Michelin-Star Chefs Make It More Fun in the Philippines


By Shekinah Sabrina Colcol, FoodFindsAsia |

The Filipinos’ love for food is without question, and it’s safe to say that it makes up about 99% of our identity as a people. Each Filipino dish has its own unique story, distinct flavor and colors that exude our vibrant history.

When the Madrid Fusion Manila hit our country, it opened the Philippine food industry to various doors of unlimited gastronomic opportunities. One of its ripple effects is the increasing number of Michelin-star chefs crashing our shores.


Recently appointed Executive Sous Chef Paolo Pelosi of native Italian cuisine now handles Cowrie Cove, the signature seafood grill restaurant of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa in Cebu.

He started his culinary career as a commis chef at Restaurant Pirana, a Michelin one-starred restaurant in Italy, Chef Paolo seems to be destined for reaching greater Michelin star heights.

Chef Paolo Pelosi and his version of the Kilawin na Tangigue
Chef Paolo Pelosi and his version of the Kilawin na Tangigue

He delved into Tuscany’s clean, sober and soothingly simple cuisine after spending several years in different kitchens at well-known Tuscan restaurants – from Florence and Fiesole to Prato Area. Chef Paolo’s culinary journey took a drastic turn when he became the sous chef at the Asian-flavored, Tuscan-inspired menu in Restaurant Onice, leading him to Restaurant Ora D’Aria, a Michelin one-starred restaurant in Florence.


Prior to leaving Italy, his last stint was at Restaurant Arnolfo, a world-class, Michelin two-starred restaurant owned by one of Italy’s best chefs, Gaetano Trovato. Swimming to new waters by spearheading the Cowrie Cove, Chef Paolo Pelosi’s Michelin star-worthy cooking can now be tasted by foodies in the Visayan island for the restaurant is open daily for dinner from 6PM-10PM.


The City of Dreams (COD) Manila will grace two Michelin-star chefs on May 19-23, 2015. The mentor, Chef Christian Têtedoie and the former apprentice, William Mahi will serve a six-course degustation for only fifty guests per dinner. Both were once named Apprentice of the Year, only Chef Christian Têtedoie has a Michelin star for the restaurant that bears his name in Lyon, France while William Mahi is chef de cuisine at The Tasting Room, COD, but had worked in the Michelin two-starred Spondi in Athens, Greece.

Chef Christian Têtedoie
Chef Christian Têtedoie

Chef Christian’s lobster and calf’s head is expected to be the star of the five-day spectacle. This unlikely combination will definitely be something to behold by Filipino foodies for it has been on his restaurant’s menu for almost three decades. Its original version had the calf head sautéed, ending up in a crisp exterior, with the lobster added along with a carrot jus.


Creativity earned the French mentor a Michelin star in 2000, and such recognition challenges him to keep or add to the star by doing different versions of his signature dish every year. It is known to the Lyon-based chef that recreating is part of cooking, and opting for lighter vegetable jus rather than the traditional heavy creams and stock is the key in bringing out the best in most recipes.

Têtedoie Food

Maybe a similar exchange of ideas from French and Filipino chefs might happen since Chef Christian is the president of the Master Chefs of France (Les Maitres Cuisiners de France), a worldwide association of French chefs whose membership is by invitation only. That way, it could only get more and more fun in the Philippines as the nation’s culinary status finally levels up to the highly coveted Michelin star.

Photo Credit: Têtedoie