J. Gamboa

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Restaurant : Cirkulo

Address : Ground Floor Milkyway Building, 900 Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road) corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati City

Website : http://www.elcirkulo.com

Combining family heritage with culinary talent, one is sure to land at the pinnacle of the culinary stage. Such is the key to Chef J. Gamboa’s success as a well-known restaurateur in the Philippines. It started in 1962 when his late mother, Julie Gamboa, established Milky Way Café near Malacanang Palace and has since been a success in the food business. Growing up, Chef J learned to value the business his parents had put up and continued the treasured family legacy with sister Malu.

His determination to take the reins of the family restaurant business was evident when he graduated cum laude with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant & Travel Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1992. He then took a culinary training at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and attended a chocolate training at Callebaut Chocolate College and a culinary training at Sunrice Alan Ducasse Formation, both in Singapore.

His professional experience includes hospitality work at Hospitality Service Group in Boston and as a Sauce Cook at the Banquet Kitchen of the New World Hotel in Makati. After years of traveling and experiencing different foods, discovering various ingredients, and learning from different cultures, Chef J and his sister Malu created a mélange of the world’s most popular cuisines housed in four distinct restaurants: Milky Way Café, a local café featuring Filipino dish staples; Cirkulo, a Spanish food haven serving classic Spanish dishes; Tsukiji, a Japanese dining place; and AzuThai, the perfect spot for Thai food lovers.

All situated in one culinary hub – the MilkyWay building in Makati – these restaurants reflect Chef J’s hands-on expertise, special attention to ingredients and flavors, and lifelong exposure to the food business which eventually led to him being named Best Chef in the Country during the Bonloc Great Chefs of Asia competition. He also served as the team manager of the LTB Philippines Chef Association Culinary Team (LTB) where he shared his passion for winning with his fellow chefs. Under his leadership, the team successfully vied for awards in culinary competitions in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Perth, Australia.  Chef J continues to share his expertise with fellow chefs as president of the LTB Philippines Chefs Association.

An avid Twitter user, Chef J has uses it to spread the word about his food, you may follow him @chefjgamboa.

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