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A restaurateur on a mission

Le Cordon Bleu Paris alumnus Robbie Ripalda came from humble beginnings to achieve his dream. As restaurateur of The Domaine Restaurant (Silang, Philippines), he is on a mission to connect Filipinos’ diet and daily lives back to local produce.

Graduating in 2010 with a Grand Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu Paris, his studies inspired him to move away from a consumer driven lifestyle. His business and personal life was completely changed by this decision. “In the Philippines there is a mass consumption driven economy. I come from a family of butchers so I’ve seen it first-hand. I’ve now grown to honour what nature gives us, I see the supply of nature as unquestionably beautiful. Entrepreneurship is a way to express this vision.”

Robbie is passionate about the amount of local produce waiting to be discovered that could be included in Filipinos’ daily diet. “I believe the produce in Philippines is as just beautiful as the produce I worked with in France,” he says, and is committed to promoting local produce in the Philippines through his cooking.

Encouraging his staff to treat each other as a family at The Domaine Restaurant is an important business ethic. “In this way the team are connected and never working against each other. In the restaurant industry you need staff who are very selfless to operate it, there must be care in every effort.” He also has strong principles regarding customer service. “Our belief is that the client is the ‘boss’. In this humble way, we are very sensitive to our clients, and to everyone involved with the business.”

An advocate of lifelong learning, Robbie suggests fellow students dedicate themselves to their craft.

“In our profession, your culinary technique is very important, you must be dedicated to being a lifelong student. You must make cooking your life’s endeavor and means of living. In this way, all trade secrets, skills and talents will come naturally.”
Humility is Robbie’s key to success and guiding life principle. “Be humble and happy, I always believe in the power of the heart because it will never mislead you. Be humble along the way and it will guide your way to success.”