Chefs of the year
This was not a difficult choice. While there are many deserving of the accolade, one chef stood out, first among equals, for one very simple reason: he’s a true adventurer. Always breaking new culinary ground and exciting us the most with his food. While there are many excellent restaurants that opened this year, the biggest news is that of one restaurant’s closure. Hey Handsome ceased operations recently, no thanks to the harsh realities of operating in one of the country’s most expensive parcels of real estate. It will surely be sorely missed. But the restaurant flourished for two years, and in that short amount of time, became iconic, much as its chef patron’s first high profile restaurant, Your Local did in 2013. Many other great restaurants have become venues for celebrating occasions, but dining in Hey Handsome, was always an occasion in itself, a celebration of true culinary artistry and creativity, a true testament, and proof positive, of the pioneering spirit of Nicco Santos.
He’s already embarked on his next exploit, “Essential Goodness, for the Pilgrims”, a stunning all-day brunch destination on the roofdeck of the Lub d Hotel in Makati’s Poblacion. And in 2019, we can expect more of Chef Nicco’s bold, fearless new concepts to open. And for sure, they will be damn handsome.