One of the Philippines’ top chefs, Chef José Luis “Chele” González is a master of fusion and innovation. Trained in some of the world’s most renowned restaurants and inspired by local flavors and ingredients, he serves a spectacular spread in Gallery by Chele—formerly Gallery Vask, the 35th World’s Best Rest Restaurant in 2017. See where the chef honed his craft at the kitchens that made him the culinary artist he is today!
After graduating from culinary school, Chele immediately caught the attention of his fellow cooks. He was sent to intern at Arzak in San Sebastián, Spain where he had his first taste of the true pressures of working in a kitchen. Savor the elevated Spanish cuisine that maintains the restaurant’s three Michelin stars while you are greeted by the chef, Juan Mari Arzak, who occasionally roams the space. Pair your meal with vino from their enormous wine cellar—which houses over 100,000 bottles!
Avenida Alcalde Elósegui 273, San Sebastián - Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Mugaritz in San Sebastián, Spain was a game-changer for the chef. Working in the two Michelin-starred joint taught him that he as a chef and as Chele are one and the same. He attributes many of his values to his experience here. Basque cuisine takes the spotlight at Mugaritz, with food taking elements from the mountains and the sea. Prepare for a surprise; every seating is promised to have one!
Aldura Aldea, 20, Errenteria, Gipuzkoa, Spain
El Celler de Can Roca is famous for gastronomic complexities crafted by the three Roca brothers at the helm. Joan, Josep, and Jordi are gentlemen who respect their colleagues and environment—a trait adopted by Chele and later applied to his own kitchens. Sample the trio’s free-style menu, which takes inspiration from their childhood experiences, seasonal ingredients, or random eureka moments. The exquisite wine pairings add a touch of surprise (and an explosion of flavors!), often also including some sakes.
Calle Can Sunyer 48, Girona, Spain
Nerua Guggenheim Bilbao was where Chele's skills as a chef were honed. Renowned gastronomist Josean Alijan pushed him to be a perfectionist in his craft—a necessary trait when concocting dishes in the one Michelin-starred restaurant. The minimalist dining room is inside the Guggenheim museum, but it has its own entrance. Take a seat by the window to enjoy marvelous views of the property alongside a fantastic modern cuisine!
Avenida Abandoibarra 2, Bilbao, Spain
A stint in Noma fueled Chele’s advocacy to highlight local ingredients. The four-time World’s Best Restaurant is known to use elements from the Scandinavian region. They often even forage for greens near the restaurant! The place shut down in early 2017 in order to reinvent itself, but has recently reopened with chef René Redzepi still leading the pack. The 20-course tasting menu comes with a hefty price tag but it’s well worth it!
Refshalevej 96, Copenhagen, Denmark
Chele fell in love with Asia during his brief travels, so he naturally picked the region to be his next home base. The chef looked for work in Thailand and the Philippines, ending up in Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel. He headed the kitchen in Fever Luxe Lounge, a French restaurant that was unfortunately wrecked after a heavy typhoon. The hotel continues to house a collection of superb restaurants that carry on the spirit of Chele. Embark on a gastronomic journey at Spiral, their flagship restaurant which boasts 21 dining ateliers serving specialties from all over the world!
CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Originally Gallery VASK, Gallery by Chele is a contemporary restaurant that doubles as an art space. Here, Chele champions Filipino ingredients through a cuisine that’s concocted using modern techniques. The space’s casual vibe translates into a dining experience that grants guests the flexibility to choose between classic bites, small or big plates, a la cartes, and tasting courses. They also have a menu of fermented and natural beverages—including craft cocktails—that perfectly complement every plate!
5th Floor Clipp Center, 11th Avenue corner 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila
Stvdio Lab serves as an extension to Gallery by Chele. The test kitchen plays host to collaborations, classes, and recipe creations—sometimes with a group of hungry diners in the room! Reserve the space for a tasting menu that's a mix of Gallery by Chele classic, as well as a few exclusive dishes. Feel free to ask the chefs in action about your food; they'll be happy to walk you through their process.
Fifth Floor, Clipp Center, 11th Avenue corner 39th Street Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
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