“No one believed in me at first.”
This was the revelation of chef JP Anglo who is now the successful owner of several restaurants in Metro Manila, as well as one of the judges for both the junior and adult editions of MasterChef Pinoy.
In December, the Filipino chef—who has definitely made a name for himself—welcomed another feat as he was named ambassador of Globe Platinum in December at his Kafe Batwan in Rockwell, Makati City.
At his media launch, he generously shared his success story and how he got to where he was today.
Hailing from Bacolod
Contrary to what many think, the chef’s success wasn’t just handed over to him. Sure, his family had a restaurant in his hometown of Bacolod, and it seemed logical that he would carry on the business, but as he pointed out: “That family endeavor failed, but it was also what inspired me to go to culinary school and pursue my goal to set up my own restaurant.”
After honing his skills through formal education, he wanted to challenge himself further, away from his comfort zone, and so he went to Australia to study and work.
It was a very challenging and intensive five years—his classmates in Le Cordon Bleu were incredibly competitive, and he would still put in several hours of work outside, choosing the most laborious roles in the kitchen. But he definitely wanted to start as a soldier in the kitchen again, so he could fully learn and master all the skills he needed.
Eventually, he came back to Bacolod and put up Chinese restaurant called Mai Pao & Mu Shu. He had a difficult time finding business partners because no one believed what he was capable of, but it was family who came through for him—his sister and brother-in-law to be exact, who supported his plans and gave him the start he needed.
“You can say I wanted to prove I could make a success out of that second chance. It was very close to my heart, since it was, of course, closely tied with my family,” he recalled.
Anglo’s challenging journey wasn’t over. His passion for food fuelled his desire to strike out in what was the toughest place he could have chosen: Manila.
“Well, I can’t really blame those who rejected me in the beginning. I’m sure they were all wondering who this upstart chef was, popping out of nowhere,” admitted the chef.
He conceived Sarsa, and applied for a space at The Forum in Fort Bonifacio. He initially got turned down, but JP persevered, and on the second try, he got in. The rest, as they say, is history.
Kafé Batwan and Liberation Shawarma followed, cementing his credibility as a bankable chef.
His stint as MasterChef Pinoy Edition judge gave a boost to his visibility in the industry, and many culinary experts—from his co-judge in MasterChef Fernando Aracama to his fellow young chefs and foodies like Chef Bruce Ricketts, Erwan Heussaff, and Chef Miko Aspiras—consider him as an esteemed colleague.
Though it was a slow and hard road he had to navigate to get to where he is now, Anglo has nothing but appreciation for the obstacles thrown in his way. He said, “Those things made me stronger and more focused on my goal, not to mention, taught me a lot about patience, and the value of working harder and better.”
Now a Globe ambassador
Globe Platinum is excited to have Anglo join the family as one of its newest faces to represent the brand.
Marketing Brand Director Kaisie Del Carmen said, “It’s our commitment to ensure that Chef JP, alongside our other customers, gets to live their modern lifestyles in today’s digital setting. Chef JP’s success goes beyond the kitchen and is evident in every part of his lifestyle, so we make sure he’s always inspired and connected to everything and everyone they love, so that he can continue achieving his success.”
With the success he’s managed to achieve, it isn’t surprising that Anglo has become both a role model and an inspiration for today’s young generation. He was one of the first people to forge a successful track in culinary and kick start a vibrant, exciting culture of Philippine contemporary cuisine.
“It was not easy, believe me, but I’m happy for all the obstacles that came my way. Going through those helped me become the best version of myself,” he concluded.