Of Splendid Cuisine and Fond Memories
The Legacy of Via Mare
How It All Started
How It All Started
On September 5, 1975, led by Glenda Rosales Barretto and a group of friends, they raised the curtains to the first Via Mare Restaurant. Located in Legaspi Makati, the foundation of our company was a Fine Dining Seafood Restaurant, hence “Via Mare”, which is latin for “Way of The Sea”.
VIA MARE CATERING
VIA MARE CATERING
A clamor for the refined service of Via Mare prompted the management to establish it’s Catering Division. Since then,
No other Filipino restaurant has been the top-of-mind when it comes to hosting dinners for dignitaries, heads of state, international celebrities, and international events.
From beauty queens during the 1995 Miss Universe pageant in Manila, the papal visit of then Pope John Paul II, the 1996 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, the gala of the Philippine-run of West End’s Miss Saigon, the 2007 ASEAN Summit in Cebu, the weddings of illustrious families, and other milestones in Philippine history, Via Mare was always the top choice.
In the photos (top to bottom) : (1) Glenda Barretto at a very young age, (2) Glenda Barretto’s recent photo (3) Book, “Via Mare: 40 Years of iconic event, through menus, recipes, and memories.”
With Ms. Glenda Barretto herself leading the Catering kitchen, Via Mare has been hailed by different international food societies, among them are…
- Chaine des Rotisseurs Baillage de Manille
- Food and Wine Society
- American National Restaurant Association
- Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines
- Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation.
Throughout the decades, we have been privileged to serve our countries’ most prominent guests and delegates.
We have been trusted in handling our country’s most delicate affairs,
most notable being:
- King Fahd
- Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda
- King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain
- Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore
- President Gerald Ford
- Then California Governor Ronald Reagan
- President Bill Clinton
- His Holiness Pope John Paul II
- England’s Princess Margaret
- Pakistan’s Prime Minister Bhutto
- India’s Prime Minister Indira Ghandi
- Princess Caroline of Monaco
- US Secretary of State George P. Schultz
- The Queen of Malaysia
Our team has had the pleasure to serve our country’s milestones both local and international
- Madrid Fusion
- ASEAN Ministerial Conference
- Miss Universe 2016
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- World Law Conference
- 8th World Congress of Aneaesthesiologists
- World Advertising Congress
- Miss Universe 1994
- Manila International Film Festival
- Federation Dentaire Internationale
Her experience with King Carlos and Queen Sofia seems to be one of the most nerve-wracking moments for her. After she finished all preparations for the feast, the royal couple invited her to join them for the meal. "Due to protocol, everyone waited for the king to start. However, he did not move an inch! That scared me... It turns out, he was juts admiring the (pumpkin soup) bowl - the pumpkin itself was used as a container."
One of her fondest memories included encounters with Carlos P. Romulo, once the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States and Minister of Foreign Affairs, whose handwritten thank-you letters sum up the experience and joy of working with and being served by Glenda Barretto: “You are the life of Via Mare.”
Veteran restaurateur Glenda Barretto is the one in charge of serving food to beauty queens and guests during the 65th Miss Universe Governor's Ball at the SMX Convention Center. She was the same caterer of the 43rd Miss Universe pageant held in 1994 at the Philippine International Convention Center.
The LTB Philippines Chefs Association handed out the inaugural Culinary Icon Award to Via Mare’s Glenda Barretto. The ceremony was held during the Madrid Fusion Manila Congress. Mrs. Barretto's unparalleled contribution to the Philippine culinary industry was presented via video. Her career spans over four decades of being a trendsetter, of proudly promoting local cuisine, of impressing dignitaries, and of inspiring countless lives.
On September 5, 1975, the first branch of Via Mare opened its doors on the second floor of Acacia Building. Old-timers will remember the time when Greenbelt was just a park with an aviary and a few buildings surrounding it. Via Mare was ground-breaking in that it dared to be a Filipino fine-dining restaurant alongside local casual dining restaurants and fast-food outlets.
Glenda grew up eating good food cooked by her mother, father, and aunts in Samar. Because she was interested, she learned to cook. Her first business, though, was a flower shop that must have taught her the artistry of arrangement. Her husband urged her to open a restaurant, and the rest is history.