From New York to Las Vegas: Filipino Food Month lineup of events unveiled

The month of April heralds the arrival of Filipino Food Month, promising a series of festivities that celebrate the rich tapestry of flavors and the vibrant cultural heritage of the Philippines.

Mike Ang, a board member of the Filipino Food Movement (FFM), officially kicked off Filipino Food Month events last week in New York with a simple happy hour at the Gugu Room in the Lower East Side.

“We have events here on the East Coast and on the West Coast, really bringing this whole country together through Filipino food,” Ang expressed. “By participating in our stamp program and passports, you can get an opportunity to win two round-trip tickets to the Philippines from anywhere domestically here in the U.S.”

Apart from the grand prize, there are various other prizes up for grabs. Ang urged everyone to visit the Filipino Food Movement website for more information about the events taking place nationwide.

“We’re encouraging you guys to post, and for restaurant owners, please visit our website and sign up to participate so that we can get our community out there, get people out there to try our food, and possibly win some really, really fun prizes,” he emphasized.

Ang mentioned that this month’s theme will highlight the versatility of the Filipino coconut, offering coconut-related dishes, desserts, and products such as coconut rum, coconut oil, and more.

In New York, one of the highlights of the month will be FFM‘s collaboration with the James Beard Foundation called “Merienda.” This event will be held at the James Beard Platform, and will showcase some of NYC’s finest Filipino chefs, including Top Chef alums Dale Talde and Leah Cohen, fashion-forward Woldy Reyes, up-and-coming LJ Almendras, entrepreneur Diana Manalang, and James Beard finalist Nicole Ponseca serving delectable food and drinks.

Throughout the month, the Philippine Consulate General in New York has organized various events, including pop-ups and marketplaces selling Filipino food.

One of these events is ‘HANDOG: An Exquisite Showcase of Filipino Flavors and Festivities,’ to be held on April 5 and 26, 2024in collaboration with Hotel Edison. Handog will spotlight a variety of special Filipino food items and products at the lobby of Hotel Edison, with the showcase aligning with this year’s Filipino Food Month theme, “Kalutong Filipino, Lakas ng Kabataang Makabago.”

According to the consulate’s announcement, guests of this event are encouraged to immerse themselves in the diverse and vibrant flavors of Filipino cuisine, ranging from delectable snacks to artisanal crafts. The event promises to offer a glimpse into the rich culinary heritage of the Philippines, right in the heart of New York City.

This week, San Francisco welcomes the festivities with a kickoff reception scheduled on April 3 at the Philippine Center. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Filipino American restaurants, chefs, and food enthusiasts are gearing up for an exciting lineup of events, including a kick-off ceremony on April 15 at Truffles n Bacon; Restaurant Week with 15+ local Filipino-owned restaurants highlighting coconut in an exclusively curated dish from April 20-28; and Filipino Food Month Grand Finale celebration on April 29.

Ang expressed gratitude to the attendees and the event partners for their support. He encouraged guests to visit the Filipino Food Movement website, tag friends, and share recipes and experiences.

Filipino Food Month, as proclaimed by Presidential Proclamation 469 in 2018 serves as an annual initiative to promote, preserve, and transmit Filipino culinary traditions to present and future generations.

The Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM), in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, spearheaded efforts to declare the month of April as Filipino Food Month to further recognize the importance of safeguarding culinary heritage amidst globalization.

This year, FFM aims to host over 100 local and international events across various venues, including food festivals, cooking demonstrations, contests, exhibitions, and immersive cooking workshops. n


Momar G. Visaya

Momar G. Visaya is the Executive Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach him at [email protected].

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