Chef Chele Gonzalez: Elevating Local
Delight in innovative cuisine and fresh dining experiences featuring proudly local ingredients with Chef Chele Gonzalez and American Express
Upon stepping into Gallery by Chele, one is greeted by the relaxed yet stylish atmosphere and the signature charm of its chef, Chele Gonzalez. Hailing from Spain, Gonzalez believes that being a chef is so much more than what happens within the four walls of a kitchen. To make a memorable dining experience, a connection must be established, and a chef does this in their restaurant by creating something that is equal parts exciting and familiar. This is exactly what Gonzalez has set out to do and has achieved in his restaurant today, delighting diners with his own brand of modern cuisine concocted from local ingredients that he continues to discover in his many explorations across the Philippines.
Identity is key when it comes to creating a successful dining concept and Gallery by Chele is one that truly knows itself. What Gonzalez puts forth today is indicative of his quest to truly understand what is around us, what is in nature, and to build and foster tight-knit relationships with local farmers and fishermen. Together with Filipino chef Carlos Villaflor, as well as a young and hungry team, Gallery by Chele is reinventing fine dining in a way that Filipinos will find relatable and feel comfortable with. “It is important to understand who you are and how you are going to connect with people who want to experience the restaurant, and I think we have done that.” The restaurant’s new renovations have also allowed the space to open up and give diners options, which “really personalizes the experience for you here,” Gonzalez adds.
In Gallery by Chele, foodies can experience innovative cuisine paired with unique drinks and delightful wine pairings. Well-loved dishes in the tasting menu include ‘Fired! Pulpo’ which features octopus with chicken jus and papaya, ‘Reap’ which features herbs, blue crab, and mango with a frozen sorbet of pear, apple, and pomelo, and ‘Zero’, a dish that Gonzalez is particularly proud of having created in his kitchen. The dish is named as such because it is completely zero waste. The star of the dish is the tuna belly, simultaneously steamed and grilled in a custom Josper grill, and carries in it an appealing sour flavor that would remind you of sinigang yet containing no tamarind; just fermented tomato to provide that sourness. “We talk about sustainability,” quips Gonzalez. “We lacto fermented tomato in a very controlled technique. It is sour so it will remind you of sinigang. We mesh culture with Filipino taste. But it is not tamarind, it’s really just fermentation. We use the skin for both fermentation to make a powder. With the rest of the tomato, we make a tartar. And then the seed, we blend it, and we make a cracker.”
They offer a selection of a la carte and tasting menus that provide guests with a chance to experience what Gallery by Chele is all about. And yet, there is still so much to discover within these walls. “We evolved the menu and the dishes we created for a la carte, they are familiar and yummy, something that is fine dining and comforting at the same time—a blend between both,” shares the chef. Truly, there is something for everyone to discover at Gallery by Chele; one only needs to turn the page to the restaurant’s latest chapter and be ready to be amazed.
For the Amex For Foodies campaign, Gallery by Chele is giving American Express Cardmembers in the Philippines a complimentary The Perfume Cocktail with every tasting menu ordered*, whether five or nine-course until December 31, 2019. The cocktail is the restaurant’s version of a Pisco sour, combining pisco brandy with blue pea flower syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice, and a tiny splash of kaffir zest. The drink is shaken in ice then served at the beginning of the tasting menu, marking the beginning of their journey at Gallery by Chele. “This welcome drink is to make guests feel special, comfortable, and refreshed,” adds Gonzalez.
Taste the experience with #AMEXFORFOODIES. To learn more about this campaign, click here
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