Saturday, July 16, 2022

Finding My Heritage Through Food

 #findingmyheritagethroughfood Pop-up Dinner - Monday, July 11, 2022

Growing up in Hawaii made it a little hard to be proud of being Filipino, because Filipinos have always been categorized as only blue collar workers...  groundskeepers, hotel maids & maintenance workers, housekeepers, dishwashers, cooks, nurses, etc.  Never people of talent, status and intelligence.  So I steered away from telling people what my heritage was and said I has born & raised in Hawaii.

I started collecting recipes from cousins, aunties, co-workers and from my childhood memory.  During the pandemic, I started experimenting with these recipes.  Because of me researching and cooking these recipes, I became more curious of my heritage. I wanted to know more of where, why and how my parents came to Hawaii in the late 40s.  I am fortunate that my 96 year old mom is still alive and is very memory sharp.

After a couple of years of cooking these recipes, I decided to share these recipes with friends at a dinner at Box Jelly in March of 2022. I wanted to share these recipes with friends that influenced the creative side of my life in the last 20 years. After this dinner in March, I was asked again to create a pop-up dinner, so I did and called it "Finding my heritage through food".

The menu I created for the pop-up, were recipes I was comfortable cooking and had added my own spin to them.  These recipes always started with using locally raised & grown products.

Appetizer: Shishito stuffed w/ local pork sausage lumpia

Starter: Fresh egg crepe filled w/ sauteed cabbages topped w/ sweet garlic sauce

Soup: Chicken Papaya w/ ginger, turmeric, lemongrass & moringa

Sides: Pickled bittermelon, chayote, red radish, daikon, carrots & peppers.

Main Entrees: Kare Kare, Adobong Pusit, Mung Bean Stew

Dessert:  Halo Halo w/ local mango, mountain apple, dragonfruit, rambutan & preserved sweet mung beans, coconut gel, palm fruit & ube ice cream w/ shaved ice

After posting the dinner on Instagram & Facebook, we sold out in 2 days.  I have a waiting list of interested guests for the next dinner.

Articles like the link below help in getting the word out about the credibility and deliciousness of Filipino cuisine & heritage to the mainstream of American culture.

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