CHEF AL­LAN BRI­ONES

The scrappy kid from Sam­paloc is the very first Filipino ap­pointed as the Chef de Cui­sine of the Penin­sula’s Old Manila.

Let’s Eat - - WHAT'S INSIDE - WORDS BY SPANKY HIZON EN­RIQUEZ POR­TRAIT BY GABBY CANTERO

Al­lan Bri­ones holds a sin­gu­lar dis­tinc­tion. He’s the only Filipino to train un­der and work di­rectly with the le­gendary Marco Pierre White, the youngest chef ever to be awarded three Miche­lin stars. Al­lan be­longs to an elite fra­ter­nity of world­fa­mous celebrity chefs who trained un­der the fiery Bri­tish le­gend: Mario Batali, Gor­don Ram­say and Cur­tis Stone.

Born and raised in the city of Manila, the proud alum­nus of the Univer­sity of Santo To­mas chose a road less trav­elled af­ter high school: he en­rolled in the CCA, back in the day, two decades ago, when a ca­reer in the culi­nary arts was not con­sid­ered to be the prime ca­reer choice it is to­day. His ap­pren­tice­ship was at the Man­darin’s Tivoli, where he was men­tored by its Ex­ec­u­tive Chef, Nor­bert Gan­dler. It was be­com­ing clear, even as a young in­tern, that his tal­ent was al­ready quite ap­par­ent to the best culi­nary minds.

Armed with in­trin­sic kitchen skills and a deep sense of his destiny, he bid farewell to his lo­cal com­fort zone and rolled the dice for a ca­reer over­seas, one that led di­rectly to his in­valu­able years with Chef Marco: first in Lon­don, then in Dubai. The most im­por­tant les­son? “Give your in­gre­di­ents the re­spect they de­serve and they will shine.”

It’s ac­tu­ally one he first learned from his great­est in­flu­ence. No, not White nor Gan­dler. As a young boy, he loved ac­com­pa­ny­ing his mother to the mar­ket, and he re­mem­bers how she would pur­chase only the most ex­pen­sive pro­duce. When he asked her why she spent so much for her fam­ily, her an­swer was sim­ple, di­rect and true: “Be­cause I’m feed­ing my chil­dren.” An in­deli­ble les­son from the most im­por­tant teacher in his life

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