Starting at an early age, Chef Leo learned to appreciate natural and simple ingredients by cooking alongside his grandfather in the Philippines. From the abundant produce harvested in the family’s garden to the milkfish they caught in the nearby river, each meal was prepared with only the freshest ingredients.

These early lessons would form the principles at the heart of Chef Leo’s cooking: SimplicityFreshnessConsistency.

After being classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Leo began a diverse career by working alongside a multitude of reputable chefs. His most memorable experiences include serving as Line Cook at Oceana, Sous Chef at Jean Georges’ 66 Restaurant, as well as Executive Chef at Philadelphia’s Sampan. He also trained under Top Chef Master Marcus Samuelsson at Aquavit and was the Executive Chef at Robert, the restaurant located within New York City’s Museum of Art & Design.

From re-imagining Asian & American Comfort Food at Silk Rd Tavern to refreshing Southern Classics at The Twisted Tail, Chef Leo brought creativity & sensibility to tradition with unexpected fresh & sustainable ingredients. In his current role as Culinary Director at MJS Collective, Chef Leo leads culinary innovation for existing and new concepts for the group’s expanding portfolio of dining destinations.


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