Musician, fashion executive, and fine art insider, now Chef, Bjorn leapt into the world of donuts with his latest venture.
“[Manila Social Club] started out as a “clandestine dining destination,” not unlike underground dinner parties like Wolvesmouth in Los Angeles. Manila Social Club was hosted at people’s houses, abandoned buildings, rooftops, and warehouses. Ten or twelve people would request invites, DelaCruz would send an email to the final list of attendees, and text the location the morning of. DelaCruz would purposefully research each of the invitees and curate what he thought would be an eclectic enough mix of people to foster good conversation and meaningful connections.”
–Jian DeLeon, Vanity Fair
The First Venture
After working as a Marketing Director for a fashion company, Chef Bjorn and his siblings opened the Manila Social Club, his first restaurant in New York. Using simple, seasonal ingredients, he was able to bring casual luxury and a sense of progress to Filipino Cuisine and the dinning experience. Because he incorporated some of the Filipino flavors his mother had inspired in him, Manila Social Club was both a huge success and a unique contribution to New Yorks culinary landscape as well as led the way for Progressive Filipino Cuisine around the world.
During the second year of Manila Social Club, he befriended gallerist and art collector Rudolf Budja. Rudolf had ordered 2 Gold Donuts from Bjorn for an art show and fell instantly in love with his take on food as art. Rudolf had to have the donut in Miami where his main gallery was located.
South Beach, Miami
A New Challenge
Rudolf implored chef Bjorn to share his donuts with Miami. Together, they would create a space where the Gold Donut as well as other donuts would create in a laboratory specially designed for his creations.
By the start of the new year, Chef Bjorn flew to the “Magic City” and discovered that he felt more at home than ever. He knew that he could meld the Filipino flavors and vibrant culture that is South Beach, Miami. Chef splits his time between New York and Miami to host Donut Events and make Gold Donuts for his many fans.