Meet The Chef: Jayjay Sycip
How would you describe the evolution of your cooking style from when you were starting out in a professional kitchen up until today?
When I was new in the industry, I was always looking into the trends and always followed what was cool and new but now I'm more into mastering the classics and really enhancing it.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a chef?
I can say that the best thing about being a chef is being able to do what I love day-in and day-out. Of course, being a chef also means working long hours, no holidays, and not much family time.
Which chef would you consider as your biggest inspiration?
Gordon Ramsay. If you dig into his story or just get to watch clips of him online, you can tell that he has this thing for excellence in everything he does. I think that would be the best thing to be inspired about and look where it has brought him.
In your perspective, is cooking more of an art or a science?
Both, you cannot cook without knowing the science behind the processes and the whys as well.
If you didn’t become a chef, what would you be doing today?
Being a chef has always been a dream of mine, so it’s difficult to imagine me not being a chef today. But if I were to answer that question, I would probably be a lawyer or psychologist.
If you were to cook the perfect meal at home, what will you prepare?
Spaghetti Bolognese. Because it may seem easy but if not done right it just doesn't "give it you".
If you could cook for any person in the world today, who would it be and why?
My chef instructor who pushed me harder than anyone else because he wanted me to succeed and excel. When you have that one person who really pushed you and someone who you can say is responsible for a lot of things you’ve achieved, you just want to be able to share everything you’ve learned with that person.
How does your experience translate into Verbena’s kitchen?
I think when you start in this industry you have so much that you want to do and once you have matured and let all that steam out you just want to cook and enjoy.
Moving forward, what’s the plan for Restaurant Verbena?
Let's just say we have something in the pot cooking.
As he takes on the new executive chef role at Restaurant Verbena, Chef Jayjay looks into sustainability—sourcing fresh, quality ingredients from the local farms in Tagaytay. His direction is headed towards knowing where his food is coming from, as well as supporting the local farmers of Tagaytay. With over a decade’s experience, Chef Jayjay is eager to set on a new journey of teaching, learning, and a good deal of cooking at Restaurant Verbena of Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay.
Restaurant Verbena is located in Discovery Country Suites, along 300 Calamba Road, San Jose, Tagaytay City, 4120 Philippines. For inquiries and reservations, call (02) 5298172, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.discoverycountrysuites.com.