Gani T. Cristobal II’s introduction to cooking began by learning from his mother. Now, with a multitude of experience under his belt, he plans to open his own restaurant, making huge strides in the culinary industry.
Inspiration always strikes when it is least expected, and for Gani T. Cristobal II, it struck once it came time for him to enter college. Gani’s original plan was to enter the field of accounting, but after searching for the proper college to benefit his academic goals, he realized he was no longer passionate about becoming an accountant. He began to wonder what his dream career would look like, which led him to realize his true desire: pursuing a career in the culinary industry.
Gani’s sudden jump from accounting to cooking was not the biggest surprise. After growing up learning how to cook from his mother, a fascination for the culinary industry was already deeply rooted within him. Gani also finds enjoyment in online gaming, which taught him efficiency when following steps to complete objectives. This sparked the realization that his skills from gaming could apply to cooking, as he follows instructions of a recipe to prepare a certain dish. Gani turned this desire into a reality by applying to one of the best culinary institutes in the Philippines: Enderun Colleges.
Gani’s inspiration comes from the excitement for learning itself. Challenging himself to explore new topics is something Gani finds joy in doing because it helps him stay at the top of his game. Yet his true source of inspiration comes from his mother. She provided him with an opportunity to cook right at home, and it prospered into his life’s greatest passion. “She’s very helpful, kind, caring, understanding, and generous to a lot of people, and I learn a lot from her,” Gani said.
Gani’s biggest life lessons have come to him through personal experiences. He learned a lot of tenacity after two weeks of staging at The Pepper Lounge in Las Vegas, where he worked 13 to 14 hour shifts with no pay and no days off. His heart and work ethic drive his dedication toward wanting to improve his craft. This has ultimately inspired Gani to open his very own restaurant, which he hopes to have up and running by the end of summer 2023.
Aside from mastering his culinary skills, Gani explores other facets as well. From cars, motorcycles, video games, reading, and going to the gym, Gani is always craving to learn and explore different activities. He also is very big on having time to socialize with friends. He cherishes the time he gets to spend with those closest to him. In addition to these hobbies, one of his favorite pastimes is simply checking out new restaurants. Being able to try new foods from different chefs allows him the opportunity to appreciate the industry even more. He loves being able to learn the culture and stories behind some of the best dishes a chef has to offer.
As Gani continues to pursue his culinary career, his story is about finding a passion that brings him joy in everyday life. He preaches the idea that everyone’s version of success is different; therefore people should chase their personal goals in order to follow a career that will truly make them happy. Finding his niche has allowed him to prosper in the industry while staying true to his values. He believes that hard work is something to be grateful for as it pushes an individual to be their best. “Hard times will define your character, and your hard work will create a better version of you,” Gani said.