Donabel Sayarot’s passion for cooking started at a very young age. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she was inspired by her filipino-Chinese grandmother’s special cooking and by her parents, both business owners, who always brought her around when meeting and treating partners and clients in various restaurants. She would experiment and try to duplicate the dishes she would taste. These instances allowed her to be exposed to different cuisines at a young age and ignited her passion for cooking.
To widen her skills and knowledge about cooking, she took up culinary arts in Center for Asian Culinary Arts in the Philippines where she learned basic culinary and baking. Her training experience in the said school honed her to be the cook she always wanted to be, and led her to work in a members only club in the Philippines, Tower Club Makati. There, she was able to practice Western cuisine, Taipan cuisine and baking. Eventually, she was assigned in the Baking department which established her deeper interest in baking. Due to this, she took up a short baking course in LA for a few months. She then went back to her hometown and opened her own commissary business, as a cake and pastry supplier in different local companies. The business was overall good but she knew in her heart that she wanted to be a restaurateur
In (year) to boost her confidence in establishing her own restaurant, she then took another course specializing in sushi making at the Sushi Chef Institute by Andy Matsuda in Los Angeles and then enrolled in the prestigious school, Le Cordon Bleu California, to get her Associates Degree in Culinary. Her trainings in the said schools equipped her with competent culinary skills that led her to get an internship with popular chef, Michael Voltagio. After this, she graduated with high honors as a cum laude and then applied for her OPT to gain more experience into opening her own restaurant. She worked in SoHo house Nava where she started as a prep cook and eventually became a line cook with the help of her mentors, Chef Amanda Gale, Chef Nicholas Wilber, and Chef Brian Vandergast. They were the ones who motivated her to finally start her dream of owning her very own restaurant. Through them, she was able to gain her confidence and learned to not be afraid of starting her dream and keep ablaze her passion for cooking.
Along with her mentors, Chef Don’s husband/ business partner whom she met in Le Cordon Bleu who kept her motivated to put up Nomikui Ramen – a lifelong goal that is also a product of all her hard work and determination in the culinary world