Asia’s Hottest New Chefs, Full List of 2016 “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants”

Chef Kirk Westaway, Jaan

Gaggan is charming but check out these three hot new chefs on the 2016 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list: Kirk Westaway of Jaan in Singapore, Willin Low of Wild Rocket in Singapore, and Chele Gonzalez of Gallery Vask in the Philippines.

Although Jaan has always been on the list, it is the first time for all three chefs to be recognized by Asia’s 50 Best, Westaway taking over Jaan’s kitchen only last year: Jaan was ranked No. 29, Wild Rocket debuted at No. 38 and Gallery Vask debuted at No. 39.

Chef Kirk Westaway, Jaan, Asia's 50 Best, Wordl's 50 Best
Chef Kirk Westaway, Jaan (photo:

Westaway, an Englishman, took over the kitchen of Jaan from highly-acclaimed French Chef Julien Royer just last year. (Royer left Jaan to open Odette, a fine-dining restaurant at the National Gallery Singapore created with The Lo & Behold Group.) Royer left Jaan at No. 11 in the 2015 Asia’s 50 Best list yet top food critics have been impressed by how Westaway hit the ground running, maintaining the reputation of Jaan as a top French fine dining restaurant, and commend his immediate entry at No. 29 in the 50 Best list.

Chef Willin Low, Wild Rocket, Asia's 50 Best, World's 50 Best
Chef Willin Low, Wild Rocket. Photo:

Low, once upon a time a lawyer, has been a celebrity chef in Singapore for quite sometime now although very humble with his credentials, that it’s been a wonder he wasn’t on the list sooner. Over five years ago, he was already named by the New York Times as one of three chefs in Singapore who were “reinventing the city’s traditional food culture”. He has been doing modern Singaporean cuisine for around ten years, with two other restaurants in Singapore: Relish at Cluny Court and Wild Oats at Punggol Park.

Chef Chele Gonzalez, Gallery Vask, Asia's 50 Best, World's 50 Best
Chef Chele Gonzalez, Gallery Vask. Photo:

Gonzalez is a Spanish chef who sidelined as a DJ while working at Spain’s top restaurants including El Bulli, Arzak, Mugaritz and Nerua, before moving to the Philippines and eventually becoming “the cook” at Gallery Vask. A disciple of Mugaritz’ Andoni Aduriz, he has been at the forefront of modern gastronomy in the Philippines for the past few years, creating Kulinarya, a menu using Spanish modern gastronomy techniques using Philippine ingredients and playing with local flavors. He wowed international chefs and media at last year’s Madrid Fusion Manila.

Personal photos at the awards HERE.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2016 Full List of Winners

No. 1 – GAGGAN Bangkok, Thailand
No. 2 – NARISAWA Tokyo, Japan
No. 3 – RESTAURANT ANDRÉ Singapore
No. 4 – AMBER Hong Kong, China
No. 5 – NIHONRYORI RYUGIN Tokyo, Japan
No. 6 – WAKU GHIN Singapore
No. 8 – NAHM Bangkok, Thailand
No. 9 – INDIAN ACCENT New Delhi, India
No. 10 – LUNG KING HEEN Hong Kong, China
No. 11 – HAJIME Osaka, Japan
No. 12 – LES AMIS Singapore
No. 13 – 8 1/2 OTTO E MEZZO BOMBANA Hong Kong, China
No. 14 – BURNT ENDS Singapore
No. 15 – MINGLES Seoul, South Korea
No. 16 – L’EFFERVESCENCE Tokyo, Japan
No. 17 – CORNER HOUSE Singapore
No. 18 – FU HE HUI Shanghai, China
No. 19 – ISSAYA SIAMESE CLUB Bangkok, Thailand
No. 20 – QUINTESSENCE Tokyo, Japan
No. 21 – SHINJI BY KANESAKA Singapore
No. 22 – JUNGSIK Seoul, South Korea
No. 23 – EAT ME Bangkok, Thailand
No. 24 – TAKAZAWA Tokyo, Japan
No. 25 – MINISTRY OF CRAB Colombo, Sri Lanka
No. 26 – SUSHI SAITO Tokyo, Japan
No. 27 – THE CHAIRMAN Hong Kong, China
No. 28 – MR AND MRS BUND Shanghai, China
No. 29 – JAAN Singapore
No. 30 – LE MOÛT Taichung, Taiwan
No. 31 – LA MAISON DE LA NATURE GOH Fukuoka, Japan
No. 32 – TIPPLING CLUB Singapore
No. 33 – TENKU RYUGIN Hong Kong, China
No. 34 – FOOK LAM MOON Hong Kong, China
No. 35 – ROBUCHON AU DÔME Macau, China
No. 36 – IGGY’S Singapore
No. 37 – DEN Tokyo, Japan
No. 38 – WILD ROCKET Singapore
No. 39 – GALLERY VASK Manila, Philippines
No. 40 – L’ATELIER DE JOËL ROBUCHON Hong Kong, China
No. 41 – BO INNOVATION Hong Kong, China
No. 42 – KIKUNOI Kyoto, Japan
No. 43 – CUISINE WAT DAMNAK Siem Reap, Cambodia
No. 44 – WASABI BY MORIMOTO Mumbai, India
No. 45 – BUKHARA New Delhi, India
No. 46 – RAW Taipei, Taiwan
No. 47 – NIHONBASHI Colombo, Sri Lanka
No. 48 – TA VIE Hong Kong, China
No. 49 – LOCAVORE Bali, Indonesia
No. 50 – LA YEON Seoul, South Korea

