Thursday, October 13, 2016

Savor Filipino returns, Oct. 15; a celebration of Filipino food

THE FOOD magazine Bon Appetit wrote in a recent article that Filipino cuisine is "having a moment." In that article it named Washington D.C.'s Bad Saint , a restaurant serving Filipino food, as one of the best new restaurants in the country.

Across the country, food trucks selling Filipino street food, are attracting long lines of foodies of all ethnicities.

It has been two years since Savor Filipino was first launched in San Francisco and the food scene has changed. The cuisine of the Philippines is finally attracting the attention usually given to other ethnic food. To the delight of food lovers, Savor Filipino, a food celebration organized by the Filipino Food Movement, has returned -- but it will be a bit different this year.

It is being held on Oct. 15. That's the first change. In 20f4, it was held in June to commemorate Philippine Independence Day. This year, it becomes part of Filipino American History Month.

The first time round, Savor Filipino was a bit overwhelmed when 30,000 people showed up at their venue in an open air plaza on The Embarcadero in San Francisco. This year, it will be held in a controlled environment with limited space. It will be at The Overlook Lounge in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco.

"We learned some big lessons in 2014," said P.J. Quesada, one of the organizers. "We wanted to go big, and we definitely did. This year, we are focusing on how to create a more sustainable event. Since we are all volunteer run, 30,000 patrons will overwhelm even our devoted team! We are focusing on having the best possible experience, and so we are targeting around 1400 guests for our 2016 event."
Two years ago, it was a relatively inexpensive affair but this year, it is going to cost more to sample the delicious dishes cooked up by the chefs. "These prices reflect the true cost of executing our vision of Filipino cuisine with as few compromises as possible," says Quesada.

"Like our 2014 event, we are curating the entire experience, and chefs will be focused on presenting themselves to the crowd. We enable them to make their dish in the way they envision it to be - which means that guests will be getting a different experience than a traditional food festival.

Attendees will be able to taste unique and delicious dishes native to the Philippines as it is interpreted by some of today's top culinary talent.  The chefs come from across the nation - from Boston to Hawaii. 

The Savor Filipino Day menu, served from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., includes 10 unique tastings including Popcorn Chicken Sinigang, Pork Belly Adobo Congee, Dueling Fish Relleno, and a Mango Panna Cotta with Coconut foam.  

At 7 p.m., the evening continues into the Buksan Dinner (ticketed separately) with another 5 Chefs each presenting their own dish and paired with drinks. Here is the menu. 

For tickets, click here.

Despite the changes, the main focus is still to promote Philippine cuisine.  "Our theme this year is BUKSAN: to open or unlock," says Quesada. "I interpret that as how we can shine a spotlight on the potential of Filipino cuisine, and its oft misunderstood historic influences."