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Taking the reins in corporate cuisine

Update: January, 05/2015 - 17:38

Culinary discovery: Filipino chef Anthony Raymond provides direction to all Discovery properties.

CHEF

by Vangie Baga-Reyes

Filipino chef Anthony Raymond welcomes the newest challenge in his culinary career-as the corporate chef of the Discovery Leisure Company, which owns and runs Discovery Suites in Ortigas Center, Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay City and Discovery Shores Boracay.

At 36, Raymond is tasked to provide culinary and management direction to the entire Discovery properties-a job that thrills him no end, and a work that will certainly push him to do his best.

"My job is to foresee and manage the properties in terms of running the kitchen and its manpower," he said. "It's my responsibility to elevate the skills, create kitchen-standard guidelines and beat the giants out there. I love the odds. We are a homegrown Filipino company, and I am blessed for inheriting a group of talented Filipino chefs and cooks who have the heart and passion to succeed in today's kitchen world."

Raymond has an impressive culinary career, spanning over 15 years at establishments that include a five-star and five-diamond hotel (The Peninsula Beverly Hills), a French Michelin-star restaurant (Stella Maris restaurant in Paris) under the tutelage of Michelin star chef Tateru Yoshino, and catering alongside restaurant competitors Wolfgang Puck of Spago, Tom Calicchio of Craft, and Thomas Keller of Bouchon. Raymond has also cooked for several fine-dining hotel restaurants overseas.

In the Philippines, he worked as sous chef for The Peninsula Manila's Old Manila Restaurant alongside chef de cuisine Adrian Mellor, who taught him how to enhance his palate, and under the supervision of chef de cuisine Nicholas de Viche, who mentored him on food presentation. He credits executive chef James Overbaugh, meanwhile, for showing him how to manage and operate a professional kitchen.

Raymond, whose parents are both from Dumaguete City, was born in Manila but moved to Puerto Rico with his family when he was 6. They stayed in Puerto Rico for three years before relocating to the United States where they resided for almost a year.

"But we lived predominantly in Singapore for nine years," said Raymond, who finished high school in Singapore.

In college, he took up Bachelor of Arts in Business Psychology at the University of Arizona, Tucson – but midway through, he suddenly felt he wanted to pursue culinary school instead.

"I wanted to be in sports psychology," Raymond recalled. "But, I had an elective subject called restaurant management. It was twice a week and people would really come to listen and talk to entrepreneurs. Immediately, I felt I would like to have my own restaurant and become an entrepreneur myself."

After graduation, he flew to Paris and studied at Le Cordon Bleu and gained a Le Grande Diplome in Cuisine and Pastry. He also took a certificate course in Restaurant Revenue Management at Cornell University in New York.

Raymond specialises in French and Modern Californian cuisines with Asian influences. He's also very much exposed to Filipino food. — Inquirer (Philippine Daily)

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