— Story —
"Hunger is good discipline."
Let me begin by saying that this has been a lifelong dream, cooking for people and watching them unfold around each other in front of great food and company. Nothing as compelling than our nature to eat, and You are what you eat! I didn’t always cook Filipino food though. As a matter of fact, I know more about French cuisine and American food than any of the recipes that my grandmother showed me. Yet, culture is ingrained in my nature and I keep going back to my roots every time I cook. I love everything Filipino about me and how that influences my cooking when I impart my identity into my craft. Food is integral in any culture and that is something that we all have in common.
I didn't go to Culinary school, but rather, I had minimal training as an aspiring cook and developed my own understanding of professional cooking. That eventually took me to many places and some of those had a lasting impression on me. In my days of nomadic and multi-city life, soon to be short lived, I settled in Pittsburgh about 10 years ago and now call this home. Am I glad that I've stayed! My affair with this city has been reminiscent of my past life as a gourmand and as an immigrant. All this time I've been following food, in constant search of the memorable experiences that I wanted to share with anyone who had that sense of adventure. I genuinely enjoy great company and I aspire to surround myself with like-minded people. And this is how I came to realize how integral food was to my development as a culinary professional and a person. When I immigrated in the US from the Philippines, I never would have imagined living an adventurous life. I immersed myself in food in order to understand American culture. I never looked back after that.
And it all comes to this... The Feast! This is a reflection of my life as a Filipino immigrant, navigating the American culture through food. I use local ingredients from farmers that I have developed a relationship with; supplementing as minimal as possible for other Asian ingredients that aren't common. I believe that I can translate my story through the resources that are abundant in this region. I can also apply the knowledge I have acquired through professional work, foraging, preservation, and adventurous eating! And my food will continually evolve as I grow and learn from every pop up dinner and as I get better at telling my story through cooking!