Margarita Fores Named Asia’s 50 Best Female Chef 2016

Margarita Fores, Margaux Salcedo, margauxlicious, Asia's 50 Best restaurants, World's 50 Best

I had been rooting for this moment for so long!

Since I can remember, have been wanting to see Margarita Fores’ name up there alongside Asian greats and finally the day has come.

Margarita Fores was named Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2016 by the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards Jury.

Fores succeeds Hong Kong’s Chef Vicky Lau of Tate Dining Room in Hong Kong, who was Best Female Chef 2015; who succeeded Lanshu Chen of Le Mout Restaurant in Taiwan.

Margarita Fores, Asia's Best Female Chef 2015; Asia's 50 Best; World's 50 Best. Margaux Salcedo for World’s 50 Best through its Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants page has written a beautiful tribute to Fores on its website, calling her a “gregarious” chef with an “empire” that “extends to 28-year-old catering company Cibo di M, where she has fed the likes of former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the King and Queen of Spain”. See full article HERE.

Fores also headlines the much visited

Margarita Fores, World's 50 Best. Asia's 50 Best Female Chef 2016. Margaux Salcedo for – or Gaita as she is fondly called – is so adorable as she receives the announcement that she has been recognized as Asia’s Best Female Chef, saying she feels like Miss Universe!

Chef Margarita Fores changed the Philippine culinary landscape in the ’90s by introducing authentic Italian cooking, after returning from Italy. Her restaurant Cibo is now a staple in practically every Philippine mall, the go-to for delicious Italian fare at affordable rates. Her former showroom Pepato was a favorite in the 2000s, commended by visiting chef friend Chef Mario Batali. Fores’ new playground is Lusso in Greenbelt and continues catering for the President of the Philippines for state dinners such as the Inaugural dinner and APEC. She was also one of the forces that, in the words of World’s 50 Best, “gregariously” made Madrid Fusion Manila happen.

Chef Forés will receive her award at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday 29th February.

More on Chef Margarita Fores:

Madrid Fusion Manila

Margarita Fores’ Italy

Traveling with Margarita Fores


Joan Roca, David Thompson, Narisawa, Virgilio Martinez Coming to Manila for Madrid Fusion 2016

The World’s No. 1 Chef, Latin America’s No. 1 and two Asia’s No. 1 ALL coming to Manila for Madrid Fusion Manila 2016!!!

Madrid Fusion Manila 2016 is all set with this Memorandum of Understanding signed just this morning between the Philippine Department of Tourism (in photo is Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.) and the ICEX España Exportacion e Inversiones (public export promotion agency belonging to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of the Kingdom of Spain).

Sec. Mon Jimenez and Minister Jaime Garcia-Legaz of Spain sign the Memorandum of Understanding for Madrid Fusion Manila 2016
Sec. Mon Jimenez and Minister Jaime Garcia-Legaz of Spain sign the Memorandum of Understanding for Madrid Fusion Manila 2016

Madrid Fusion Manila is scheduled on April 24-26 with the theme The Manila Galleon: East Meets West.

And here’s the line up of celebrity chefs – and I mean WOW – can’t believe they are all coming to Manila!!

The following have been confirmed by the Tourism Dept as either as speaker or presenter for Madrid Fusion Manila 2016:

At the signing today, the DOT also presented this list of speakers:

Madrid Fusion Manila 2016

This list is just BEYOND. My jaw dropped. Props to DOT for taking it to the next level. Can’t wait!!!