Full house at the public dinner.  (All photos by NYPCG)

Following a successful New York media-influencers launch and events in Toronto, Seattle and Chicago, the Hidden Flavors of the Philippine Kitchen Culinary Tour completed its last leg in Philadelphia at ELA Restaurant from Oct. 9-10, 2017.

Taking place during Filipino American History Month, the culinary tour was a fitting highlight for this month where Filipino-American  heritage is celebrated.

Organized by the Purple Yam team of award-wining food scholar Amy Besa, Chef Romy Dorotan with the assistance of Purple Yam Malate chefs Ralph Cristobal and Alvin Cruz, and supported by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and Philippine Consulate General in New York, the two-night food tasting and dinner was an unequivocal success.

The Oct. 9 food tasting introduced many, largely unknown Philippine ingredients brought over by the Purple Yam team.

These items consisted of native vinegars, pickled fruits, condiments, honey, cacao and chocolate, heirloom rice, and spirits.

The culinary offerings introduced traditional and also re-worked Filipino dishes such as pork belly, duck adobo, Pancit Malate, Bicol Express eaten with Cabcab (cassava wafers), oyster kinilaw, halo-halo (mixed ice dessert), and malagos champorado (chocolate porridge).


Amy Besa introduces the concept behind Hidden Flavors of the Philippines with Consul General Theresa Dizon-De Vega and guests.

Philippine wines and spirits, as well as coffee samples from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were available for the public.

At the food tasting event, Consul General Theresa Dizon-De Vega spoke of Philippine cuisine as a cuisine of memory or the food Filipinos grew up with and a cuisine of reinvention revealing the Filipino’s innate creativity.

She paid tribute to Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, acknowledged pioneers of the Filipino Food movement in the U.S., and encouraged the emerging restaurateurs and chefs to continue placing Philippine cuisine on the map.

Amy Besa gave a short talk on the various offerings for the culinary tour, as well as their advocacy to promote lesser known Philippine ingredients and products to the global audience.

Due to high demand, the public dinner offering on Oct. 10 had to be divided into two seatings to accommodate the nearly 120 persons who wanted to experience a six-course special tasting menu.


Pork Belly served with a Pinakbet relish and heirloom rice.

Assisting in the promotions of the event was Fil-Am pop-up food establishment PE LA GO run by young Filipino-American restaurateurs Neal Santos, Jillian Encarnacion and Rissa Mueller.

Organizational assistance was provided by Philippine Consulate personnel Cultural Officer Olive Magpile and Economics Assistant Beverly Pellosis.


Iced Dessert of Mangosteen ice cream, watermelon ice and fruits.


An assortment of Philippine nuts, chocolates, rice.


Guests at the exclusive tasting session.

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