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Gaggan remains the Best Restaurant In Asia, and Gallery Vask the Best Restaurant in the Philippines |

Food and Leisure

Gaggan remains the Best Restaurant In Asia, and Gallery Vask the Best Restaurant in the Philippines

IN BETWEEN DEADLINES - Cheryl Tiu - The Philippine Star

BANGKOK, Thailand — The Philippine flag was proudly waved onstage at the W Bangkok when Gallery Vask chef Chele Gonzalez, and partners Carlo Calma and Paula Cortez, received their award. Gallery Vask, which entered the prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list at No. 39 last year, moved up four places to No. 35. It was the only restaurant from the Philippines on the list, earning them the title of Best Restaurant in the Philippines for the second year in a row.

It is important for me to make clear that Gallery Vask (anthropological cuisine served in a tasting menu) is a completely different restaurant from Vask Tapas Room (modern Spanish tapas), although they are adjacent to each other on the fifth floor of the Clipp Building at Bonifacio Global City.

“This win is so meaningful for us,” said Calma, who is also a noted architect and designed the space. “Because to win once means you’re good. To win twice must mean that you’re onto something really, really good, so we’re excited to continue this journey.”

Added Gonzalez, who is originally from Torrelavega in northern Spain, “I want to thank the Philippines for welcoming me with open arms and allowing me to grow as a chef and artist.”


Number One For Three Years In A Row


Gaggan in Bangkok remains the best restaurant in Asia for the third year in a row, a win that chef-owner Gaggan Anand dedicated to his baby daughter, Tara, and his staff of 67. It was a positive, forward-moving Top 5 this year: Andre Chiang’s Restaurant Andre (Singapore) moved up to take the No. 2 spot; Richard Ekkebus’ Amber (Hong Kong) rose to No. 3; Umberto Bombana’s 8 ½ Otto E Mezzo Bombana (Hong Kong) leaped up nine spots to No. 4 — the “king of truffles” is also this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award; and David Thompson’s Nahm (Thailand) moved up three spots to No. 5

It was a big year for Thailand as four new restaurants entered the list: L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Bangkok (No. 40), Le Du (No. 37), House on Sathorn (No. 36), and Suhring (No. 13). This was the last year for Asia’s 50 Best in Bangkok; the awards ceremony will be moving to another city next year.

The six other new entries include: Ronin (Hong Kong, No. 45), Mume (Taiwan, No. 43), The Tasting Room by Galliot (Macau, No. 39), Jade Dragon (Macau, No. 32), Florilege (Japan, No. 14) — and the highest jumper, Julien Royer’s Odette (Singapore) which landed straight at No. 9! (Royer will be visiting the Philippines this April as part of Madrid Fusion Manila.)


Upcoming Unicef Ball In The Philippines With Asia’s Best Female Chefs


Also in attendance was Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2016, our very own Margarita Fores, with son, Amado. On March 4, Fores will be cooking at the first Unicef Children’s Ball at the Peninsula Manila, alongside Asia’s Best Female Chefs, Bo Songvisava (Bo.Lan, Thailand, 2013), Lanshu Chen (Le Moût, Taiwan, 2014) and Vicky Lau (Tate Dining Room and Bar, Hong Kong, 2015). The event, organized by businessman Patrick Pesengco of LAJ Philippines-Lego, is for the benefit of the creation of national centers for children with disabilities. Tickets are priced at P15,000 (for four courses) and 100 percent of the sales will go to the National Centers for Children with Disabilities. For more information and reservations, contact Maida Salcedo at or 0917-874-2408.

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For the full list of Asia’s 50 Best winners, visit

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