Celebs who make food their choice of business

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(From top left, clockwise) Marvin Agustin, Angel Locsin, Cesar Montano, Lucy Torres and Richard Gomez, and Joel Torre are celebrities who have ventured into the food business.


A lot of stars ventured into business for practical reasons, alongside their showbiz career. Some have put up fashion boutiques and their own line of accessories. Still others opted to invest in business that will never go out of style—food.

Let's get to know these foodies and the food hubs that keep them busy when they're not in front of the cameras.

Marvin Agustin. At 31, Marvin Agustin already runs seven restaurants and a chain of food stalls. The Gimik teener who goofed around with ex-lady love and former loveteam partner Jolina Magdangal certainly has come a long way.

Before entering show business, Marvin applied as a waiter at Tia Maria's restaurant bar in Alabang. Before that, he was a Shakey's mascot. He was only 16.

The go-getter lad became a household name when he was cast in ABS-CBN's defunct youth-oriented show in the 90's, Gimik.

The restaurant business beckoned when a franchise of Mister Donut in Makati City was given to him as part of his endorsement deal. That branch closed in 2007 when convenience stores became popular and also offered Mister Donuts.

But that didn't stop Marvin from chasing his dream since he was a kid—to put up his own restaurant.

Ricecapades, now a chain of food stalls serving a myriad of food toppings, was his very first solely-owned food business.

And then he opened Oyster Boy, which specializes in seafood delicacies and has branches all over the Metro.

With his managing partners Raymund Magdaluyo and Ricardo Laudico, Marvin opened in Shangril Plaza Mall his "baby"—Sumo San, a hybrid of Japanese and American culinary influences, as the name implies.

Another restaurant is about ten aunts living overseas, who shared their version of Filipino recipes using foreign ingredients. Launched in 2006, Ten Titas features interesting recipes like Toblerone Champorado and Fettucini Pancit Luglog. Ten Titas is located at Gateway Mall in Cubao, Quezon City.

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As he gained reputation in the food business, Ayala Land offered Marvin a Japanese-inspired restaurant named Smairu.

Later inspired by the food that ticked their taste buds during a trip in Tokyo, Marvin and his partners put up John and Yoko at Greenbelt 5, another restaurant that provides a East-meets-West types of cuisine.

In 2008, another restaurant was conceived out of his three-week New York trip. This time an Italian-American restaurant, Marciano's, in Greenbelt 3, Makati, was added to his booming restaurant empire

Two others were added—Samurai Chef in Trinoma and Harajuku, a European-Japanese restaurant in Eastwood, Libis.

Cesar Montano. Award-winning actor Cesar Montano lends his romantic leading-man appeal to his Italian restaurant, Bellisimo Ristorante.

Situated in a cozy spot along Tomas Morato Ave. in Quezon City, Bellisimo Ristorante boasts its al dente pasta dishes, some of which are named after Cesar and his wife Sunshine Cruz.

In an interview with Spot. ph, Cesar related that he got the inspiration to put up his own Italian restaurant when he attended his sister's wedding in Italy. The actor added that cooking and baking have always been close to his heart.

Bellissimo (Italian word for 'beautiful') Ristorante was launched last July 7, 2007. A day before the grand opening, Sunshine and Cesar broke their silence on the issue that they already separated. They didn't want negative vibes as they launched their new venture.

Joel Torre. Versatile actor Joel Torre hails from the scenic province of Bacolod. It's no surprise then that he owns a restaurant with the popular Visayan dish, chicken inasal, as the star of the show.

JT's Manukan Grille, which simply stands for Joel Torre's Manukan Grille offers food choices like the actor's own traits—simple, no-fuss, and satisfaction-guaranteed.

Joel's restaurant has been around for seven years now, with four branches around the Metro.

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Richard Gomez and Lucy Torres-Gomez. Celebrity couple and political figures Richard Gomez and Lucy Torres-Gomez also ventured into the food business when they opened a classy restaurant at Greenbelt 5, Makati, with their co-owners.

The other proprietors of Felix restaurant are Chef Florabel Co-Yatco, Ben Chan and Virgilio and Nene Lim of Bench, and architect Miguel Pastor.

In an interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last May 2008, the Leyte Representative (4th district) said they own only a small share of the business.

The couple celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary at Felix. Earlier this year, February 14, Kris and James Yap had a joint birthday celebration, also at Felix.

The restaurant was named after Chef Florabel Co-Yatco's father. The restaurant specializes in Asian-Continental cuisine.

One of the bestsellers is Chef Florabel's "Feliciano," the chef's award-winning adobo with kesong puti, garlic rice and tomato salad.

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Angel Locsin. Actress Angel Locsin who enjoys her action-packed roles complements her adventurous personality with her masculine, car-themed Fuel Up Bar and KTV.

Fuel Up Bar and KTV had its grand launch last April 23 this year, where she also celebrated her birthday. (CLICK here to view gallery.)

With partners managing the place, Angel is very hands-on in the business. According to her sister Angela Colmenares, Angel sometimes bartends for the customers.

Model-turned-actress Bubbles Paraiso, a good friend of Angel, even invented her own mix of drinks called Party Queen. The concoction is available at the the Fuel up bar.

To read more about these stars and other celebrity food businesses, CLICK here.


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