Because a true feast takes a village.
Meet the talented collaborators and generous industry partners helping The Entree.Pinays bring Filipino food to the front.
Head Chef, Rice Paper Sister
Ross Magnaye has always had a healthy obsession for food. Growing up in the Philippines, Ross knew from a young age that he was destined to be a top chef and enrolled for cooking school in Melbourne, upon the advice of his grandmother, a chef and restaurateur of Carol’s eatery in Cagayan de Oro City.
In 2014, Ross took his culinary education to the world, with stints at Michelin-starred DOM in São Paulo, Brazil, under chef Alex Atala, and the award-winning Aziamendi in Phuket, Thailand, with chef Eneko Atxa, he learned from experienced chefs from top kitchens across the globe.
When he returned to Melbourne he began as head chef of Rice Paper Scissors, refining his cooking style to produce delicious and simple South East Asian food heavily influenced by his Filipino background.
In 2017, Ross moved to Rice Paper Sister, and his cooking style changed again to a more sophisticated style of Filipino cooking. Ross has headlined pop-up events across the world, most recently in Paris, Tokyo and Singapore.
His enthusiasm for the culinary craft is matched only by his drive to share the Filipino cooking culture he grew up with, with the world.
Food & Travel Writer, Photographer and Presenter
Born to a Filipino mother and Australian father, Yasmin’s first award-winning cookbook, 7000 Islands: Cherished Recipes and Stories from the Philippines, is a colourful journey of personal memories, cultural insights and beloved recipes from her mother’s homeland.
In her new book, The Desserts of New York (And How to Eat Them All), Yasmin’s husband and young family are on board for a food-lovers’ adventure in one of the world’s most iconic cities.
Back home in Oz, Yasmin creates content for top media including delicious., SBS Food and Australian Traveller. She lives with her family by the beach on the idyllic Central Coast of Australia.
In figuring out his path, Jordy dabbled in sports, business and music, before arriving at food. Inspired by Heston Blumenthal’s Hot & Iced Tea, Ferran Adria’s spherification and Thomas Keller’s kitchen magic, the food world enticed him.
Navarra saw that food was more than consumption - that there could be meaning to the act of eating, and more to cooking than simply writing down recipes. Through food, ideas can be shared, memories and emotions evoked.
After culinary school, Navarra left the Philippines to cook in London and Hong Kong, but his time there made him realise he had no foundational relationship to the food he worked with. Navarra returned to his hometown to create food that resonated with the flavours he grew up with.
At the time, Manila’s food scene was changing. It was the perfect opportunity for him to launch a project experimenting with Filipino flavours. After a few roadblocks, he and his team persevered. And so, Toyo Eatery was created.
Through Navarra, Toyo Eatery finds new ways to present familiar Filipino flavours. Their creativity has piqued the interest of top chefs from Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, and Belgium. Navarra insists there is still much to learn and do, that he and his team at Toyo Eatery are continuously uncovering.
Nicole Ponseca wanted to be the next Don Draper. After graduating from the University of San Francisco with a degree in advertising, Ponseca moved to New York in 1998 with $75 and the determination to get a job at a top firm. She landed at Saatchi & Saatchi as an account executive and continued climbing the ranks, but she noticed there were no Filipino restaurants for her to take her clients to with her expense account.
Interested in hospitality, she began her restaurant training by moonlighting as a dishwasher at Colors, the New York City restaurant run by 9/11 Windows on the World survivors. She later worked at Mermaid Inn with Peter Crippen, whom she considers her mentor. In 2007, Ponseca officially left her day job as a VP in advertising and joined the restaurant world full time as the general manager of Juliette in Brooklyn.
In 2011, she began experimenting with a pop-up restaurant serving Filipino cuisine. By the third weekend, there were three hour waits for a table and two month waits for a reservation. Ponseca opened Maharlika in the East Village later that year and opened the more casual and adventurous Jeepney nearby with Kamayan-style dining. Her most recent venture, Tita Baby Panciteria, is a fast-casual concept serving Filipino noodles and BBQ. I Am a Filipino: And This Is How We Cook, her cookbook written with chef and partner Miguel Trinidad will be released by Artisan Books this fall.
OUR PARTNERS & SPONSORS
The Entree.Pinays would like to thank our friends at Cebu Pacific, The Department of Trade and Industry, Rice Paper Sister and The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival for making it possible for us to share Filipino food and culture with the world.
Maraming salamat po!