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French chef promotes fresh, organic food, partners with Cebuano farmers

Updated: Apr 18

Chef Philippe Arduino in his kitchen at Michel's Bistro, located at M. Velez corner A. Abellana Streets in Cebu City (Ventures Cebu Photo)

Chef Philippe Arduino likes to make the food he sells from scratch.

His jams and sauces are made with bananas, papayas, tomatoes, and herbs he picks from his garden.

An advocate of healthy eating and sustainability, Chef Philippe uses only organic produce he sources from Cebu farmers, some of whom grow certain vegetables for him.

He likes all things fresh, so he prefers to serve freshly cooked food straight from his kitchen to the table.

A French national who loves living in the tropics, Chef Philippe came to Cebu about a year ago, after he and his wife decided to move out of Manila and into a medium-sized highly urbanized city.

He opened Michel's Bistro, a cozy restaurant on the ground floor of S Hotel at the corner of M. Velez and Andres Abellana Streets in Cebu City, about nine months ago.

Michel's Bistro is located at the corner of M. Velez St. and Andres Abellana St. in Cebu City. (Ventures Cebu Photo)

So far, Chef Philippe has found the Cebu market challenging but more interesting and receptive to his products and culinary expertise.

"The people in Cebu like local more. They don't like imported brands, but they're also open-minded about foreign food," he said.

Among the items on Michel's menu are French pork chop, homemade pasta dishes like Ratatuy's pasta, French-style beef burgundy, and fish burger. For breakfast, the options include market omelet made from farm fresh organic free range eggs and organic vegetables.

Chef Philippe also offers his own version of the smoked bangus and escabeche.

Aside from the meals that he prepares himself in his open kitchen, Chef Philippe also offers made-to-order baked treats.

Chef Philippe also provides one-on-one professional training services to teach all aspects of restaurant operations, including food preparation, developing the menu, costing, purchasing, selecting the proper kitchen equipment, planning the arrangement of the restaurant, and cleaning.

He was trained in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris before he obtained his master’s degree in pastry and bakery.

He also underwent intensive executive chef training prior to his deployment to Manila, where he opened Maison Eric Kayser, a world-renowned bakery offering French bread, pastry and cakes.

He has partnered with local farmers, whom he met through the Cebu Farmers Market held on Wednesdays at the Banilad Town Centre and Saturdays at Vibo Place on Escario Street. (MVI/Ventures Cebu)

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