Food & Dining

Kitchen Whiz: Decoding Expert Ways of Putting a Twist on Pinoy Grub

Kitchen Whiz: Decoding Expert Ways of Putting a Twist on Pinoy Grub

Loving local has become an apparent theme in many campagins across various industries in recent years, and it makes our Filipino hearts aflutter. It's really just about time we all go the extra mile to not just recognize Filipino heritage and talent, but to celebrate them.

Aside from sporting cool shirts or patronizing all-natural, native community-produced lip balms and moisturizers, we have also been Filipinizing in our food and drinks a lot more now than ever. We saw a great showcase of this at the Hennessy King of the Road event, where Chef JP Anglo of Kafe Batwan and Chef Jordy Navarra of Toyo Eatery, put an urban, yet uniquely Filipino, spin on their signature bar chow (open-faced kare-kare tacos FTW!), while Lee Watson of ABV, on the other hand, crafted special cocktails that utilized unique Filipino food ingredients as well, like bay leaf, calamansi, ginger beer and siling labuyo. [related: A Recipe to Rekindling Your Passion Inspired by Celebrity Chef JP Anglo].


Be inspired by Chef JP, Chef Jordy, and Lee's ingenuity and bring the party home with these tips:


1. Use all-local ingredients. To imbibe a very Filipino feel, source ingredients that are grown and made here in the Philippines. From meats to condiments to juices, you’ll be able to extract the authentic Pinoy panglasa. The brilliant food and drink masters that night used calamansi and siling labuyo, among others, to put front and center that very Filipino taste.


2. Experiment on flavors. Try to mix things up for a play on your palate. Just like Chef JP's open-faced kare-kare tacos and kansi panada with Batwan gravy, and Chef Jordy's Toyo Eatery pork BBQ with Hennessy VS glaze, crispy shrimps with VS sauce, and chocolate bonbons with Hennessy VS. Experiment away to find the perfect match to your spread!


3. Keep it simple. Experimenting doesn’t mean going all out crazy on your inventions. To get the perfect taste, use ingredients that bring out the natural flavor of the food, and add complementing elements to enhance according to your preferences. 


ALSO READ: In Focus: How Love Played a Major Role in the Birth of Hot Food App Booky Manila


Photographs courtesy of Hennessy and from




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