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The Seattle leg of “Hidden Flavors of the Filipino Kitchen” culinary tour was a rousing success as Filipino chefs, influencers, restaurateurs, Filipino-American leaders and the media attended the event at Tom Douglas’ Hot Stove Society in Downton Seattle on Friday, 22 September 2017.

Husband and wife team Amy Besa and Chef Romy Dorotan present a tasting menu composed of eight dishes, partnered with tapuy and a cocktail made with lambanog, calamansi, coconut milk and rum.

In partnership with Ms. Amy Besa and Chef Romy Dorotan’s Purple Yam, the event featured a presentation on the state of Filipino cuisine, both in the Philippines and the United States, its sustainability and direct partnerships with farmers and producers, and the future of Filipino food in the US, followed by a tasting menu of eight (8) dishes, including fried cassava crackers (cab cab) topped with Bicol Express; Lumpiang Sariwa, Oysters Kinilaw; Pork Belly Lechon; Duck Leg Adobo sa Dilaw, and Beef Short Rib Adobo, champorado with danggit, and Halo-Halo. Tapuy and a Manila Sunset cocktail - a concoction of lambanog, calamansi, coconut milk and rum - as well as San Miguel Beer, capped off the menu.

Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. underscored that the Department of Foreign Affairs chose Seattle as the venue for the West Coast leg of the culinary tour, with the desire to “create a conversation about Filipino food and our culture, in the hope that it would spark in the Community pride in their heritage and roots, moving us to connect with one another to build a strong, united and empowered Filipino-American Community.”

Ms. Amy Besa of Purple Yam informed guests of the origins of some of the ingredients that were used for the event, including heirloom rice, whose breed has been passed down through generations, as well as jams and preserves made from indigenous fruits like cherries and raspberries grown in Benguet.  She encouraged the young chefs and culinary professionals in Seattle to explore partnering with the Filipino farmers in Washington, many of whom are based in Wapato and Yakima, who grow Filipino eggplants, ampalaya, sigarilyas, and many other produce that can be used in their restaurants and catering.  She added that the unique selling point of Filipino food is that it is “cooked with love and served with hospitality and generosity.”  Addressing the Filipino chefs at the event, she said that she and her husband, Chef Romy Dorotan, are confident that Filipino cuisine will be well-represented in their hands.

Deputy Consul General Ascalon with ILAW, a group of Seattle-based Filipino-American chefs and business owners.

ILAW extended the culinary tour with three other events, namely: LUZVISMINDA: A Filipino Night Market, held immediately after the Hidden Flavors presentation at the Tom Douglas Palace Ballroom; Eat, Drink, Serve: A curated discussion on empowering the Filipino American Food and Beverage industry in the Pacific Northwest, co-organized with the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) – Greater Seattle Chapter held at the FANHS office on September 23; and, ILAW: Spotlighting Modern Filipino American Cuisine in the Pacific Northwest at Bar del Corso held on September 24. END