Talented Filipino Chef de Cuisine Allan Briones brings new culinary flair to Old Manila as he takes over the helm of The Peninsula Manila’s iconic restaurant, making it the perfect playground for his innovative take on contemporary market cuisine.
Consistently hailed as one of the finest restaurants in the city, Old Manila at The Peninsula Manila is continuing its relentless pursuit of culinary excellence with the appointment of Chef de Cuisine Allan Briones.
Since it opened in 1976, Old Manila has become an iconic landmark in the city’s culinary landscape. With a top-notch pedigree earned after having trained under three-Micheline starred Marco Pierre
White in London and Abu Dhabi, 37-year-old Chef Briones brings more than 14 years of experience to Old Manila, making him the ideal choice to continue the restaurant’s proud epicurean tradition and reputation for culinary excellence that stretches back more than 40 years.
The first Filipino to be appointed Chef de Cuisine of Old Manila, he has quickly proved himself a worthy successor to the esteemed chefs who have helped shape Old Manila’s stellar reputation. Deftly lending his own assured touch to a “contemporary market cuisine” menu that will be of interest to locavores, his brand of culinary flair is a perfect combination of flavors, aromas, textures and presentation using the best seasonal ingredients sourced locally and abroad, presented in bold and unexpected ways.
Similar to other accomplished chefs, Chef Briones started cooking at a very young age. He was 12 when he first showed an affinity for the kitchen, but formal training started the year he turned 18 when he enrolled at the Center for Culinary Arts where the curriculum consisted of everything relevant to a budding chef’s career.
“I had my internship at the Mandarin Oriental Manila in 2004, was hired after I was done with school and apprenticed under Executive Chef Norbert Gandler,” he says. It was this experience that allowed him to appreciate the culinary minds in the industry.
A few years later in 2007, he signed up as a cook with Norwegian Cruise Lines before flying to Abu Dhabi in 2008 and working for IHG. In 2011, he landed a post at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill where his talent shone and he was sent to London to train.
“I worked harder than I ever had in my entire life,” he remembers of those years, “but the amount of knowledge I learned was incomparable.” One lesson he’ll never forget is to treat ingredients with respect. “Give your products the respect they deserve and they will shine. Even if you were to use the most expensive ingredients, but you don’t treat them right, the results will be ho-hum.”
After two years, he accepted the post as Head Chef of Maison Mathis in Dubai and then Executive Chef and Corporate Chef at Brown Book, a chain of restaurants in the Gulf state.
In 2016, he decided to pack his bags and head back home to the Philippines where The Peninsula Manila hired him as Executive Banquet Chef. Less than a year later, he was offered the plum post of Chef de Cuisine of Old Manila.
“Chef Allan Briones brings with him an impressive list of accomplishments and a wealth of experience that we are thrilled to have at Old Manila,” says The Peninsula Manila General Manager Mark J. Choon. “We are proud of the inspired new menu he has created at the restaurant and know that he will continue to raise the standards, assuring our guests of an incredible dining experience.”
Highlights of Chef Briones’ new Old Manila menu include: English pea soup with crispy jamon, fresh peas and lemon broth; Foie gras torchon with Baguio cherries, pistachio, salted date caramel and brioche; Bone marrow paired with beef tartare, pickled Shimeiji mushrooms and salted egg espuma; Heirloom tomato salad with avocado slivers, radish, basil, elder cress, chia seeds and saba vinegar; Pan-seared barramundi with barley risotto, braised artichokes, pearl onions and Barigoule emulsion and, last but by no means least, his signature Miso-glazed Chilean sea bass with aubergine cooked three ways, baby bok choy, chili and quinoa.
Old Manila’s guests can continue with their superlative gastronomic journey with his acclaimed dry-aged selection of steaks that are grilled fresh and accompanied by a complimentary side dish and a sauce of choice.
Chef Briones says, “I want to integrate my passion for technique, combine it with the delicious selection of seasonal produce available, allow the carefully selected flavors to shine through and enhance them through a play on the five senses for our guests to enjoy.”
About Old Manila
Accented in Art Deco-inspired geometric patterns in gray, cream and black, and complemented by large-scale photographs by Filipino-Spanish photographer Francisco Guerrero, the contemporary interiors are the perfect foil to the unmatched award-winning contemporary market cuisine menu and extensive wine selection of The Peninsula Manila’s 41-year-old signature restaurant.
The restaurant is honored by earning a 2017 Wine Spectator Award for having one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world.
It can accommodate 80 guests, with a private dining room that can sit 24.
Open daily except Sundays:
Monday to Friday Lunch 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
Monday to Saturday Dinner 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm