Filipina Margarita Forés has been recognised by Asia’s 50 best restaurants 2016 as best female chef of the Far East. Her cooking is heavily influenced by Italian gastronomy and she aims to promote local (from the Philippines) and Italian ingredients using methods and techniques she learnt during her stay in Florence and Milan almost 30 years ago. Forés is not only a great chef but also a great businesswoman. She owns six restaurants: Cibo di M, Cibo, Lusso, Grace Park and Casa Artusi Philippines.
In Cibo di M she offers signature catering and takes care of every last detail. From the food to almost everything related to it: plates, cutlery, chairs, glassware, serviettes, decoration, etc., Margarita Forés is valued for the care and attention she puts into her creations. After Cibo di M came Cibo, Manila’s first Italian food chain. Until Forés opened this Italian food chain, in the Asian islands when they spoke of “Italian food”, they weren’t referring to the genuine cuisine of this European country. It was through this project that she saw a niche in the market and, with business vision and the goal of expanding and promoting authentic Italian cuisine, she opened Cibo. There are now already 10 establishments -there’s even one in the underground- where customers can find food prepared at affordable prices. In contrast to Cibo, we find Lusso, a restaurant serving haute cuisine. It’s an establishment that mixes contemporary and classic elements, both in the kitchen and in its decoration. The result is a unique atmosphere, with elements like champagne and caviare, which have made it one of the most majestic dining rooms in Manila. Along the same lines as Lusso, we find Grace Park, an haute cuisine restaurant that Forés conceived as the union between her childhood and gastronomic tradition, with the sophistication and art required by haute cuisine. The link with her past materialises through rustic decoration. As for the food, Forés creatively constructs and deconstructs the ingredients in her recipes to achieve excellence in the taste and textures of her dishes. Forés also opened Casa Artusi Philippines, the only Artusi centre outside of Italy.
As you can see, besides being considered Asia’s best chef for 2016, Margarita Forés stands out for her strategic vision. Curiously, and clearly in connection with the ingredients she uses for her dishes and her love of nature, Margarita Forés has opened a line of floral ornaments called Fiori di M which, amongst other things, sells bunches of flowers and floral ornaments to decorate tables.