About the chef
For The Discovery Leisure Company Inc. (TDLCI), the homegrown Filipino holding company that owns and manages a distinguished portfolio that includes Discovery Suites in the Ortigas Business District, Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay and the much celebrated Discovery Shores Boracay, every member of the team is specially handpicked through an intensive process to find just the right fit for their brands.
Taking pride in their collection of refined and award-winning restaurants, finding the right captain to take their clientele through culinary voyages was not easy. But after a long and nearly hopeless search to fit the spot as TDLCI's corporate chef, a very talented Filipino emerged straight from Los Angeles, California.
Enter Chef Anthony Raymond, the new driving force in-charge of providing culinary and management direction at the helm, while upholding and surpassing the most stringent of quality standards for both his products and service.
His personal mission as the Corporate Chef for TDLCI is to elevate and showcase the culinary talent in the company. He admits, "One of the reasons that I joined TDLCI was their appreciation for Filipino talent. We are a homegrown Filipino company and I am blessed for inheriting a great group of Filipino chefs and cooks who have the heart, passion, and ambition to succeed in today's kitchen world. The culinary team's hard work and dedication to their craft inspires me in my responsibility to provide them the tools and education to help them succeed in the kitchen." He believes that a kitchen is a team-driven environment and that you can only succeed if the team understands your vision and direction.
At 37, it is safe to say that he has thus far, had a vibrant and impressive culinary career that spans over 16 years at establishments that includes a Five Star / Five Diamond Hotel (The Peninsula Beverly Hills), a French Michelin-star restaurant (Stella Maris restaurant in Paris) under the tutelage of Michelin Star Chef Tateru Yoshino, catering alongside restaurant competitors Wolfgang Puck of Spago, Tom Calicchio of Craft, and Thomas Keller of Bouchon, and several fine dining hotel restaurants here and abroad.
In the Philippines, he worked as sous chef for The Peninsula Manila's Old Manila Restaurant working alongside Chef de Cuisine Adrian Mellor who taught him how to enhance his palate and to taste everything, and under the supervision of Chef de Cuisine Nicholas De Viche who inspired him to be creative in food presentation. Executive Chef James Overbaugh influenced him on how to manage and operate a professional kitchen, and to always strive to be the best chef he can be.
His vast experience over the years molded him to the chef he is today. Working abroad has taught him to elevate his standards to the highest degree in terms of taste, presentation, and service. In Beverly Hills, renowned actors, athletes, CEOs, and international moguls pushed him to be on top of his game where there was no room for error.
Immediately evident upon joining TDLCI, Chef Anthony Raymond proves to be a stalwart in the professional kitchen line who delivers effortlessly in the very fast paced environment. He passes on his previous training in discipline and consistency, driving his chefs and cooks to keep practicing their technique and palate "until you can do it with your eyes shut." He adds, "You should be able to smell and hear if he or she is executing a dish correctly."
Exuding a passion for food and creativity with exceptional management and interpersonal skills, Chef Anthony Raymond is also very well-traveled, having resided in France, the United States, Singapore, Puerto Rico (which became an inspiration to specialize in French and Modern Californian cuisines with an Asian Influence), and in the Philippines, exposing him to a variety of cultures and cuisines, and strengthening his unbelievable palate.
Not surprisingly, Chef Raymond Anthony studied at the Le Cordon Bleu, in Paris, with a Le Grande Diplome in Cuisine and Pastry, at Cornell University in New York for a certificate course in Restaurant Revenue Management, and at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences. But beyond his impressive education and work experiences, Chef Anthony Raymond attributes his strongest traits to being Filipino, and is extremely proud of his culture. In fact, in most of the kitchens that he worked in abroad over the years, he was usually the only Filipino where he proudly represented the Philippines. He adds, "It was funny to hear that some Filipinos in Los Angeles couldn't believe that a Filipino was the Executive Sous Chef for the Peninsula Beverly Hills, and I loved hearing that! I am proud to be a Filipino. Filipinos can definitely be at par, if not better, than everybody else in the kitchen."
He also proudly discloses that his family was one of the greatest influences on one of his strongest traits, resourcefulness. He explains,
"I appreciate how Filipinos use all parts of the animal to cook a dish. My wife comes from Pampanga, considered by many as the culinary capital of the Philippines, where I first tasted the best use of the pig's ears and face, the sisig! I couldn't believe that you can make such a delicious dish predominantly using pig ears and face. I get inspiration from it and try to use different parts of an animal to cook a great dish." This goes to show that even after serving time at the finest kitchens in the world, his soft spot is for homegrown home cooking, from the heart.
Since joining the TDLCI team as Corporate Chef, he has made radical improvements, standardizing all recipes (he has started a "recipe bible" for all the properties to ensure that all chefs and cooks are actually following a specific recipe to help keep up with consistency of execution and presentation); and he has created kitchen standard guidelines that will soon become the very DNA by which all the chefs and cooks are evaluated.
A fun and outgoing person outside of the kitchen, in the kitchen, he wastes no time ensuring that everyone is on the right track with a strong emphasis on cleanliness and what he calls "kitchen line organization." Of his management style, he says, "I treat the kitchen as a sport, such as American football. I see myself as the quarterback in the kitchen. My job is to lead the kitchen to a successful service and take charge of the entire operation."
But perhaps most significantly, Chef Anthony Raymond runs his kitchens and restaurants knowing that neither will ever be perfect (especially for one with such high standards), but one will always try, and in so doing, each restaurant outlet is an extremely exciting place. And to the customer who is blissfully unaware of the hard work that goes on behind-the-scenes, dining at any of the TDLCI restaurants can be described as, to borrow from celebrity Chef Marco Pierre White, "A restaurant is an illusion. You enter, fall in love and step out."
In the hands of The Discovery Leisure Company Inc., expect nothing short of the very best on each and every visit. For inquiries, contact Discovery Suites at (+63 2) 719-8888 / Discovery Shores Boracay at (+63 2) 720-8888 / Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay at (+63 2) 5298172 or visit www.discoveryhotels-resorts.com.