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COUPLE CRUSH: GAB BUSTOS AND THEA DE RIVERA

The young restaurateurs talk haute cuisine and hot kitchens.
COUPLE CRUSH: GAB BUSTOS AND THEA DE RIVERA The young restaurateurs talk haute cuisine and hot kitchens.

While other couples rack their brains for where to eat on date night, Gab Bustos, 23, and Thea de Rivera, 23, are figuring out what to serve them. With restaurants The Girl + The Bull in BF, Paranaque and 12/10 in Guijo Street, Makati, they blur the line between food and art – taking over one hipster neighborhood at a time.

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What’s it like working with your SO? Where do you draw the line between professional and personal? 

Gab: It's both the best thing and the most difficult thing. I guess, we just try to be professional in our personal lives and try to make sure we still have time for our personal relationship amidst our work environment. 

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How arty is your restaurant?

Thea: We can always relate our food to other forms of art like painting or music—and the thought process is very much the same as how I would approach a painting. The elements of visual art, like line, tone, shape, texture, color, space—and music, such as rhythm, harmony, melody, dynamics—are very relatable when it comes to our food or building our dishes.

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What about your spaces?

Thea: Everything is curated from the interiors to the food's presentation, menus, service, playlists... Everything! We make sure that it's not just the food that makes 12/10 and The Girl + The Bull but the whole dining experience itself. 

(To Gab:) A lot of chefs wear double breasted white jackets. What do you wear?

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Gab: Working in the kitchen requires something lightweight and comfortable due to the heat and the fast-paced environment. But being the chef/owner, I also have to look presentable whenever I come out to talk and check on customers—so personal style is essential. I've recently invested in a lot of white short-sleeved button downs and well-crafted aprons.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

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