Beautiful Proposal Atop The Eiffel Tower

Nico Garcia, Goldee Salcedo, Proposal, Eiffel Tower, Le Jules Verne

Nico Garcia, Goldee Salcedo, Proposal, Eiffel Tower, Le Jules VerneI have the honor of announcing the engagement of Makati Congressional bet and 3-term Magallanes Councilor Nico Garcia to the gorgeous and gregarious entrepreneur/baker/leadership and management trainer and consultant/supersister/superdaughter/supergirl Goldee Salcedo.

Finally! 🙂

Nico and Goldee have been a couple for eight years running. After keeping everyone in suspense, both heaven and earth are rejoicing that they are finally to be wed!

Nico proved to be a true romantic and proposed in no less than the Eiffel Tower in the City of Love.

Unbeknownst to Goldee, Nico followed us to Europe and was to surprise her at dinner on our first evening in Paris.

And surprise he did!

We were so lucky to get reservations at Le Jules Verne, the incomparable Michelin-starred restaurant of culinary legend Chef Alain Ducasse in the Eiffel Tower. (Chika lang – this was the same restaurant where Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes … and the same restaurant where French President Emmanuel Macron brought US President Donald Trump when Trump visited Paris for Bastille Day just this July.)

Once we were seated at our table, Nico snuck up behind Goldee to give her flowers … and an engagement ring!

The gentlemen over at Le Jules Verne (thank you, Monsieurs Didi and Jean Jacques!), The Duchess and I “collaborated” like millennials and got it all on video:

Look at their beaming smiles after the proposal … Goldee will kill me for posting that lower pic because her eyes are closed but it’s the one that shows how deliriously happy she was!

Goldee Salcedo, Nico Garcia, Eiffel Tower, Engagement, LoveRead the full story in today’s First Class in the Inquirer:

Margaux Salcedo, First Class, Inquirer column, food writer, Philippines, Nico Garcia, Goldee Salcedo, engagement, Le Jules Verne, Alain Ducasse, Michelin, Eiffel Tower, proposal, Tom CruiseHere’s the link:

Congratulations, Goldee and Nico!


Downtown Cafe: Pinoy ’50s Diner in Pampanga

Downtown Cafe, Angeles, Pampanga

Here’s Part 2 of my column First Class published 21 August 2016, Sunday, in the Philippine Daily Inquirer + more pics🙂 I wrote about a recent day trip to Pampanga. Went with a few doctors of my dad, whom we met when they were just residents and now they have finished their fellowships!

Part 1 here: Sau del Rosario’s Cafe Fleur

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Downtown Cafe


Claude Tayag is another famous Capampangan celebrity chef, or as he was called at the Mission Manila dinner during Madrid Fusion, El Kusinero.

He is better known for Bale Dutung, his home, showroom and private dining space with his lovely Capampangan wife Mary Ann Quioc. This is the place No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain visited and loved—a place that is ironically by reservation only and for a minimum guest list of around 12.

Thankfully, the Tayags have opened Downtown Cafe. While it is by no means Bale Dutung, which is an incomparable experience, Downtown has a charm of its own, with its diner vibe complete with jukebox and a Coke ad with the stunning Gloria Romero. The big bonus, of course, is that we can now get a taste of Claude Tayag’s cooking every day.


Best on the menu is the duck. In classic Claude Tayag humor, the menu reads “What’s Up, Duck?” The duck leg confit is salted and slow-cooked for two hours; you eat it Peking Duck-style, with wrappers.

The star of the menu of late, though, is the bringhe, which won the the People’s Choice Award at the 8th Annual Embassy Chef Challenge in Washington D.C. last May.


The waiters call it bringhe pizza; it felt like a morphing of bibingka galapong and paella. It’s a fun, unique snack.

On a rainy day, have a cup of their barako. Really Filipino and really good coffee. I bet coffee guru Chit Juan would approve.

PS Really loved the interiors. Look – Royal Tru Orange before “Joey”/RJ Ledesma …
Our friend Dr Jill Tabora also had this super refreshing dessert:
I was too stuffed from eating so much at Cafe Fleur, Everybody’s Cafe and Susie’s that I could really only eat this:
But we were excited to dance to the music from the jukebox … or maybe from our minds – naloka na sa busog haha. (The jukebox doesn’t really work.)

Thanks so much to our #LafangMD friends for a great time!!! Isser and Pau, thanks for being such wonderful tour guides! Mabuhay ang Angeles!!1956 Downtown Cafe by Bale Dutung. 1 Plaridel St., Nepo Quad, Angeles City. 0917-5359198. More info at

Part 1: Cafe Fleur
Part 2 of 3