The judges have voted, and the MBKRS Awards 2012 nominees have been announced. This academy of judges made up of individuals distinguished in Manila’s restaurant industry and related fields is now ready to vote in a second ballot to decide which of these are the best restaurants the city has to offer.
In late 2007, Ines Cabarrus and Elian Habayeb published their bestselling coffee-table book Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets, whose success inspired them to organize the awards recognizing excellence in Manila’s burgeoning dining scene. Patterned after the Oscars, the awards are decided by restaurant industry insiders, who understand its dynamics, trends, and standards. Since 2008, the MBKRS Awards (a.k.a. “the Dishes” given the award’s dish-like shape) are celebrated bi-annually at Enderun Colleges, the country’s top Hotel Restaurant Management school, sponsored by leading players such as Citibank and San Miguel, fully supported by the Tourism Department, and pretty much every relevant media outfit.
The academy of judges includes over 100 renowned chefs, restaurant owners, educators, food critics, bloggers, lifestyle publication editors, broadcasters, and celebrity foodies. They cast their votes via a secure online ballot system, and the results and integrity of the voting system are reviewed by leading accounting firm SGV & Co. The 30 award categories are categorized by cuisine, specialty, and individual achievement. There are even categories for hotel-based restaurants to keep thing fair, and one restaurant gets to take the prize of “Best Restaurant” home.
This year, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez is scheduled to give the keynote address at the by-invite-only awarding ceremony held on November 27th at Enderun. There, the entire restaurant industry—nominees, judges, presenters, sponsors, and supporters—crowns its best, as each proud winner accepts his well-earned award to thunderous applause, and the cameras of 7 TV networks, 6 radio stations, 8 broadsheets, and countless magazines and food blogs swarm them to get their reaction.
“It’s a really good thing to have in the Philippines because it brings all the restaurateurs together," says multi-award winner Chef Colin MacKay of People's Palace and Sala. "We get a chance to see what’s going on in the industry, see the competition, see what’s happening and get feedback from the public. It’s a great accolade to the scene!”
For more information on the awards, visit and "Like" www.facebook.com/mbkrsawards