“Kain Na Cali” event showcases Pinoy food possibilities

SAN MATEO, Calif. – “Kain Na Cali” is a month long event that showcases modern takes on traditional Filipino recipes at various pop-up events throughout California.

Presented by the Filipino Food Movement, the goal of the event is to introduce Filipino food to the mainstream and build momentum and consumer demand for Filipino flavors and ingredients.

“It’s time to turn over a new leaf and really create something that everybody can find approachable, attractive, and understandable so that we could together build this rising tide and have everybody find a little piece of Filipino food that they can love,” said PJ Quesada, the founder and chairman of the Filipino Food Movement.

Filipino American chefs AC Boral and Rob Menor did not disappoint in pleasing the crowd with their modern take on Filipino cuisine.

“One of the main Filipino signature dishes we are serving today is the longanisa scotch egg,” said chef AC Boral of Chicago’s Filipino Kitchen. “I’ve taken that longanisa and wrapped a boiled egg with it and deep fried it with panko bread crumbs and served it with garlic rice and salad greens dressed with calamansi dressing. Another one we are serving is the maja blanca pancakes. Maja blanca is a traditional coconut milk and corn gelatin dessert with coconut curd on top. So what I’ve done is turn that gelatin dessert into a syrup and put it over pancakes.”

These Fil-Am chefs are hoping the community becomes more open to updated Pinoy dishes especially with an event like this.

“I think we’re getting over that now with all the exposure and people are becoming more educated about things now especially our younger people,” said chef Rob Menor.

“A lot of what the people in our generation like to do – we like to see things plated nicely,” said Joanne Boston, vice president of the Filipino Food Movement. “We want to see things aesthetically beautiful and I think the way the chefs are doing it at this event is highlighting the beauty of Filipino food.”

While these chefs enjoy serving their fellow kababayans they hope other Californians can enjoy the food as well.

“It never gets old seeing people get into the food and how they react to it even if most people haven’t had the menu that I’m serving,” said chef Boral. “Not even if you are Filipino. Those flavors are familiar but I’m trying to reframe that conversation of what is Filipino food to show you what Filipino food can be.”

If you’re interested in trying meals like these, the Filipino Food Movement is planning to open different chapters throughout the US as well in other countries to hold similar pop up events to showcase the evolution of Filipino cuisine.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.


3 Comments on this post.

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  • kikay Pang0
    16 March 2015 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Filipinos have no real identity … Everything is Borrowed or influenced by other culture.

    • Generoso Magaoay
      17 March 2015 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      you mean second rate, trying hard COPYCAT???

    • Jo
      26 March 2015 at 3:12 pm - Reply

      You can’t really say we have NO REAL IDENTITY. Maybe the other cultures made us who we are today. Who do we identify with? The WORLD. Maybe that’s a great thing?