Sandie Romulo Squillantini and her husband Enzo Squillantini conceptualized the idea of celebrating the legacy of Sandie’s famous grandfather, General Carlos P. Romulo, through the medium of food. Together with their partners Ivy Almario, Yong Nieva, Liana Romulo and Irene Montemayor they set up Romulo Café in Manila, and Liana filled the restaurant with photographs & mementos of his family, friends and other world leaders.
Growing up in Kasiyahan (the Filipino word for ‘happiness’), the name of the sprawling family compound, Sandie, her sister Rowena, and their parents, many cousins, uncles and aunts would all gather in the ‘big house’ for their meals. Presiding over a table laden with such unforgettable home-cooked favourites as Chicken Relleno and Kare-Kare was their elegant grandmother, a former beauty queen, Doña Virginia Llamas Romulo. When she passed away in 1968, she left behind reams of recipes, many of which had been passed down to her by her own mother and other relatives.
Meanwhile, their grandfather’s epicurean tastes were legend and still growing, cultivated during years following a distinguished war career when he served as Philippine Ambassador to the United States, as President of the United Nations General Assembly (his signature is on the UN charter) and finally as the longest serving Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines. He was also the first and only Filipino to win a Pulitzer Prize and awarded the highest American civilian award, Medal of Freedom. And he loved food, especially Filipino food and ice cream. (carlospromulo.org)