Jessie Sincioco (Owner and Chef, Chef Jessie Restaurants)
Helming the kitchen of the very popular Chef Jessie Rockwell Club is the ever-cheerful Chef Jessie Sincioco. If you happen to visit her restaurant, you may notice Chef Jessie greeting guests at every table with a wide smile on her face. Equipped with years of experience, Chef Jessie gives us a peek into her humble beginnings as a chef:
1. Why did you decide to become a chef?
The decision actually happened when I started training in the pastry kitchen of Hotel InterContinental in Ayala Avenue. As soon as I set foot in the pastry kitchen and witnessed all the good stuff that were being done and prepared before my eyes, I told myself: This is my place on earth! This is where I want to be!
2. Where and how were you trained?
My training for kitchen work officially started at home with my Auntie Lita as my mentor. This was continued at the pastry kitchen of Hotel InterContinental Manila after winning the grand prize in the baking category of the Great Maya Cookfest.
3. Have you experienced discrimination in the kitchen because of your gender?
Yes! The Filipino pastry chef at that time made a statement saying that he won't allow any girl in his kitchen. He somehow made things a bit tough for me but that that did not discouraged me from pursuing something I really like! I told myself, "Will I give up this work I truly love just because of that?" My strong conviction to keep my work prevailed! I could not imagine where I am now if I did not fight for my right!
4. How did you make sure your voice was heard in a male-dominated industry?
I made sure I did my work exceptionally well so that they would not have any reason to bring me down, and of course, I always stood and fought for what is right.
5. What is your advice to aspiring female chefs?
Never make your gender an obstacle to your dream profession or career! If you are able to discover what you really want to do in life, by all means go for it without hesitation. It is only in doing what you truly love that can lead you to success!