Chef Cho Ortega explains the ingredients of lumpiang shanghai to the participants of the Taste of Diplomacy Program of YMCA Anthony Bowen in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 24, 2018.

WASHINGTON — The Philippine Embassy, through Sentro Rizal Washington DC, made a successful collaboration with YMCA Anthony Bowen on the latter’s newest cooking program entitled, “A Taste of Diplomacy,” on Oct. 24, 2018.

The Philippines is the second featured Embassy after Luxembourg for this month. The Healthy Eating Department of the YMCA aims to bring the community together and bridge cultures by discovering the cuisines of various countries.

Ten YMCA members and D.C. residents participated in the evening cooking program that featured Filipino dishes.

Chef Cho Ortega, owner of family-owned restaurant Lumpia, Pansit, Atbp was gracious in lending her cooking skills and partnering with the Embassy for the event.

She presented a wrapped food theme and demonstrated how to make Filipino favorites lumpiang shanghai and turon (fried banana egg roll).

Chef Cho took up architecture in the Philippines but her love for cooking pushed her to study at the Academie de Cuisine Gaithersburg when she migrated to the United States.


From left, Tessa Mork, Nutrition Education Program Manager, YMCA Anthony Bowen; Chef Cho Ortega; and Asha Kuziwa, Kitchen Coordinator, YMCA Anthony Bowen.

She is the owner of Lumpia, Pansit, Atbp restaurant in Wheaton, Maryland which was established in 2000 as a Filipino-Asian festival food stall that eventually grew into a full restaurant.

Chef Cho also started a catering service, previously known as Cho Catering Service, serving Filipino-Asian cuisine.

YMCA Anthony Bowen has been innovating for 160 years and evolving still to cater to the needs of the community.

It is one of the full-service facilities that YMCA of Metropolitan Washington operates throughout the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area.

“Food is basic and the love for food is universal. It is a natural gateway to culture and understanding. We are grateful to the YMCA Anthony Bowen and Chef Cho for working with us under ‘A Taste of Diplomacy’ program, said Philippine ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez in a statement.


Participants in the Taste of Diplomacy Program try to make turon.


Participants also receive Philippine dried mangoes dipped in chocolate and brochures on Philippine tourism.


The participants enjoy their first batch of cooked lumpiang shanghai.

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