Gani Cristobal A Young Chef on the Rise

Yamashiro’s newest chef-in-training, Gani, is eager to spread his joy for food as he expresses himself with different culinary masterpieces.

By Roxy De Guzman

It’s no secret that the culinary field can be full of heated moments and unsavory obstacles. Luckily, Chef Gani T. Cristobal II has learned how to turn stress into adrenaline, and challenges into gratifying achievements. Despite the physical and mental demand of the job, Gani finds satisfaction in cooking for those who love to eat and learning more about improving his craft.

“I overcome a lot of my problems and challenges by just showing up and pushing through limits,” writes Gani. “Hard times will define your character and your hard work will create a better version of you.”

With his recent opportunity to train at Yamashiro Hollywood, Gani has been able to learn from incredible mentors and find a supportive community of knowledgeable chefs. With their patience and guidance, Gani has been able to truly learn more about Japanese food and culture, which in turn also piqued his interest in learning about other cuisines from around the world. Gani enjoys feeding into his curiosities as he finds immense joy in exploring new avenues and expanding his comfort zones, especially when it comes to cooking. He is excited to discover new ingredients and come up with new ways to refine food and pair together flavors and textures.

“I’m also trying to expand my knowledge on other cuisines, such as Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese food,” explains Gani. “My inspiration comes from learning itself. I just want to see all the opportunities that are out there and hopefully help a lot of people along the way and create opportunities for them as well.”

Before he fulfilled his passion for cooking, Gani planned to become an accountant. However, he soon realized that he was more intrigued by the culinary industry after spending time cooking with his mother– Gani credits his mother as one of the biggest inspirations in his life. Gani hopes to inherit not only her incredible culinary skill, but also her helpful, loving, understanding, and generous nature.

Taking inspiration from his mother, Gani is now a strong believer that life should be about creating joy for yourself and the people around you. His passion for cooking stems from this belief, as he loves having a career that makes other people happy. With his quickly improving culinary skill, he is able to spread joy through food, culture, and connection. Because he truly loves what he does, he rarely feels burnt out and is always ready to learn more.

“My story is about pursuing your own definition of success and not giving up on it,” continues Gani. “Focus on goals that bring yourself joy and satisfaction.”

When he’s not cooking, Gani enjoys exploring new hobbies and learning more about them. He spends his free time looking for parts to modify his car, playing games, reading, going to the gym, socializing with friends, and checking out new places.