Javier was born in Quezon City, Philippines and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey. Surrounded by family who loved to cook and loved to eat even more, Javier’s relationship with food had been fostered around the dinner table.
Javier graduated from Johnson and Wales University with an Associates degree in Culinary Arts in 2001 and a Bachelors degree in Food Service Management in 2003.
During University, Javier worked as a line cook at Restaurant 44 at the Royalton Hotel in New York City with Chef Bill Pete, and at Napa Valley Grille in Providence, Rhode Island with Chef Stuart Cameron. His initial experience sparked Javier’s love for the culinary universe.
After graduation, Javier spent 2 years at Bouley Restaurant under the tutelage of Chef David Bouley and Chef Cesar Ramirez. In 2005, Javier began work under Chef Marcus Samuelson and Chef Nils Noren at Aquavit.
By the end of the year, Javier was introduced to Bill Telepan, and became part of the opening team of Telepan. Javier worked as sous chef alongside Chef Telepan and Chef Josh Lawler, learning responsible sourcing of in-season ingredients. This served as the foundation of Chef Javier’s cooking philosophy.
While at Telepan, Javier was appointed Chef Coordinator at the post-James Beard Awards VIP Dinner in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013.
After 6 years at Telepan Javier refined his techniques at various restaurants throughout Europe. He staged at Chef Fergus Henderson’s St. John in London, and Chef Sergi Arolo and Chef Manuel Berganza’s Sergi Arolo Gastro in Madrid. Javier also served as a chef volunteer for World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), where he worked with local farms in Spain and Italy. Through WWOOF Javier connected with Gaetano Besana, owner of Oasi de Galbusera Bianca and was hired as a restaurant consultant to revise their menu and provide proper FOH and BOH staff training.
In 2013 Javier returned to the U.S. to open Telepan Local as Executive Chef. Javier created a menu of tapas-style American fare focused on seasonal ingredients. Many menu items, such as his famed fried watercress with chili oil and cashews dish, have been featured in various publications. Between Telepan Local and traveling Javier cooked private dinners and taught cooking classes for private events.
The following year, Javier was awarded by The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York organization, a 2014 TOFA-NY Award for Food and Restaurants.
After Telepan Local, Javier began his own business venture: Flip Pop-up. Limited-night dinners that showcased his take on modern filipino food. He also became a Reiki practitioner so that he could not only nourish people physically, but through good energies as well. The success of this venture was what inspired Javier to travel around the Philippines and Asia aiming to fully immerse himself in one of the first fusion cuisines in the world- Filipino food. He continues blending his European training and seasonal approach with the flavor accents from his heritage to develop his own cooking style--New American Filipino cuisine.