The Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants programme sponsored by S. Pellegrino & Acqua Panna announced the Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016. The prestigious award will be presented at the fourth annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony on 29th February 2016, hosted at the W Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.
Asia’s Best Female Chef Award is voted for by over 300 industry experts from across the region. Margarita Forés, respected chef and owner of an acclaimed group of restaurants in Manila, has been selected as Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016.
Forés gained an appreciation for authentic Italian cuisine during a tour of Italy in 1986. Immersing herself in the local culture, her culinary style evolved while cooking in home kitchens and exploring the markets of Florence, Milan and Rome. A certified public accountant by training, Forés returned to the Philippines inspired by her experiences and determined to pursue her interest in the culinary arts.
In 1987, Forés founded Cibo Di M, a catering business that soon earned a reputation for memorable banquets, customised service and high-profile clients. A decade later Forés opened Cibo, her first Italian restaurant. The homegrown café concept introduced local diners to traditional Italian cuisine while championing local producers and organic ingredients. Since its debut 18 years ago, Cibo has expanded to 10 outlets throughout Manila.
Building on Cibo’s success, Forés branched out with other restaurant concepts, including Lusso, a luxe champagne and gastro bar, and Grace Park, an ingredient-driven Italian restaurant specialising in farm-to-table cuisine. At each restaurant, Forés presents quality Italian dishes, the freshest local ingredients and a convivial atmosphere.
Both an epicurist and an educator, Forés is eager to share her knowledge of Italian cooking with the next generation of chefs. In 2013, she partnered with Casa Artusi, an historic culinary institution in Forlimpopoli, Northern Italy, to open Casa Artusi Philippines. Focused on teaching students the traditional techniques of home-style Italian cooking, Casa Artusi in Manila is the prestigious Italian school’s first and only offshore campus.
While best known for her mastery of authentic Italian cooking, Forés is also a proud advocate of Filipino cuisine. As part of her ongoing commitment to promote her culinary heritage to an international audience, Forés co-authored Kulinarya, a compendium of popular regional dishes.