Chele Gonzalez

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Restaurant : Gallery Vask

Address : 5th Floor, Clipp Center 11th Avenue corner 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

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Originally from Torrelavega, Spain, J. Luis Gonzalez found an affinity for cooking at a very early age. After receiving a culinary degree from Arxanda, Bilbao he went on to work in some of the world’s most respected restaurants, including Andra Mari, Arzak, elBulli, El Celler de Can Roca, Nerua-Guggenheim, and Mugaritz where he developed his culinary philosophy. He is now based in the Philippines and has opened his restaurant Gallery VASK together with architect and artist Juan Carlo Calma.

J. Luis, also more popularly known as Chele, strives to find new ingredients, flavours and most importantly different ways to understand food. His travels in and around the Philippines have helped him develop an awareness of common ingredients using the latest techniques with an innovative perspective. These distinct characteristics find their way into the dishes that are served in Gallery VASK.

In his own words he explains, “Our journey has led us to work with local farmers and fishermen. We use fresh, indigenous products while honouring their true nature.”

With help from his Filipino friends in the industry, he sought to explore and learn about Philippine produce, as well as to exchange ideas inspired by his recent discoveries. Much of the inspiration behind this effort comes from his desire to acknowledge the deep historical connection that the Philippines shares with Spain, through sustainable cooking.

Gallery VASK is a constantly evolving, curated art space inspired by people, nature, memories, textures, techniques, travels and history. It is a venue to discover, dream and explore limitless concepts inspired by Philippine art, architecture, food and culture.

The Gallery VASK menu changes seasonally and constantly and is conceptualized to take you on a sensorial journey with its unique atmosphere, where the kitchen and dining area are seamlessly integrated.

J. Luis is inspired by the many cultural influences collected from his travels, experiences, and the many people he has met, most especially the growers, producers, breeders and makers who have become his friends in the Philippines.

Together with visiting chefs from different parts of the world, J. Luis has also established a collaborative series called Kulinarya.

In more than a year and a half that it has been opened, the restaurant has garnered the following awards:

  • Nominated  for  Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secret 2014
    • Manila’s Best Spanish Restaurant (VASK)
    • Manila’s Best Continental Cuisine (Gallery Vask)
    • Manila’s Best Chef (J. Luis Gonzalez)
  • Philippine Tatler Best  Restaurant of 2014
  • Philippine Tatler Best New Restaurant in Inventive Cuisine
  • Esquire Best Restaurant of 2013
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  • Esquire Restaurant of the Year 2013,Philippine Tatler Best Restaurant in Inventive Cuisine 2014,Philippine Tatler Best Restaurant 2014

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