Five chef-owners featured at James Beard House’s Regional Filipino Celebration

by Kobakila News

NEW YORK – Five chef-owners of renowned restaurants from coast to coast came to New York City and showed off a taste of their “bold flavors and rich multicultural influences” at the iconic James Beard House on January 25 for a Regional Filipino Celebration evening.

The Filipino Food Movement (FFM), and JBKollaborations (JBK), with the support of the Philippine Department of Tourism, The Filipino Channel and Tanduay Rum, hosted this five-course regional Filipino dinner.

San Francisco-based Chef Francis Ang of Pinoy Heritage, Chef Lou Boquila of Perla in Philadelphia; Magna in Portland, Oregon’s Chef Carlo Magna; Chef Melissa Miranda of Musang from Seattle, Washington; and Chef Miguel Trinidad of Maharlika and Jeepney in New York rendered their own versions of traditional dishes from different regions in the Philippines. Each course was paired with a wine carefully selected by a James Beard sommelier.

About one hundred guests partook in the fine dining experience which elevated Filipino cuisine to the mainstream audience.

The James Beard House is known as New York’s place for food enthusiasts located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village. It was once the longtime home of celebrated cookbook author and television personality James Beard, anointed by the New York Times in 1954 as the “Dean of American cookery.”

His legacy lives on in about 20 cookbooks, other writings and his foundation’s annual James Beard awards in a number of culinary genres.

Beard was a pioneer foodie who has authored cookbooks and nurtured a generation of American chefs. He established the James Beard Cooking School in Oregon and New York. After his death in 1985, Beard was memorialized with the purchase by the James Beard Foundation (JBF) of his townhouse property in Greenwich. Peter Kump, also a cooking school founder, led a fundraising campaign to secure a downpayment to what is now known as James Beard House.

Today, the JBF hosts more than 20 dining events are held monthly to showcase culinary artists from the world, featuring multi-course dinners, all paired with wines to enhance the flavor of a meal. JBF continues to build on the foundation that James Beard laid – that is, educating, mentoring and caring for the people who prepare and enjoy good cooking.

Sonia Delen, president of Filipino Food Movement (FFM), said she was overwhelmed with the success of the event. Delen’s vision is to have Filipino cuisine to be more accessible to foodies and patrons around the US.

FFM was “founded to create broad awareness, appreciation, and enhanced investment in Filipino Culinary Arts.” It has gathered national and global attention in the press, social media, and has attracted talented individuals who believe in Filipino cuisine.

JBKollaborations Founder Joanne Boston, a 2016 alumna of the Filipino-American Youth Leadership Program (FYLPRO) and vice president of FFM, was proud to see her legacy project come to life. “It is surreal to see the James Beard House serve a full-course Filipino dinner to a capacity crowd. I truly feel the love tonight,” Boston said.

Consul General Ma Theresa Dizon-De Vega, who was among the diners that evening, described the event as a truly defining moment for Philippine cuisine. She remarked that the Filipino Food Movement took a giant leap forward with the singular honor to be featured at the James Beard House.

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