Gallery VASK is now GALLERY by CHELE

After a four-month renovation, Chef Chele Gonzalez reveals his new baby.

Gallery by Chele has evolved from the internationally recognized Gallery VASK by expanding and transforming the space to include a bar, lounge and dining area that embodies their mantra: “Modern Cuisine. Local Ingredients.”

From its origins as a degustation-only experience, Gallery by Chele takes casual elements to allow its diners a fun, relaxed, and memorable experience that now offers bites, small plates, and big plates a la carte alongside their signature dishes; classic and original cocktails; fermented and other natural beverages made with different craft techniques; and, short and long tasting menus that can be customized with vegan and vegetarian options. This approach on flexibility is not taken lightly. “We want to think about our guests and do not want to be selfish.  When you go to a restaurant where you only have an option for a long tasting menu with no flexibility, sometimes you feel it is not right. This is easy for the standard of the restaurant to have it that way but looking into the future, I think more restaurants will follow our lead,” Chef Chele Gonzalez shares. “I think to be able to express your values or philosophy with bites and cocktails is amazing.”

Chele is an internationally renowned chef that has made the Philippines his home. Gallery by Chele is where he showcases everything he has learned from travelling and learning about cultures. In the past decade, he has explored different parts of the world, especially Southeast Asia and the Philippine archipelago, where he discovered local ingredients and native cooking methods.

“Now we are able to to create an ecosystem where everything is connected and makes sense. We are able to focus on the most important part of our job: hospitality, to take care of our guest in many different ways.”  “Fine dining is evolving, it’s changing and I think we are just taking that direction. And we are Innovating and creating a concept for the future and for the place we are in Asia and Philippines,” Chele shares emphatically.

This approach of flexibility extends to the price and experience – one that is fun, relaxed, and comforting while upholding the quality and creativity that Chele is known for, the world over. Diners can take their pick from a 3, 5, or 8-course tasting menu, or choose to dine a la carte. They can add to these degustation experiences with small or big plates, and bar bites. Of course, customers can also choose to partake of vegan and vegetarian options.

In the first of many collaborations, Gallery by Chele works with mixology extraordinaire, Kalel Demetrio, to reinvent classic cocktails with local flavors and ingredients. Other fermented and natural beverages made with different craft techniques have also made their way to the menu. As with the food, the drinks can be enjoyed individually or as a pairing.

The interiors of Gallery by Chele have been softened and warmed by dominantly wood surfaces from the ceilings to the tabletops, which are all marked by a manifestation of elements from nature into furniture. Partner-owner and architect Carlo Calma designed the space to liken a barn house situated within a building, in the city! This concept is further enhanced by the rainforest details in the furniture of internationally recognized Filipino designer, Kenneth Cobonpue, as well as the specially designed earthenware, stone, and pottery that make up the dishes to complement the fresh ingredients that will be plated on them.

As he ventures forward, the kitchen leadership of Chef Carlos Villaflor and a team of veterans in the food and hospitality industry collaborates within Gallery by Chele, resulting in cross-cultural innovations that can be seen in the menu, culture, and ambience of the restaurant. Team Gallery, particularly the partnership of chefs Chele Gonzalez and Carlos Villaflor – in the kitchen, in travel, and in business – creates cross-cultural innovations that can be seen in the menu and the restaurant.

Six years ago, Chele met Carlos – a young chef whose curiosity, passion, and discipline sparked the beginning of a partnership. His vision of Filipino cooking and ingredients provided Chele the right challenge to his ongoing investigation of the country’s cuisine. Together with Team Gallery, Chele and Carlos produce cross-cultural innovations between a Spanish- European culinary background, a Filipino heritage, and the cultures, travels, and kitchens they have shared in between.

As the doors of Gallery by Chele reopen, with all these changes and improvements plus the new menu flexibility, diners are sure to be flocking over. Book your table now.

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Written by FoodieS May 26, 2018.

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