*Photos are taken from Chef Miko Aspiras’ Facebook page and various publications online
If you’ve eaten from delicious restaurants like Poison Donuts, Workshop Bakery, and Scout’s Honor, then congratulations. You have already experienced the genius of one of The Bailiwick Academy’s instructors, Chef Miko Aspiras!
At a very young age, Chef Miko is already living the dream most chefs would want. He has multiple restaurants and awards under his belt and has been featured on multiple websites and magazines, not just locally but also abroad. He is even known for coining the term basque burnt cheesecake!
What more could any chef want?
His accomplishments are certainly very aspirational. But oftentimes, we forget that successful people had to do a boatload of work before getting their breakthrough.
And that’s why in today’s blog, let’s take a quick, closer look at Chef Miko’s journey, and let’s appreciate all the work he did to get where is today.
Get ready to be inspired!
Chef Miko Aspiras’ beginnings
Chef Miko told Philippines Tatler that his love for food came at a very early age. For example, when he was five years old, every time he didn’t like the food that was being served to him, he would mix seasonings, herbs, and spices with rice.
But Chef Miko’s first true baking experience was when he was 11 years old. He assisted his Aunt Annie in making food for her catering business. This particular experience was the start of his walking down his current culinary path.
He then started studying hotel and restaurant management at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. What he would do next would be one of the many accomplishments he would have in his more than 10 years of baking.
One of Chef Miko’s first wins
While he was still studying, he joined a cheesecake competition and made it into the finals, even if he didn’t have any culinary or pastry training. As he says in his interview with Harvard Business Review:
“During the elimination round, one chef even said that my entry was not edible. I thought I’d be eliminated but the judges gave me a chance and a spot on the final round because they said my concept was strong and they saw potential in me.”
What he did instead was to keep practicing the recipe, a white chocolate and strawberry fondue cheesecake, over and over. And he won first place!
According to this SBS article, after this, Chef Miko would then gain recognition as the best pastry chef out of 175 students. And as soon as he graduated, he was hired by EDSA Shangri-La as a commis chef.
Solidifying his pastry presence
Even if he already got hired by one of the best hotels in the country and won first place in a competition, Chef Miko Aspiras didn’t let success get to his head. If anything, he wanted to achieve more!
And in fact, he did:
- He was invited by the Pastry Alliance of the Philippines to represent the Philippines in a contest in Hong Kong, where he won the gold medal.
- He has a total of six golds, three silvers, and two bronzes, both for local and international competitions.
- Chef Miko Aspiras was one of the speakers at the 2016 Madrid Fusion Manila event.
- He has also worked for Maxims Hotel and Fairmont Hotel, where he created unforgettable desserts.
- Chef Miko was featured in Asia’s Forbes 30 under 30, Moneysense’s “Millionaires Under 30”, and recognized as Philippine Tatler’s Best Pastry Chef in 2018.
- He opened Tasteless Food Group with partners. They currently have more than 20 stores and seven concepts (including franchises) across Manila.
- He wrote a book with Chef Aileen Anastacio entitled A Piece of Cake.
- Of course, let’s not forget that he has online classes with us at The Bailiwick Academy involving the basque burnt cheesecake, croquembouche, and fruits!
The move to Australia
In June of 2019, he and his husband JV moved to Australia.
In an interview with Australian Filipina, he shared that the move was an eventuality. Plus, he felt that he had already accomplished all that he could in the Philippines.
And true to his tenacious nature, Chef Miko Aspiras hit the ground running upon arrival. Three days after the move, he scored an interview at the Hilton and became the Executive Pastry Chef at Hilton Sydney!
Sadly, because of the pandemic, they were all let go. But Chef Miko wouldn’t be as influential and as well-known if he let setbacks stop him, right?
That’s why in June 2021, he put up Don’t Doughnuts.
He calls it a similar concept to the Poison donut in the Philippines, but more leaning towards an Australian audience. And it hasn’t been very long, but it’s already earning rave reviews with its flavors!
Chef Miko hasn’t forgotten his Filipino roots either! He is well-known for his love of the country and always highlighting Filipino ingredients like adlai and calamansi.
He’s doing the same with his donuts! Check out this Choc-nut inspired donut:
And on weekends, Chef Miko accepts orders for Basque cheesecakes.
In short… there’s no stopping him anytime soon! We’re proud to have him on our Instructor roster and we can’t wait to see what ideas he comes up with next!
One last Chef Miko Aspiras fact you NEED TO KNOW…
Here’s one last thing you should know about Chef Miko. This thing is probably the most inspiring thing ever about this very talented chef.
You might have missed it.
Okay, enough suspense. Here it is:
Before he officially left for Australia with his husband, he has never worked or trained anywhere except in the Philippines. He loved to travel, though. So what he would do during travel was keep his eyes open and pay attention to the various desserts he would see so that he would always have new ideas.
So if you’re aspiring to be a success like Chef Miko, you don’t need to go anywhere else to become a first-class chef. Just practice what you know, be the best you can be, put yourself out there, and the world will notice you!
And when it comes to skills, all you need to do is enroll in one of our classes at The Bailiwick Academy. All of our classes are from the world’s best bakers and chefs. That means that not only are these recipes tried, tested, and very delicious, but you can also use them to fulfill your dreams of becoming a world-class chef one day.
See you inside!
Keep coming back to The Bailiwick Academy blog for more kitchen tips, tricks, and much more!