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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Michelin-starred chef, partners to open in Cebu

MICHELIN-starred British chef Jason Atherton and Cebuana wife Irha are opening their first restaurant in Cebu called The Pig & Palm next month.

The restaurant, which is located at MSY Tower in Cebu Business Park, is in partnership with Cebu-based property developers Chris and Carla Yeung-McKowen of MSY Holdings Corp., and Cebuano architect Lyndon Neri of Shanghai-based Neri & Hu.

“It has always been Irha’s dream to bring some of the success of our restaurant group, The Social Company, back to her hometown of Cebu. As my wife and co-director of the company, it gives me no greater joy than to open a Social destination here as my love letter to her,” said Atherton in a statement.

The Pig & Palm is the 16th restaurant of Atherton’s restaurant group, The Social Company, which already holds three Michelin stars and operates in London, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai and Sydney.

Atherton was once part of the Gordon Ramsay Group together with other chefs—Pierre Koffman, Marco Pierre White, Nico Ladenis and Ferran Adria at el Bulli—prior to opening his own company.

In an interview, Carla said the entry of The Pig & Palm in Cebu will be an added boost to an already vibrant dining scene.

Robust developments in real estate, retail, business and tourism make Cebu deserving to be the next destination for world-class restaurants.

The group invested around P20 million to set up the restaurant, a 57-cover establishment that will offer a modern Spanish tapas menu with a focus on pork dishes. It will also have a 25-cover bar that will serve cocktails and bar snacks.

“Cebu is one of the best islands to live in the Philippines and a foodie destination in its own right. We’re having fun taking inspiration from our surroundings and creating a space where you can enjoy all the treats that Cebu has to offer, redefined by the creative taste buds of Chef Jason and the design eye of Lyndon,” said Chris.

He added that the group will tap local farmer suppliers in Cebu to ensure a fresh farm-to-fork dish.

“The dishes will celebrate Cebu’s reputation as a destination for pork, with a focus on pig-based plates sourced from local farms in Cebu.”

In terms of design, the restaurant will take its cues from Cebu’s Spanish colonial past, drawing inspiration from the historic Fort San Pedro.

While this new restaurant hopes to raise the bar for food and dining here, the McKowens said its prices will be competitive with that of high-end restaurants. Aside from attracting the local market, Carla said they are also banking on the growing tourism arrivals. The Pig & Palm is the second restaurant in the Philippines co-owned by a Michelin-starred chef.

“We will study first the market acceptance of this business and eventually open up more in the future,” said Carla.
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