Chef Mau at Cafe Summit

·2 min read

Summit Galleria Cebu opened Café Summit in February this year with Chef Mau Dominguez at the helm of its kitchen. The chef has come up with a well-chosen, Filipino-flavored continental menu that caters to the variety of tastes of guests at the hotel and walk-ins from the Robinson’s Mall next door. Chef Mau is proud to say the café has gone “local,” meaning, about 70 percent of what it uses in its kitchen is local. He said: “We have no steaks or salmon here. Scallops are locally sourced.”

In an interview, Chef Mau says he is from Bulan, Sorsogon and has no cooking school background. His culinary odyssey started when he worked in a café in 1999 and by 2004, he was cook/kitchen helper in Philippine Plaza Hotel. Then he went back to Sorsogon, worked in a chicken restaurant, and from there he worked in cruise ships of the United Philippine Lines, plying Alaska, Canada and San Diego.

On a break, he worked for Purple Fest Restaurant, a free-style restaurant with no menu (the guest was expected to order whatever he wanted and the restaurant would prepare it for him) with Chef Legasto. Then he moved on to Norwegian Cruise Lines with cruise ships plying Europe and the US.

In 2012, he found himself in Cebu as sous chef/supervisor in Radisson Blu. He has been here in Cebu since then, working for various properties like Cebu Parklane International, Vikings Restaurant (where he was executive sous chef and head chef of the opening team), Harold’s Hotel (where he finally earned the title executive chef), Mezzo, Solea, Maribago Bluewater and Vivace (the restaurant of Ocean Park Cebu).

Chef Mau said he is known in local culinary circles as the kangaroo chef because of his hopping from one property to another. The reason for this, he said, is that because he did not have any formal culinary schooling, he wanted to learn from the different properties, gaining experience and knowledge.

He has been in Cebu for almost a decade and, he mused, he might finally “settle down.”

“I learned a lot from the pandemic. I felt empty. This time I am trying to settle down. I am happy here in Summit.”

Chef Mau has created a menu that bears the flavors and aroma of Philippine cuisine. Among the café’s signature dishes are Laksa, No Batter Chicken and Scallops Duo. And yes, it offers Cebu’s Sutukil (fish served as grilled, soup and ceviche).

The café is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as for all day merienda.

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