As Filipino food becomes more recognized in the mainstream, chefs come together for roundtable discussion

SAN FRANCISCO —  A panel that featured chefs, entrepreneurs, and leaders of Filipino cuisine in the San Francisco Bay Area — engaged in a roundtable discussion about the past, present, and future of Filipino food.

These Filipino chefs come from all parts of the Bay, from food trucks to brick and mortars, to even winners of televised cooking competitions.

They were called because they represent the Filipino culture, especially those who were born in the US.

Parts of the discussion included how Filipino food is now making it into the mainstream.


“The restaurants that we have here in San Francisco in particular, is 80% are non-Filipinos, and that it just means there’s respect there. There is acceptance. And at the same time just sharing what we have that’s cool and it really hits close to home,” says Chel Gilla.


And while Filipino food grows in popularity, the option for healthier versions of our traditional dishes is needed.


“As much as we love our traditional dishes and our cultural foods we also want to challenge ourselves to build more sustainable, not just for the planet but also for our health,” said Jasper Pugao. “Our lolos and lolas, we want them to live longer. We want them to play with our children, their grandchildren.”

Overall, while there are new and different Filipino chefs and versions of dishes — these chefs agree that they are focused more on building community than being in competition.


“You have to support each other whether or not you make the same dish or you make a dish that’s similar or different we have to support each other,” said Joann Boston.

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