Chef Jacqui, a third-generation restaurateur, came to the Philippines in 1988 to co-manage the Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant. She is enthusiastic about healthy and sustainable living, and has been involved in organic agriculture for over 18 years. She is one of the pioneers who founded the Organic Producers Trade Association, and the Greenbelt Organic Producers Market. She and her husband Tony Alleje own the Rizal Dairy Farms.

Chef Jacqui started teaching the healthy lifestyle cooking classes at the Heny Sison Culinary School during the onset of the South Beach Diet’s introduction in the Philippines in 2006. She has successfully developed a “South Beach Diet” for over six years that reflects the principles of LOHAS, or the use of locally available and organic ingredients based on Swiss-Filipino culinary traditions. She is a regular contributor to various food magazines, and is known in the industry as the “Healthy Lifestyle Chef.” When it comes to flavor, Chef Jacqui says, “I love the ‘Philippine Islander’ cuisine, the regional cuisines that use coconut milk, chili, ginger, fermented gabi, seafood, and vegetables are the best.” Her classes focus not only on the organic lifestyle, but they also challenge her students to be “system changers.” Chef Jacqui insists, “Organic food isn’t a trend anymore—it’s here to stay because it represents health, innovation, and sustainability.”