Country : Philippines
Restaurant : Scout’s Honor, Le Petit Soufflé, Garde Manger, Milk trade and Freezer Burn
Long before he was amassing awards in culinary competitions in the Philippines and abroad, Michael “Miko” Aspiras has already been getting high praises from his colleagues and many people in the local food and beverage industry. His pastry executions are unblemished, his flavour combinations go without any question, and his work ethic is unquestionably professional. All these just when he was still in culinary school, impressing teachers and fellow students alike.
He wasn’t even supposed to be in pastry, but was eventually led there in the course of his young, studded career. It was fate almost as he took pleasure in juggling pots and pans, coming from apprenticeships in the banquet, and hot and cold kitchens of hotels. But the call of pastry was just too hard to ignore. In 2007, he worked under the tutelage of mentor Sau del Rosario who taught him the basics of baking bread and French pastries. His skills were enhanced further once he worked in the pastry section of EDSA Shangri-la Hotel and later on, in Resorts World Manila where he was properly trained by Cyrille Soenen, then in Raffles and Fairmont Hotels thereafter.
While investing on reputable experience from such renowned chefs, he was trying to build a name on his own by joining competitions, and emerging out of it with awards and much deserved respect and recognition. He has bagged multiple citations (including the highest one possible) in the Philippine Culinary Cup as well as Gold medals in the World Association of Chefs Societies Congress in Korea and Hong Kong Culinary Classics. These have resulted to numerous citations as a “chef to watch out for” by recognized publications, a declaration as “chef of the year” by Esquire Philippines for 2015, consultancy projects for Magnum Cafe in Manila and Malaysia, and a coaching stint at the most recent Coupe de Monde dela Patisserie in Lyon, France, proving that he truly is at the top of his game.
These days, Miko has been busy opening and running establishments that have been shaking Manila’s vibrant food scene. To date, he is operating on three (Scout’s Honor, a craft cookie shop; Le Petit Soufflé, a French-Japanese bistro; Garde Manger, a cold kitchen churning salads and fresh juices) and working on the opening of two more (Milk Trade, a steamed milk custard bar and Freezer Burn, an ice cream and hot dessert bar.), all under The Tasteless Food Group.
Miko Aspiras’s career has been on a steady climb, racking various accolades and promising projects on the way to perfecting his craft. He continues to challenge himself by enlisting on contests and refining his palate and talent by soaking up education through intensive classes and world travels, factors that allow him to break down any walls of inhibition and be creative in the use of a wide realm of ingredients such as pig’s blood and rotten milk to produce pastry masterpieces that not only reinforce his status as one of the country’s best chefs, but also elevate Manila’s pastry scene to a level it hasn’t been in before.
ESQUIRE Magazine, Philippines Chef Of The Year 2014-2015
Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie 2015 Team Philippines Coach and Competition alternate
Philippine Culinary Cup 2013 Highest Gold Medalist for Four Individually Plated Desserts
Hong Kong Culinary Classics 2013 (HOFEX) Highest Gold and Best of The Best award for “Live High Tea and Set-up”
SPOT.PH “10 Must Watch Chefs 2014”
Food Magazine, Philippines “50 Best in Food 2013” October 2013 and “50 Best in Food 2012” October 2012
Best Personalities in Philippine Food Scene October Philippine Tatler 6 “Chefs to Watch” November 2012