HOY! Filipino Food School


This feature for the LA issue of Rising Stars magazine focused on three young chefs and their unique experiences and visions of Filipino food in America, while serving as a primer for this constantly evolving cuisine.  The photos also served in social media and promotional materials for this issue of the magazine.

Filipino food is a kaleidoscopic hodgepodge of ingredients and techniques of it's neighbors and former occupiers.  Early trade with the Hokkien Chinese introduced tradionally Chinese ingredients like tofu, soy sauce, and fish sauce as bedrocks of pinoy cuisine.  Occupiation by the Spanish in the 16th centrury introduced tomatoes, chiles, and dishes like lechon, adobo, and empanadas.

Like many immigrant cuisines, Filipino food in America is deeply nostalgic, and is also uniquely attached to packaged foods.  American packaged foods like Spam, condensed milk, cheese, peanut butter, and hot dogs were introduced via American military bases in the 20th century and became an integral part of the food and culture.  Filipino dry goods imported to the US today  (SkyFlakes, banana ketchup, tinned corned beef) provide an invaluable link back home.  The mingling of traditional ingredients (ube, kalamansi) with American pantry fodder create dishes that may seem borderline stoner-ish to Western eyes (short ribs braised with peanut butter, shaved ice with condensed milk, fruit, and red beans) but are delicious examples of the colorful and uniquely pinoy cuisine.
Rising Stars Editor: Caroline Hatchett
Photography: Briana Balducci
Author: Sean Kenniff
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