Sunday, April 16, 2017

FilAm chef's epic response slams Ivanka Trump website

Chef Angela Dimayuga, left, turns down Ivanka Trump website.

WHEN BLOOMBERG published its article "11 Fancy Food Trends You'll Face in 2017," it mentioned the explosion of Filipino food on the American foodie scene. One of the chefs it named as helping promote the cuisine to American palates was Angela Dimayuga.
Last week, celebrated chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain called Dimayuga "My hero!" Here's why the transplanted Californian attracted that distinction:
Dimayuga, the 31-year old FilAm executive chef of Mission Chinese restaurant in Manhattan, turned down an opportunity to be featured in IvankaTrump.com, the First Daughter's website that is supposed to show her connection with women and women's empowerment.

“I would love to conduct an interview (via telephone/email) with you spotlighting your work as a strong female entrepreneur,”  read the social media message from the reporter, describing IvankaTrump.com as “a non-political platform of empowerment for modern working women.”
Dimayuga's epic response that went viral. 
Thank you for thinking of me. I’m glad you are a fan of my work so much that you want to provide more visibility for my career to inspire “other working women.” However, I’m for women who actually empower other women.
I don’t believe that IvankaTrump.com is truly “a non-political platform of empowerment for [women]”. So long as the name Trump is involved, it is political and frankly, an option for the IvankaTrump.com business to make a profit.
 
I don’t see anything empowering about defunding Planned Parenthood, barring asylum from women refugees, rolling back safeguards for equal pay, and treating POC/LGBT and the communities that support these groups like second class citizens.
As a queer person of color and daughter of immigrant parents I am not interested in being profiled as an aspirational figure for those that support a brand and a President that slyly disparages female empowerment. Sharing my story with a brand and family that silences our same voices is futile. 
Thank you for the consideration.
“It’s important for me to acknowledge the intersectional community in which I’ve been able to creatively thrive in,” the chef told the Huffington Post.  
“I learned that only 6 percent of executive positions in kitchens are held by women. I am also queer, and have immigrant parents,” wrote Dimayuga, who grew up in San Jose, Calif. “I’ve come to the understanding that people want to hear what I have to say from my unique point of view. It’s a responsibility that gives me purpose, so making clear and pointed decisions on what I involve my time with is important.” 
As executive chef of the Manhattan branch of the successful San Francisco original locale, Dimayuga introduce Mission Chinese owner Danny Bowien to her grandmother's specialty, a Filipino interpretation of chicken relleno. He was so impressed that he encouraged her to add it to New York menu. It is now on the New York restaurant's menu as "Josefina's House Special Chicken," named after Angela's lola.

Unfortunately for West Coasters, the special is only served in the New York venue because Dimayuga keeps the family recipe close to her vest.

"Filipino food has challenging flavors and ingredients confusing for the American palate that hasn’t been around different cuisines," said Dimayuga. "Filipino food can be hard to understand from a flavor perspective and it’s been underserved in restaurants."
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