For those who have no idea about the significance of a Michelin star, the Michelin Guide is the oldest hotel and restaurant reference guide in Europe. It is a series of books published by Michelin of France. Michelin stars are awarded to establishments for excellence by a team of experts. Getting or losing a star can have a significant effect on the success of the establishment. One Michelin star is considered “very good,” two Michelin stars is equivalent to “excellent,” while an establishment that receives three Michelin stars offers “exceptional cuisine.” The Michelin star is essentially a stamp of fine dining quality. When the New York restaurant of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was stripped of its stars, he cried. He likened the loss of the stars to “losing a girlfriend.”
Atherton credits his hard work and determination to his success in the world of fine dining. He said in an interview with Lifestyle Asia he worked hard and continued to hone his skills while working for Marco Pierre White. He was aware that there were more talented chefs in the kitchen at that time, but his hard work and determination paid off.
He also revealed that he started dabbling in the kitchen when he was in school. Atherton said when he was given a choice of taking extra football classes or Home Economics in school, he was one of the boys who opted for the latter. While his excuse was to be with the pretty girls in class, he actually enjoyed Home Economics.
Cebuano foodies may be wondering what made this successful chef decide to open a restaurant in Cebu. Well, as they say, behind every successful man is a woman and this woman is a Cebuana. You see, Jason Atherton is married to Irha, a proud Cebuana. Atherton said it was always the dream of his wife to bring the success of their restaurant group to her hometown.
Chris McKowen said the restaurant in Cebu will feature European food complemented by the warmth of the Filipino service tapas style. McKowen added that it will be a casual dining restaurant with the sharing of dishes in mind. It will also have a cool bar lounge offering unique cocktails.
Atherton said the restaurant will not be extravagant, but will be similar to 22 Ships. He added that nothing gives him greater joy than opening a Social destination in Cebu as his love letter to his wife, who is also the co-director of the company. Foodies will have something to look forward to next month when the restaurant of Jason and Irha Atherton starts offering delightful dishes to tickle the taste buds of Cebuanos.