OUR FAV 5 Filipino Chefs are not the most-glam, eccentric, or highest-ranking chefs we know. But they are the chefs who standout, and have inspired us with their passion and who have taken that passion and created amazing lives for themselves and their families. Some of the seemingly most-simple chefs, are the most-inspirational to us.
Truth is, too often, in the Philippines -and around the world- good restaurants, food, cuisine and pastries are believed to need to be high-end, or hard to pronounce to be good. The majority of the Icons in the food & beverage industry at-large, have flocked to the elite, ‘bonga’ and exclusive clientele niche. Often, the ‘passion’ or ‘soul’ of the food is lost.
Nonetheless, with literally hundreds of restos, bistros, chefs, bakeries and exclusive eateries in our Rolodex, we decided to give you the insider list of our FAV 5 who we love to go to when we ARE NOT on media duty.
Jam Melcor is an amazing in-office -and home- solution to fast-food lunches; and he is the sexy secret of many celebrities, models and fitness trainers we know. Carl Ignacio, he has an awesome concept and one which we admire as he helps others gain independence and financial freedom by being food-stand-style resto entrepreneurs, The Laudico’s were one of our early features and have inspired us since we first came to the Philippines, they represent our ‘relationship goals’ husband and wife duo who took their unified passion home dinning and entertainment to new levels.
Our long-time friend Romar Deinla is one of our favorites because, well, we simply love happy people, good times AND buffalo wings! Thea Alberto, blew us away with here tasty creativity, while we were with one of our US Embassy Diplomat friends and contributors who she made amazing Philippines lifestyle cupcakes for his going away party; and again later for an expat entrepreneur networking event where she catered the sweet treats area…needless to say, we stayed by her display, which was perfectly placed by the wine bar.
Chef Jam Melchor is the owner of Healthy Eats, a fusion of Filipino favorites and healthy choices which has given a new twist on typically unhealthy Filipino recipes. Jam has created an innovative niche with the celebrity, model, fitness and health conscious market in the Philippines with his anti-fast food, made-from-scratch, daily-delivered meals programs.
Carl Ignacio is celebrity in the Philippines that has taken his passion for food and created Yakamoto Asian Noodles & Sushi. Carl Ignacio’s Yakamoto, is a franchise-style restaurant business which uses his celebrity, business savvy and love for tasty authentic Asian food to the masses, as well as, gives a unique business opportunity to local entrepreneurs.
A native of Valenzuela, Philippines inspired by his love for family, Carl sees the need for independence and opprotunities which will empower families in the Philippines.
The Laudicos, Roland and Jackie Laudico are a dynamic -husband and wife- duo who started their now fabulous restaurant business from their home dining with friends and family. Now, with hundreds of catering clients, as well as multiple restaurants across the Metro, The Laudico’s are an inspiration for us all.
We first worked with the Laudico’s while we were still in the United States and needed fabulous food for our models for a PH MAG International cover shoot in Pasay City, Philippines.
Now open Chef Laudico’s Feast; located on the Ground Level, BPO 1 of SM City, just right across from The Radisson Inn Clark, offers a wide spread of dishes, from all time pinoy favorites to amazing fusion dishes, each recipe is made from the freshest ingredients with all natural spices and flavoring.
“My passion for great and hip food comes from seeing the smiles on the faces of my happy customers’ faces.”
Romar Deinla is a native of Lipa City, Philippines and has grown his passion for art, music, international lifestyle, great food, good times, and chicken wings into an emerging business venture. Deinla is an amazing tattoo artists, rasta man, as well as, an all-around chef, making scrumptious Filipino, and international dishes alike. However, his fan specialty is his 15 flavors of Buffalo Wings; specifically, Buffalo Station fans love the Classic, Cheesy Garlic and Spicy BBQ.
We first met Deinla when he was showcased as the hip-hop expat for fun-loving lifestyle expats at his tattoo shop/resto bar where guest enjoyed sing-alongs, while getting permanent and henna tattoos, over a cold bucket of beer. Then, we visited his Mediterranean-style, family resort in Tagaytay City where we met the team and tasted amazing medi-centric dishes and enjoyed hookah next to the pool.
“What inspired my was my love for baking began when I was just 5-years old. When I came home from school one day and saw my mom baking macaroons in a “magic oven”, I just fell in love with the sweet smell. From that moment on, I would always watch my mom every time she baked. I was in High School when I started baking semi-professionally and initially took orders from family and friends.”
Thea Alberto and her Delamor Sweet Treats, has made a name for herself as one of the most-creative Pastry Chef’s in the Philippines catering the unique visions of her clients. From amazing kiddy parties, to diplomats, bachelor and bachelorettes, as well as corporate branding cakes and pastries, Thea has taken their theme themes to all-new levels.
Thea says her first love is baking and cooking. As a full-time entrepreneur, she loves independence, and being her own boss. Entrepreneurship, allows her more time for herself and her family. She says, “It’s not easy but worth it”. In her spare time, she does boxing and Zumba to keep fit and healthy. Her goal in life is to share what she knows and to pass what she has learned to those people who have the same passion.