore is the priority. There are better countries,’” he recollects Puck saying. “It hurt me a lot so I walked out. I got very offended because my children are Filipinos, and this is my country, my second home. I found it very arrogant.”
After 9 years of dwelling in Los Angeles, Tekeli is making a comeback as a restaurateur within the Philippines, the place he lived from 1980 till his transfer to the United States in 2006 to be together with his youngsters.
(In 1991, Tekeli signed with Georges Marciano to be the Philippine licensee of Guess. He additionally introduced within the Spanish fashion model Mango in 1999. He has since bought each companies. He additionally closed his Mango shops within the US in 2009 after the recession. The fashion market is now oversaturated, he says.)
About a month in the past, Tekeli and his good good friend, Century Properties chair, Ambassador Joey Antonio, opened the doorways to Paper Moon, an upscale eating franchise from Milan, on the rooftop of Knightsbridge Residences in Century City, Makati (open each day, 6-11 p.m., tel. 7938630).
Tekeli and Antonio, shut buddies for over 25 years now, have additionally partnered for the grasp franchise of Paper Moon in Asia and Australia.
Months in the past, the previous buddies got here to take a look at the open-air roof deck of Knightsbridge Residences to take pictures and absorb an unobstructed view of the town’s skyline.
Banking on the success of different rooftop eating places in main cities overseas, Tekeli has reworked the 65th flooring into a stylish, 176-seat white-tablecloth restaurant, wrapped throughout in panoramic glass, giving diners breathtaking views of the Makati enterprise district.
The 608-square-meter restaurant has darkish wooden panels and bamboo particulars, balanced with cool chrome and metal components. The recessed lighting lends a mellow, romantic temper at night time, towards the backdrop of the million twinkling lights of the town beneath and past.
There’s a massive, non-public VIP room with a lounge space, and a major bar across the pizza oven by the principle eating space, with plush chairs upholstered in shades of cream and coral. At the far finish is one other bar-lounge with a skylight.
The partitions have massive black-and-white portraits of stars from previous Hollywood.
Paper Moon serves what Tekeli boasts as “the best pizza,” baked in a stone oven from Italy. It’s no empty boast, you understand when you chew into the gloriously crisp, skinny crust, topped with the only of components: tomato sauce, paper-thin pepperoni slices, caramelized onions and mozzarella. It’s the Pizza Edi.
However, “I could get tired of the pizza, but the tiramisu I could eat every day,” he mentioned.
The bestseller is the pappardelle, the flat, broad noodles all made contemporary in-house, like all the opposite pastas.
Paper Moon—to not be confused with the Japanese dessert place of the identical title—is one in all Tekeli’s favourite eating places in his birthplace of Istanbul, and initially comes from Milan the place he grew up. (It was additionally in Milan the place the thrice-married, thrice-divorced Tekeli met his now second ex-wife, a Filipino mannequin, and mom of his 4 youngsters.)
Tekeli’s Paper Moon will quickly open in Hong Kong, at Harbour City and in Central. He will even open a second Paper Moon on the BMW showroom in BGC and, later, a steakhouse franchise on the Trump Tower additionally in Century City.
This quiet afternoon, earlier than the dinner service, Tekeli is dressed precisely as what he, maybe, imagines how his diners would: in a black tee beneath a pink linen jacket, black denims and white sneakers. Casual stylish, he describes it.
“Please don’t come in your beach outfit, we’re not in Boracay!” he says with a snort.
But why come again to the Philippines, in any case these years?
“This is my home,” he says. “It’s the only place I know by heart. The true friends of mine are here.”
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