CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — “Bizzare Foods” host Andrew Zimmern once again doubles down on his call that Filipino food is fast becoming a big food trend in the US.
“I think Filipino food, you know, I’ve been calling it for five years, it’s gonna keep getting more and more popular simply because of the variety of ingredients and European techniques that are found in that food,” Zimmern said. “The quality of their food has the best of Asian cuisine.”
Proof of Zimmern’s claim comes from Charlottesville, Virginia – home to only about 170 Filipinos in a population of nearly 50 thousand.
62 of them belong to the Biazon family of Manila Street — just less than 3 miles away from downtown Charlottesville.
Fernando Dizon owns Little Manila food truck – one of the most popular and successful food trucks in Charlottesville.
“I’m privileged na I started it, I’m really privileged na meron akong chance na I-introduce yung Filipino food dito sa Charlottesville is a foodie town,” said Dizon.
When the smell of this sizzling Filipino chicken barbecue fills the air around noon, employees at this US spy center line up for a filling Filipino lunch — priced up to 10 dollars for a combination of pork or chicken barbecue with rice or pancit and lumpia.
“I feel really grateful to see like all these people line up for my uncle’s food truck,” said crew member Joshua Dizon. “It really makes me feel proud to be in this family.”
The food business is so lucrative that Fernando decided to quit his banking job a few years ago.
He now has a higher reason for pushing Filipino food in a predominantly Caucasian city (70% white and 0.4% Filipino).
“Pushing the Filipino food in Charlottesville, I mean it makes me proud, na ako nga yung una and only, it’s nice that the community knows a Filipino food is around their area.”
In a city that the Biazon family pretty much make up nearly half of its Filipino population – the success of their Filipino food truck is an indication that Andrew Zimmern’s prediction is happening now even in southern United States.