yesterday the restaurant industry was all abuzz about the news circulating about larry cruz: yes, it was true. the philippines' most popular restaurateur had passed away. he was 66. many of his colleagues did not even know that he had cancer. last time we saw him was last november, having a hearty meal at elbert's steak room. he was in the US for treatment and unfortunately the cancer had spread so far so fast. read thelma san juan's tribute piece in inquirer here. what most people don't know about larry is that he didn't establish his name as a restaurateur but as a publisher. he was one of the pioneers of the glossy-magazine industry in the country when he launched metro magazine in the 80s. it was quite different from the fashion-magazine format that metro is today. it started out as a guide to the manila/city lifestyle. it was later purchased by ABS-CBN. then he became a pioneer in another industry, unwittingly establishing the café and bistro culture. back in the day, his café adriatico in malate was often the scene for kaffee klatschen, be it about politics, showbiz or high society. from that to his latest, fely J's, which recently opened in greenbelt 5 (if you love abe's, you'll love this, trust us), we're glad that he left a legacy that will live on in good food.
photo credit: shaira luna