MANILA – Chef Gene Gonzalez looked back on his 29 years in Café Ysabel at P. Gueverra Street in San Juan, which had its last dinner service on July 31.
In a video posted on Café Ysabel’s Facebook page, Gonzalez said he “spent more than half my lifetime here walking the corridors, greeting the guests, going on the line, cooking, and coming up with meals they (customers) have enjoyed.”
“We’ve had a really good run, 29 years here, and 35 years altogether. Not bad, not bad at all,” he said.
The iconic Filipino restaurant is moving to a new location – at Paterno Street, also in San Juan.
Based on photos shared by Gonzalez’ son and fellow chef Gino, the new Café Ysabel will have a similar look and feel, and will also offer the same menu.
“It’s time to close the chapter… and I’m looking forward to the next rebirth of Café Ysabel,” Gonzalez said.
“So no sadness, just good memories we’ll take with us and treasure as we go on.”
Gonzalez is a celebrity chef in the Philippines and is also the president of the Center for Asian Culinary Studies, whose graduates include Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and actress Judy Ann Santos.
Singer and “The Voice” coach Sarah Geronimo is also one of his students.