EP 21: The New Filipino Kitchen in Toronto

When "The New Filipino Kitchen" book launch happens on the first weekend of the first nationally declared Filipino Heritage Month in Canada...you bet I'm doing a whole episode on it!

This month I share some clips from the book launch in Toronto - including a short excerpt from my recipe in the cookbook, plus an incredibly fun panel chat with some local restaurateurs and community leaders.

I asked questions like:

  • What Filipino dish or food have you most “connected” to and why?

  • What are you most curious about in the world of Filipino food?

  • In your dream Filipino kitchen, what would be there and why?

  • What 3 words or phrases best describe your relationship with Filipino food today?

Pull up a chair, get settled, listen in...THIS is what it’s like to peek into our kitchens in Toronto. Let's get to it!

Show notes

01:25 What place do my stories have?

05:30 "Every Sunset"

10:00 What The New Filipino Kitchen has to offer

11:05 Meet the panel

12:30 What does your Filipino kitchen look like?

13:25 Gelaine and heritage

15:45 Dolly and merienda

16:30 Dolly's favourite dishes

17:55 Diverse patrons

18:40 The power of referral

19:05 How Diona brought Filipino street food to downtown Toronto

20:10 Defying the norm

21:10 Diona and sinigang

22:20 Diona's childhood...and lechon

24:35 Gelaine's revelation

26:00 What's in your dream kitchen?

27:25 What Chef Marc wants

28:30 On Dolly and Diona's wish list

29:40 Jennilee's dream kitchen

30:30 Gelaine on fruit, halo-halo and cacao

32:30 Spaces like iSLAS

33:00 Why Marc and Mariel built their restaurant

34:00 Marc's favourite dish

35:25 Jennilee and champorado

36:45 About "Filipino Talks"

37:30 What led Gelaine to Cambio & Co.

38:55 Cuisine in flux

39:45 "Our expressions make us nuanced and interesting"

40:25 What's your relationship with Filipino food today?

40:45 Jennilee's wishes

41:40 Some words from restaurateurs

42:35 What keeps Gelaine going

42:50 A beacon for me, and maybe for you

Links for this episode

  • Check out Filipino TV’s coverage of our first seating for "The New Filipino Kitchen" book launch. On the panel we had Rechie Valdez and Susan Graham from Filipino Fusion Desserts; Jaisa Sulit from the Pluma Writing Collective; and one of my lovely co-authors from the book, Vanessa Lorenzo, who blogs as Amusing Maria and came up to visit from Richmond, VA. It was such a pleasure to hear your stories!

  • My ode to the first Filipino heritage month in Canada: How to Make Halo-Halo on the CBC! Many thanks to Althea who I met through the Filipino-Canadian Writers and Journalists Network for inviting me to prep one of my favourite things on earth for curious Canadians.

  • Pulutan night was tons of fun to wrap up June, with lots of San Miguel. You’ll always be in my life 😄

  • Marc and Mariel Buenaventura from iSLAS Filipino BBQ & Bar showed incredible inspiration and support for the book from the moment we met. Maraming, maraming salamat! The space you’ve created is more than just a restaurant - it’s a centre for our community.

  • Visit Carinderia by D’Flores in Mississauga, Ontario. Bring all your friends or take your next famjam out of the living room…this is homestyle cooking to love.

  • Find Kanto by Tita Flips at Market 707 in downtown Toronto, and midtown at Yonge and Eglinton. Follow Diona on Instagram!

  • Learn more about Jennilee Austria and Filipino Talks on her website.

  • Gelaine Santiago was one of this years’s "Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award" winners. Check out the amazing pieces they carry over at Cambio & Co - my Akaba satchel and capiz shell filigree earrings are part of my everyday.

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