2024 Filipino Food Month kicks off in the Bay Area with Food Passport program, Kulinarya Live

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SAN FRANCISCO – The yearly celebration every April of Filipino Food Month in the Bay Area kicked into high gear, as the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco co-hosted a kick-off reception at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center on April 3, 2024.

The Consulate joined forces with the Filipino Food Movement, the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Silicon Valley, and the Department of Tourism (DOT) Office in San Francisco for a series of activities that showcases the best of Filipino cuisine and promotes Philippine-made food products and ingredients in the United States.

In his remarks, Philippine Consul General Neil Ferrer said: “Filipino food is having its long-awaited moment here in the United States. Once a focal point of Filipino family gatherings and special occasions, our food has entered the consciousness of people outside our community and has captured the imagination of many in America. The late American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was known for his abiding love for Filipino food, even calling our cuisine as ‘the next big thing.’”

Consul General Ferrer added that Filipino American chefs are “gaining national recognition in the U.S.,” with Abaca Restaurant in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf District being chosen as a finalist in the James Beard Awards’ 2022 Best Restaurant category and Vince Bugtong being chosen as a finalist in the James Beard Awards’ 2023 Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker competition.

Hosted by Filipino American vegan chef Reina Montenegro, the kick-off reception served as the launching event for the Filipino Food Passport Program, a crawl of Filipino restaurants, cafés and bakeries. Through a “food passport,” visits to participating food establishments will earn stamps to enter a raffle and win prizes — including a roundtrip ticket to the Philippines courtesy of Philippine Airlines, and a three-day, two-night vacation in Boracay courtesy of Rajah Tours Philippines.

Information on the participating restaurants in the Bay Area as well as a downloadable copy of the “food passport” are available at https://www.filipinofoodmovement.org/.

The kick-off reception also launched Kulinarya Live, a streaming series on the Filipino Food Movement Facebook page featuring Filipino and Filipino American chefs, where they talk about their passion for Filipino food as they prepare traditional and modern Filipino dishes.

Consul General Ferrer joined the Kulinarya Live episode on April 11, which featured Seattle-based restaurateur and James Beard Awards’ 2024 Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest finalist Melissa Miranda.

The kick-off reception also served as a networking event, where Filipino food restaurateurs and other purveyors were able to link up with other prominent members of the Filipino American community.

The PTIC took the opportunity to give away samples of the following Philippine-made food products from Tamcor-Mexim USA and Philippine Seasalts: Sagana Bihon, Sagana Canton, Sagana Coconut Milk, Super Q Palabok, Super Q Bihon, Philippine Seasalts’ Ilocano Asin & Asin Tibuok, and Filiflavors Calamansi Powder.

Filipino food, food products, and beverages served during the kick-off reception were sourced from the following purveyors: Fort McKinley Restaurant, Genevieve Wines, Isla Restaurant, Island Pacific, Kusina ni Javen Jesel, Patio Filipino, and Ramar Foods.

“[The Consulate] and the PTIC are ready to assist you in bringing high-quality and world-class Philippine food products to your kitchens and shelves… Meanwhile, the DOT is open to curate your next culinary journey that will make you ‘Love the Philippines,’” Consul General Ferrer told the restaurateurs and other food purveyors present.

The Philippine Consul General also extended his invitation to the International Food Exhibition (IFEX), the Philippines’ biggest trade show for Philippine food and ingredients, which will take place on May 10-12, 2024 in Manila.

The Filipino Food Month celebration, which was institutionalized by Presidential Proclamation No. 469 in 2018, aims to highlight the culinary traditions of the Philippines’ 7,641 islands, and stimulate awareness and growth of Filipino agri-communities and food industries.

(PCGSF Release)

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