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Spotlight What & Where Do Chefs Eat?

What & Where Do Chefs Eat?

What & Where Do Chefs Eat?
By Isabel Martel Francisco
August 17, 2018
Do you want to know where top chefs eat and what they like to cook for themselves? We asked some of the Philippines hottest names about their go-to’s and must-haves. Read on to find out where you should eat locally, and internationally:

NICCO SANTOS 

His two restaurants have been more than well-received in the market: Hey Handsome was named the most exciting opening for 2016 in Manila while its sister restaurant, Your Local, was the sole Filipino entry on Condé Naste Traveler’s 2016 list of best restaurants in the world to dine in. 

Where do you like to eat here in Manila?

Here, I like eating at Cafe Mediterranean, Ogawa, Cibo and Canton Road!

What do you like to prepare for yourself at home?

At home he likes to cook for his son -- bento boxes for school with his favourite dim sum!

What is your top restaurant in the world?

My current favourite is Kimme in Singapore.

HAPPY ONGPAUCO TIU

She is the chef behind the Happy Concept Group, which has 12 branches to its name, from Pamana, Hawaiian BBQ, Bento Box, WorldTopps, I Love Backyard Grill and My Happy Carts. The list does not end there, as she has also opened a bed and breakfast in Tagaytay, called The Boutique Bed & Breakfast, and a home service slimming clinic called, Slim at Home.

Where do you like to eat here in Manila?

For me, I like to go to People’s Palace, Sala Bistro, Tsukiji, Hey Joe and Lusso.

What do you like to prepare for yourself at home?

I like to cook beef bourguinon, porchetta and baked salmon

What is your top restaurant in the world?

Azurmendi! 

AARON ISIP

Internationally recognised Chef de Cuisine. Aaron won the Chef Espoir 2015 for Île de France by renowned guide, Gault et Millau and his restaurant in Paris, Dix-Huit, was named as one of the best restaurants Le Figaro in 2014. Aaron was recognised by the TV show Tres Tres Bon and received two Toques from the Gault et Millau guide 2015. He is planning on opening a restaurant here in the Philippines in the near future.  

Where do you like to eat here in Manila?

Tim Ho Wan for the Dim Sum and Via Mare for the Pancit Luglug. 

What do you like to prepare for yourself at home?

At home I like to make quick and easy pastas.

What is your top restaurant in the world?

In Paris, my favourites for comfort food are Song Heng for Bobun and Miznon for the Chicken Salad Pita! But, my favourite meals of all time are from Le Clarence and La Grenouillère. 

JORDY NAVARRA

Chef/Owner of Toyo Eatery is the recipient of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants' "One to Watch" award, cooked many beautiful meals with other celebrated chefs, and has spoken at Madrid Fusion Manila. 

Where do you like to eat here in Manila?

We tend to eat a lot in restaurants that are open late at night where we can relax and have a beer like Big Mama in Poblacion. For everyday favorites, Wildflour and Grace Park are amongst our go-to restaurants. For our Japanese cravings, Tsukiji on Pasay road is our favorite as well Coco Ichibanya for curry rice. Everyday lunch is either Panaderya Toyo or food from Mess Hall at Karrivin Plaza.

What do you like to prepare for yourself at home?

I rarely cook at home since we opened Toyo, but when I do, it tends to be very simple things like breakfast staples which we love to eat anytime of the day.

What is your top restaurant in the world?

Absolute favourite in world is difficult to answer! I like so many restaurants...it would be difficult to just say one. So I’ll just say...The food my mom prepares at home whenever we come to visit!

Photo: Ian Santos
Photo: Ian Santos

CHELE GONZALEZ

This master chef has been included in the top-list World’s Top 50 Best restaurants, for Gallery Vask, and is now the man behind Gallery by Chele, and Enye. He has done many international and local collaborations too. Chef Chele's international perspective and experience elevates his food and keeps us on our toes. 

Where do you like to eat here in Manila?

This depends very much if in manila and focus working or if I’m travelling in adventure mode.

If I’m really busy I will look for something comforting, something that make my body feel happy after the stress of working the restaurant. Soup is always the best option for me so I love ramen. I also love Chinese food and dim sum. Although it is always godo to try something new or exciting - I love to do that in my free moments especially with my wife. Last option for me is fast food, pizza or burgers. That will be the last option.

But when I’m travelling I’m so obsessive to plan where I’m going to eat and learn as much as I can that I have to plan everything and research intensely about the restaurant I have to choose... I love to eat good food and keep learning. I’m still very curious!

What do you like to prepare for yourself at home?

I like to prepare simple good food. Good ingredients cooked simply but to perfection. I do not want to spend too much time in the kitchen at home. I already do it at the restaurant, but I love to chose my ingredients and then cook so that I make the ingredients shine by themselves.

I love to cook eggs, specially for breakfast and I’m going to tell you a secret.... to me, egg is the most important ingredient because that is what I usually ate with my mom for dinner when I was a kid!!

What is your top restaurant in the world?

One of my top picks is Mugartiz. They know how to break the rules, experiment and push boundaries.

Photo: Kryss Rubio
Photo: Kryss Rubio

JOSH BOUTWOOD 

He is the chef behind the Bistro Group, Savage, The Test Kitchen, Helm, and soon-to-open, Burgers and Bits at The Grid, Rockwell. 

Where do you like to eat here in Manila?

I enjoy Toyo Eatery as a nice meal for me to bring friends and partners to. ALso our own casual dining restaurants like TGI Fridays and Italianni's for my kids. Because of expansion plans I am also spending time eating in food halls and box parks. I also love Wildflour.

What is your top restaurant in the world?

When I am home which is rarely, I usually cook one pot wonders purely to save the amount of washing up. SUndays is roast day so i usually roast up a chicken or some BBQ.

What is your top restaurant in the world?

Favourite internationally? That would be Daniel Berlin, Skane Trans in Sweden.

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