Two Filipino-owned restaurants in Orlando have been awarded Michelin stars in the 2022 Guide to Florida

Last June 9, the Michelin Guide revealed its inaugural edition for Miami, Orlando and Tampa, with a launch party at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grand Lakes. Of the 14 Michelin-starred restaurants, two are Filipino-owned.

Guide Sōseki, a 10-seater omakase counter, in Winter Park, described, “This little operation with Chef Mike Colants at its head is the perfect example of a contemporary meal expressed by omakase. A laser-like focus on local Florida results in a menu that changes monthly” .

Some of these might include Florida lionfish, 14-day-dry bluefin tuna or local Jacksonville purple rice hand-milled in puffed rice flakes to serve with toro and caviar. And occasionally, guests may notice Filipino ingredients like calamansi and coconut vinegar, which Colantes started to incorporate parts of his heritage (his parents were originally from Bulacan and Manila). “We have [also] Introduce dishes like lechon, sinigang, and kinilaw to our menu to flow through the courses,” Collantes also runs a casual Filipino restaurant, Taglish, and organizes Kamayan Supper Clubs.

At Cadence in Audubon Park, Michelin inspectors noted, “omakase opens with hot dishes and cold sashimi. This is a food without soul, but able to respect traditional methods. Speed ​​in sashimi like hamachi and hirami. Nigiri, like snapper with lemon and sea salt, will leave you craving for more.”

The founders and owners of the restaurant, husband and wife alongside Mark Bearden, and Jennifer Panagali Bearden, who were originally from Bohol and Manila respectively, were trained in Michelin-starred restaurants in New York and London. Mark worked in Morimoto and under the leadership of Masato Shimizu from 15 East; and Jane in the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel and Aquavite – before later working together in Omo, London. (The third co-founder, Lordfer Lalicon, has since moved on to start a Filipino restaurant, Kaya Orlando, but accepted a Michelin award on stage at the ceremony on behalf of the couple, along with co-owner Jamilyn Salonga Bailey.)

Although it is a traditional sushi restaurant, there are those days when elements of Filipino heritage may appear to the chefs by “displaying the Jollibee statuette”.[ing] Above the window sill, there’s Filipino seaweed in soup, moringa to ice cream,” Jennifer shared.[W]Never intentionally try to bring Filipino food into our service, but sometimes it just happens naturally.”

For the full list of 2022 Michelin Stars and Bib Gourmands for Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, visit Michelin Guide.

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