Cyrille Soenen

Chef Cyrille Soenen, or CiҪou brings to The Bow Tie Duck a celebration of pastries from his bakery, KA Pastries.

Chef Cyrille Soenen, or CiҪou to his family and friends, was born in 1968 in Tremblay-en-France. Raised in a culinary-loving household, he grew up on his grandparents’ cooking, using the freshest ingredients from their garden.

So, it’s no surprise that a career in culinary was the path he chose to take. He took on an apprenticeship at the prestigious Ritz Paris, and worked in some of Paris’ best restaurants, including the Michelin-starred L’Espadon at the Ritz Paris.

Having mastered classic French culinary traditions, he moved to the Philippines some 20 years ago, working as Executive Head Chef for Intercontinental Manila, and Impressions at Resorts World Manila. The latter of which won 2012’s Best Hotel Restaurant: Fine Dining.

At the same time, he opened Brasserie CiҪou, introducing Filipinos to the most delicious and most authentic French food. He offered magnificently and perfectly prepared classic fare. Everything he served was made with utmost care and love for food, something that shone with every plate. It’s no wonder it won Best French Restaurant in 2012.

And it’s also no wonder that he received the Master Chef of France title in 2015. It’s the most prestigious award from the Maitres Cuisiniers de France, a more than 60-year-old society of carefully chosen French chefs that uphold the strong and centuries-old traditions of classic French cooking. Getting inducted is no light matter. Think of it as the Pulitzer Prize for French chefs.

Chef Cyrille Soenen is probably best known to many locally as the one who brought in the now well-loved Kouign Amann. This buttery, flaky pastry from Brittany was an instant hit to the food-loving Filipino audience. In fact, its initials make up the name for his online bakery, KA Pastries.

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