Gene Gonzalez

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Country : Philippines

Restaurant : CAFÉ YSABEL

Address : 455 P. Guevarra St., San Juan City, Philippines

Website :

At age 23, Gene Gonzalez opened, as chef-owner, Cafe Ysabel in San Juan. Aside from a series of apprenticeships in France and Italy, he has completed various specialized courses in food arts in the Culinary Institute of America and the California Culinary Academy.

Apart from founding and running the pioneering Center for Asian Culinary Studies, Gonzalez is one of the country's most prolific cookbook authors, penning iconic creations such as “Cocina Sulipeña”, a book on 19th century recipes from Pampanga, and a recent award-winning series on Filipino food. He has undertaken research and development projects with major food manufacturers and flavor laboratories, and his consultancy has bolstered more than 60 local successful food establishments.

His restaurant Café Ysabel, set in a handsome ancestral home with a lush garden, remains a constant among discerning diners, an oasis in northern Metro Manila. While Gonzalez's curiosity, vision, and experimentalism has been paving the way for the country's culinary scene for more than 30 years, it is clear that he will continue to play a vital role in its future.

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  • Only Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Awardee in Culinary Arts in the Philippines

  • Consistently in the top 100 restaurants list by Philippine Tatler

  • Conseiller culinaire of the National Board of the Chaine des Rotisseurs

  • Member of the London-based International Wine and Food Society

Books, Recipes, Restaurants