Meet the All-Star Chefs of the Philippine Food Industry

These culinary giants built the Filipino food industry from the ground up.


This March 2017, we celebrate 10 years of wonderful food and excellent stories told through the pages of Yummy magazine.  The food industry of the Philippines is definitely one worth celebrating—but what would it be without these culinary pioneers who spent years building it? Meet the men and women behind the rise of Filipino cuisine.


There are those whose influences cut through decades—Sylvia Reynoso-Gala and her iconic Reynoso Cooking School that has been up for 47 years now; Glenda Barretto, the woman behind the legendary restaurant Via Mare; Myrna Segismundo, whose work in food and development merge into one; and Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, pioneers known for bringing Filipino cuisine into the international spotlight—and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t fall in love with our food?



“[Filipino food] has an influence of Spanish, Chinese, and Malaysian food,” explains Heny Sison, who founded one of the premiere baking schools in the country.


“Each and every island has a distinct flavor that we have to discover,” says Gene Gonzalez, the chef behind the Center for Asian Culinary Studies and Café Ysabel. “I love cooking with all our native Filipino ingredients.”


“I think that the most prominent flavor in our cuisine is sourness, and what’s great about our food being prominently sour is that you have to balance it out with all the other flavors like salty, sweet, bitter, and umami,” says Margarita Forés, Asia’s Best Female Chef of 2016 and the woman behind restaurants Cibo, Lusso, and Grace Park.



Jessie Sincioco, whose 34 years in the industry as one of the country’s best pastry chefs gushes over a favorite: “Filipino food is comfort food. I can have tinola every day!”



“What’s not to love? Kamayan, bagoong, kanin,” chimes author, artist, and champion of regional cooking Claude Tayag.


Reggie Aspiras, whose work is focused on teaching cooking classes and on food journalism, locks in on her love for Filipino cuisine perfectly:  “Sarap. It’s everything that’s wonderful, everything that’s brought to the table. Happy times.”  



Read more about the Philippine industry’s culinary icons in Yummy magazine’s March issue—a special Collector’s Edition issue to celebrate our 10th anniversary! 


Grab a copy at bookstores and supermarkets, or purchase a digital edition:


Recommended Videos

Most Popular Recipes

My Agile Privacy
We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on By continued use, you agree to our privacy policy and accept our use of such cookies. Find out more here.
Warning: some page functionalities could not work due to your privacy choices