What distinguishes a dining destination from a restaurant? “That is a good question, and actually, easy to answer,” states chef Chele González. Fresh from a gastronomic pilgrimage through his home country Spain and introducing an all-new menu at Gallery by Chele, the lauded culinarian remains the talk of the town with his latest project: Samira by Chele González, an elevated dining destination at Anya Resort Tagaytay.
The luxury oasis is a healthy distance away from the metro, boasting tranquil landscapes and a serene breeze you simply cannot find in the city. With the opening of Samira by Chele González, gourmands are given another compelling excuse to make the drive down. Illustrating the distinction between a restaurant and a dining destination like Samira, González explains: “You go to a restaurant because you want to eat, you’re hungry. You go to a dining destination, and it’s a whole different thing; people will spend two or three hours enjoying good wine, good cocktails, good food, good conversation—it’s a date.”
As his patrons will gladly attest, this experiential approach is central to the Chele González brand. “Chele González is not about cooking, it’s about creating experiences,” beams the eponymous chef. This very value is what made González such an enthralling, if not natural choice to helm Anya’s flagship F&B outlet.
“His way of thinking is all about the experience, it’s not about the food or what’s on your plate,” remarks Santi Elizalde, president and CEO of Roxaco Land Corporation and the visionary behind the resort. “The moment you enter the restaurant, that’s when the [encounter] starts—and that’s exactly what we’re all about. Anya itself is a destination, so it’s really about the [journey]: how we treat our guests from the minute they get out of the car to the minute they check out.”