Culinary geniuses at work: Richard Ekkebus and Chele Gonzalez.
Photos by Pepper Teehankee on a Leica C Digital Camera
Serie Kulynarya
THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2018 - 12:00am

Chef Chele Gonzalez, who is at the helm of Gallery by Chele (formerly called Vask and Gallery by Vask), continues to amaze me with his cooking, using primarily  local ingredients.

Recently, Chele launched “Serie Kulynaria,” a series of collaborative dinners to share the best of the Philippines to the world. With this concept, Chele aims to bring the world’s brightest culinary talents into his kitchen.

Featured first in the series is no less than chef Richard Ekkebus of Amber, ranked No. 56 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 and was awarded two Michelin stars by the Michelin Guide for Hong Kong and Macau 2018 for the 10th consecutive year. Richard is also the culinary director of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. He is a chef I truly admire.

Richard and Chele cooked their four-hands dinner for two consecutive nights but a very special lunch was held for a select few, myself fortunately included. 

The two chefs whipped up four “bites” for us before lunch. I was thrilled when I saw Richard’s famous “Chupa Chup” appetizer (foie gras covered in raspberry with beet root chips and gingerbread oxalis). I thoroughly enjoyed this appetizer in Amber Hong Kong and was very happy to have it again. 

Richard then prepared his signature dish, the Hokkaido sea urchin in lobster gelatin and cauliflower cream topped with caviar, which is undoubtedly my favorite dish in Amber.  He mentioned that when this was removed from the Amber menu in 2016, there was a petition to bring it back. Several people  even threatened to boycott the restaurant if it was not put back on the menu.  Of course, the dish is now back on the menu. It was heaven to have eaten this dish again. Another new dish I tried by Richard was the delectable black abalone with bean, tomato and pork chin.

Chele was also at par with his famous grilled octopus with chicken jus, and the melt-in-your-mouth grilled sustainable yellowfin tuna belly with green chili peppers.

The lunch was everything I had expected and more.

Before they prepared for the dinner that night, Richard and Chele took time to talk to us. I am certain everyone who partook in the two dinners had a happy tummy like mine during that unbelievably delicious lunch!

(Gallery by Chele is located at the fifth floor of Clipp Center, 11th Ave. corner 39th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.  For inquiries and reservations, call 0917-5461673.)

Experience true comfort

Uratex chairman, CEO and cofounder Naty Cheng.

Sleep is truly precious. And for those good quality zzzs, one’s mattress definitely matters.

Recently, Trill: Mattress in a Box, the first boxed premium mattress in the country, was introduced at the Ronac Lifestyle Center in Paseo de Magallanes, Makati City.

Uratex chairman, CEO and  co-founder Natividad “Naty” Cheng, managing director Peachy Medina, finance director Pinky Rosagas, sales director Dindo Medina, marketing director Cherry Wong-Tan, executive assistant to the vice president John Rosagas and Uratex Premium brand manager Love Sacluti welcomed guests to the event, emceed by TV host and model Mari Jasmine.

Celebrities Megan Young, Mikael Daez, Patrick Sugui, and Josef Elizalde helped with the “unboxing” and demonstrated how easy it was to set up the new Trill mattress. 

DJs Mars Miranda and Ace Ramos provided music while Myke Soon from Remy Martin served cocktails throughout the night.

Trill is known for its convenience, comfort, versatility and top-notch quality with the most advanced sleep solutions technology. It is also the first ever premium mattress in the country to have a firm side or plush side to suit one’s desired level of comfort. 

Aside from its 10-year warranty and 100-night trial, it also offers free delivery nationwide!

 (For more information, visit

Lose weight the Cohen way

Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre Philippines CEO Barbara Young.

Losing weight is a goal set by many for themselves be it for aesthetic or health reasons. Though there are many “easy” ways available today to achieve this goal, experts say that there really are no shortcuts to achieving one’s ideal weight. 

Recently, Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre Philippines, which continues its campaign to promote losing weight the right and healthy way, celebrated its ninth anniversary at the Milky Way Café in Makati City.

During the event, Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre Philippines CEO Barbara Young said, “Many people want to lose weight quickly and easily by skipping meals, or taking diet pills, artificial drinks or weightloss supplements, or even undergoing surgery. For us, the healthiest way to lose weight is to make lifestyle changes and that is what Cohen’s Lifestyle Program offers.”

Cohen clients Marian Romero, Ian Montenegro and Dr. Mary Anne Tangcangco shared their stories of how they were able to achieve major weight loss through the program, which also alleviated some of their health problems.

Romero’s weight dropped from 213 to 121 pounds, which reportedly cured her bulimia and alleviated her polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that leads to complications such as infertility. Montenegro, who once weighed 200 pounds, now weighs at 111. She said she no longer suffers from sleep apnea, wherein her breathing is interrupted during sleep and she may not get enough oxygen. While Dr. Tangcangco, whose weight is down to 128 from 189 pounds, no longer suffers from hypertension or high blood pressure.

Cohen’s Lifestyle Program is a personalized eating regimen based on each client’s unique blood test results (not to be confused with blood type). Without need of exercise, injection, artificial food and drinks, or intake of weight-loss pills and supplements, the Cohen program delivers fast results, with clients usually losing eight to 10 pounds a month the healthy way. Clients get individualized food “prescriptions” such as the precise amount of food combinations, which triggers the body’s natural ability to release fat as source of energy.

Cohen’s Lifestyle Program was developed to help people lose weight the healthy way, the right way.

(For best results, consult your doctor.)

(Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre Philippines has branches at Medical Plaza Makati and Davao. To schedule a free information session, call 828-5251 or 0917-8926436 for Makati and (082) 225-2250 or 0917-6512170 for Davao. Check out

(Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with