100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf: Chef John Buenaventura – Restauranteur
What does it take to run one of Dubai’s hottest conceptual food spots du jour? CEO of Cuisinero Uno, Chef John Buenaventura has been leaving foodies raving with his restaurant’s original tapas creations. As a young entrepreneur putting his stamp on the local food scene while changing the game for Filipino restaurateurs who mostly prefer to be comfortable within the community niche, it has been sheer blood, sweat, and tears that lead him to where he stands now. Armed with fifteen years of hardcore culinary experience, John expresses that despite the long hours, the roller coaster of entrepreneurship, and the hundreds of cuts and bruises, he couldn’t imagine dedicating himself to anything else.
It requires sheer gumption to enter the culinary industry, let alone break the glass-ceiling. But John admits that his courage stems both from his fear of being mediocre, and his desire to embolden Filipinos so that they too can see the value in challenging one’s limits: “My bravery comes from the fear of being average and not making a mark or impact on society. We as Filipinos are genetically creative, hardworking, and awesome people! Get out of the “okay na ko dito” mentality! Step out of your comfort zone, and set bigger boundaries. With the proper mindset and goal, we can do wonders.”
Having achieved so many feats early in his career, nothing can curb this young chef’s hunger to continue growing and excelling in his craft. He shares: “To grow, profit, and expand the restaurant in other fields relating to food and beverage, and to be recognized as the first Filipino Michelin star chef. That’s the ultimate dream.”