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: Simplicity. Freshness. Consistency.
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.
BBQ is better when it’s hot out. Maybe it’s because shorts and tanks give sauce-covered fingers less chances to leave streaks, or because smokers work better when they don’t have to battle outside chill. Whatever the reason, summer eating is all about good ‘cue. ....
Prix fixe fans, get ready. Center City District Restaurant Week is back. For two weeks starting Sunday, September 7 (with the exception of Saturday, September 13, in some cases), more than 125 restaurants in central Philadelphia will offer three-course dinners for $35. Some will also bring daylight to the deals and serve $20 three-course lunches.
Chef Leo Forneas will order a pig specially for your party, which he then brines, de-bones and and slow-roasts in a process that takes nearly 48 hours. At the very end, he turns up the heat so the skin becomes a crispy edible garnish for your plate of falling-apart pork.
Former Sampan chef Leo Forneas left Philadelphia a few years ago to experiment in New York kitchens. Now he’s back, and somewhere you wouldn’t expect to see him: The Twisted Tail in Society Hill, which calls itself a bourbon house and juke joint
Veggie lovers can rejoice in these flavorful picks that prove you don’t need meat to enjoy a satisfying burger. Whether it’s made with grains, potatoes, squash, soy, beans or a combination of them all, each of these burgers is more than just a substitute for its meaty counterpart.
BBQ is better when it’s hot out. Maybe it’s because shorts and tanks give sauce-covered fingers less chances to leave streaks, or because smokers work better when they don’t have to battle outside chill. Whatever the reason, summer eating is all about good ‘cue...
The newest project from the Schulson Collective, led by Michael Schulson and Nina Tinari, is Alpen Rose, a sophisticated steakhouse on 13th Street next to sister spots Double Knot and Sampan. Working with culinary director Leo Forneas, Schulson and Tinari are going for a classic vibe at the 40-seat restaurant.