The Philippines

A Culinary Diamond in the Rough

Indiegogo, Budgets & Contacts

It’s already February. Finally my return ticket to the Philippines was booked purely based on budget.

It’s been quite tough, but things are slowly coming together. I was getting a bit nervous because I was supposed to be working since the beginning of January to assist with my budget, but as with most businesses in January, the chef work was very quiet but I’ve now managed to get some work.

Things have been set back from what I originally intended, but this is probably a good and realistic circumstance. I’m now due to fly on March 10th on a 23 Hr Flight including an 8 hour stop over in Beijing.. but what do you expect for a budget flight? I now face the task of trying to fit my itinerary in 2 and a half months which is still very feasible but it needs to be scrutinized quite well so that I do not waste too many days in between commuting from region to region. I am also pushing very hard to hit my target on Indiegogo and the support that I have been recieving has been amazing. Currently, i’m less than half way there but I’m still quite optimistic.

I have been focusing a lot on keeping contact with family and friends based in the Philippines which is now one of the highest priorities after this indiegogo campaign. Really knowing an area and its hidden beauty requires a devout local so it is important I build my database of contacts related to my itinerary for this information.

I can’t believe theres only 6 weeks until I actually leave. I’m anxious yet excited but I must remain focused and prepare myself for this research expedition.







2016 and a bigger picture.

A new year has dawned, it has already been 2 years since I started pioneering “contemporary Filipino cuisine”. My ideas to cook and promote Filipino cuisine in London started in the form of small successful pop-up ventures which grew into something confident and desirable.

lehappychefpopup2-12To be honest, I feel like for far too long, Filipino’s have followed trends rather then set them, but things are beginning to change. You can feel the current and new Filipino generations becoming more and more entrepreneurial not just in cooking, but in whatever profession they will. Collectively, our culinary efforts will culminate and break into the mainstream and grow at an alarming rate. The West has already begun to take notice.

There are like minded entities / individuals in the UK such as; ‘FiliFoodDiaries’, ‘Pepe’s Kitchen’, Pinoy’s Kitchen’, ‘The Adobros’ and ‘Maynila’ (who gave me the honor of cooking at their debut event) that are also pushing out Filipino food in their own unique ways and it’s encouraging to see.11817219_788113797952781_4938140164712008972_n

There are less than 2 months from now until I leave for the Philippines and I am provoking my passion and building up my excitement to make sure that I will document and record my experience as thoroughly as possible about Filipino food, culture and history. It is another step or a potential leap into making a stand for The Philippines and it’s all part of a bigger picture that WE DEFINE.


A Spoilt British Filipino and his Mother.

My mum always cooked for our family, shes a true Ilocana hailing from Aparri in Cagayan Valley. I absolutely loved her chicken adobo, her pork sinigang and especially her Pancit Palabok which she would put together on special occasions.

Every now and then she would cook a true Ilocano special, “Pinakbet“; a dish that stews together bitter and not so bitter vegetables such as Ampalaya (also aptly named bitter melon), okra (lady fingers), aubergine, green beans and pumpkin stewed together with the Filipino trinity of cooking: garlic, onion and Ginger. She would then proceed to serve this triumphant dish alongside some fried chicken knowing I would not dare go for the Pinakbet.

It was not until many years later; a combination of learning my profession as a chef and developing a passion for food that eventually led me to my curiosity of Filipino cuisine.  The only way I could really relate to it was through my mum’s cooking, and through this I realised its potential.

Thanks Mum!




Focus. Questions. Ideas.

Through recent discussions, research and curiosity, I began to realise the importance of studying the Filipino cuisine and how it can relate to cultural identity. Cultural identity is built on a long history of food and tradition and a topic that needs to be equally focused on to provide clarity on Filipino roots for western born Filipinos.

I am a first generation child of Filipino expats who migrated to the UK in the late 70’s and i’m on a mission to learn my heritage through food. I’ve always found an interest in regional cuisines and how it impacts our cultural identity. From region to region, Filipinos debate amongst each other so stubbornly as to why their version of Adobo tastes better. Even more so when we boast about our family’s secret recipes and the delicacies of our own provinces. This is a beautiful thing indeed, but what bothers me is… why hasn’t that pride made our food famous in the West?

The overriding questions are, “why is Filipino food taking so long to hit the main stream? What will it take to make it happen?” I believe that we are lucky enough to be part of it and witness the long awaited arrival of the #FilipinoFoodMovement and it won’t be long before it becomes the world’s next big food trend, but seriously, what took it so long to get going in the first place?








My First Post.

Never really used Word Press before. I have always wanted to write a blog but I’ve procrastinated  even more but hey-ho! I now have a gigantic reason to start properly.

Welcome to my personal blog… diary.. online journal? whatever you want to call it. I started this for two main reasons; Number One, As I am soon to embark on my Food Tour of the Philippines, I need to Document my experiences in EVERY WAY POSSIBLE; Blogs, video blogs, voice recording, diary entries the works! Number 2, This is seriously worth sharing. This is to educate & inspire. Please follow me on my journey into “The Philippines – A Culinary Diamond in the Rough.”


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