Miguel Trinidad of Jeepney - Biography

New York, NY

September 2016

After working in multiple fields, such as photography, bartending, and a series of unfulfilling desk jobs, Miguel Trinidad decided to attend culinary school at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. Upon graduation, he went on to quickly rise through the ranks, from line cook to executive chef, at the Soho hotspot Lola. But it was a three month stay in the Philippines in 2007 when Trinidad fell in love with the cuisine of the small archipelago nation, with its Malay, Japanese, Spanish, and Chinese influences that would serve as the inspiration for his first restaurant. 

Teaming up with Lola co-workers Nicole Ponseca and Enzo Lim, he launched Maharlika, a modern Filipino restaurant. The success of Maharlika pushed this yellow cab born, Dominican-raised chef to the forefront of Filipino cuisine in New York, garnering rave reviews from The New York Times and the Huffington Post. On the success of Maharlika, he opened Jeepney, a Filipino gastropub in 2012. The gastropub would go on to receive a two-star review from Pete Wells and win TimeOut New York’s “Battle of the Burger” in 2014, solidifying his place as a revolutionary in Filipino cuisine.

In 2015, Trinidad entered the marijuana edibles business, partnering with Doug Cohen to launch 99th Floor. The company hosts private, invite-only dinners combining Trinidad’s award-winning gastronomy with cannabis cooking. Trinidad has been featured on Cooking Channel, Food Network, NBC, and Fox, as well as on ABC-CBN and GMA Network, both in the Philippines.