The kitchen is Chef Jayson Leonardo Javier’s sacrosanct sanctuary

A plated comfort by Chef Jayson Leonardo Javier

GASTRONOMY or the creative art of cooking and food preparation has been directly linked with human existence and the continued cultural and social endurance with ever-changing lifestyle. The history of culinary arts can be traced back to the 1800s but men had profitably discovered food preparations as early as the discovery of fire by primitive humans roughly million years ago.

The developing civilization gave birth to French chef, restaurateur, and culinary writer Georges Auguste Escoffier, the Father of Culinary Art, who initially developed the menus into courses, defined the contingents of kitchen setting, and improved the process of groundwork and garnishing to meet the customary preference of particular social groups. 

The aroma of a pefected dish brings smile on Chef Jayson’s face.

Jayson Leonardo Javier, an ambitious youth from Taytay, Rizal, was seemingly influenced by the iconic French chef when at a tender age of 17, he was already leaning toward the skill and art related to cooking. His innately peculiar taste buds could astoundingly “feed” him the ingredients that made up a dish after just trying it once. Instead of playing or watching TV he’d rather hang around their kitchen concocting every possible recipe he could think of from leftover food and available ingredients.

Jayson’s inevitably irresistible affair with the kitchen started when boys his age were merely sweating it out playing in the backyard and later dependent from their moms for food stuff… young Jayson was slowly honing his culinary potentials while simultaneously developing his taste buds.

Desperately wanting to have a doctor in the family, his dad, Renato Javier (then a successful sash factory operator) and mom Estelita San Juan (a garment factory and ready-to-wear owner) chose Jayson to take it since he’s the eldest boy among a brood of four girls and two boys. Heeding his parents’ advice, Jayson took up Medicine at the Santo Tomas University but faith had it that the supposed-to-be family physician ended up holding a carving knife instead of a stethoscope … and wearing an apron in lieu of a white lab gown. Jayson’s aspiration to be a chef finally endured.

Chef Jayson in a musing mood

His constant observation and insistent assisting their family cooks gainfully proffered him the initial techniques and essential “trade secrets” in food preparation that later became valuably of immense advantage. A huge family event was earmarked and the unforeseeable moment came when his culinary savoir faire had to be tested after their cooks failed to return from vacation. His family’s reputation was at stake since prominent families in Taytay and friends from nearby municipalities were already invited.

Jayson could not envisage how to please every single guest. All he had in mind were common recipes but had to be cooked and served in non-traditional ways…so as to diverge their standard tastes to something seemingly familiar but with a twist. The promising chef preferred altering original recipes and infusing his own.

“It was, without a doubt, a litmus test for me… but I took the challenge with utmost confidence,” he fondly recalls. “I admit I was panicky and edgy from the start but that incident made me more driven and motivated. The nerve-wracking experience gave me even more impetus to further hone my gastronomic capability.”

Born adventurous as his self-concocted recipes, Jayson nailed it at Apicius, the Culinary Institute of Florence, Italy and capped his graduation with an ace mark. His mastery of the craft he loved best brought him to five star hotels in the Middle East, then the United States, from Daly City to San Francisco and Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Hawaii, and New York.

In the Big Apple, the audacious kitchen master lent his culinary expertise to several restaurants and eateries: Ichi Umi, Sky Room Terrace, Marriott Hotel in Times Square, and Payag in Queens.

The innovative chef proudly holds his PACCAL trophy.

There were numerous quandaries and challenges he met along the way but his unflinching perseverance and conscientious dedication to make it on top of his league effortlessly paved the path for him. Jayson was unfalteringly challenged with every pain inflicted on him… he’s even being recharged every after every exhaustion.

It’s only but human nature to constantly seek for change… a transformation to better the quality of life. After two years of affiliation with The Sky Room Terrace, Jayson decided to broaden his horizon and assiduously focused on his own catering business in California, the Chef Republique. Doing well and gradually building his burgeoning moniker, Jayson was signed up by Salad Master as the company’s private chef and a segment tie-up in Adobo Nation’s Lasang Pinoy.

For change is the only permanent thing and so was Jayson’s wobbly mind. The ambitiously driven culinary master was vigorously enticed with four of his friends to join forces and contemplate on a permanent location where people could find a regular food hub … and they chose Queens, New York where there’s an immense concentration of Filipinos and Fil-Ams alike.

Capitalizing on his well-founded gastronomic background, unprecedented cooking expertise, incredibly eye-popping plating presentation, and consummate self-invented kitchen recipes the business partners were mighty confident that the newly opened business will flourishingly thrive despite the mounting competition among the mushrooming eateries in the area.

“We’re almost swollen with pride of the quality and distinct flavor of the food we serve. They’re all meticulously amalgamated and dexterously fused from the original Pinoy recipes that resulted to even much more flavorful taste and aroma. Through painstakingly developing familiar recipes to high-end perfection we aim to promote and uplift Filipino culture by way of cooking and serving “re-invented” authentic regional cuisine to entice not only our fastidious Filipino diners but to attract other ethnicities, as well,” he said.

The image of a kitchen master

Having received positive feedback and growing number of clients and patrons, Jayson and his business partners are aptly gifted with munificent hearts and generous enough to give back and share a certain percentage of whatever they accumulate to worth-supporting private and charitable institutions like Abandoned Mothers and Children, AIDS Foundation, Home for the Aged, and Lingap Pangarap.

For comments and suggestions, please email to: [email protected].

The Filipino-American Community Newspaper. Your News. Your Community. Your Journal. Since 1991.

Copyright © 1991-2024 Asian Journal Media Group.
All Rights Reserved.