Filipino cuisine elevates its stature in the international culinary scene

The Halo-halo cheers: Hon.Demetrios Nicolaides, left, Minister of Advanced Education, together with Consul General Zaldy Patron, Philippine Consul General in Calgary proudly introduce the Halo-halo to the audience at the lunch reception of the Filipino Month Celebration on Saturday, April 1, 2023. Halo-halo is a famous dessert in the Philippines made up of crushed ice, evaporated milk, and various ingredients, including jam, boiled taro, garbanzo beans, coconut strips, banana, and more. (Photo by Tim Bati-el/The Press)

The Filipino community invites Canadians to visit the more than 7,000 islands that make up the Philippines this month as part of a culinary adventure that doesn’t require them to leave the country.

An initiative by the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) and the Philippine Consulate General in Calgary, Filipino Restaurant Month in Canada returns after last year’s immense success promoting and mainstreaming Filipino cuisine in the country, supporting Filipino restaurants, highlighting the talents of Filipino chefs, and encouraging the use of Philippine-made ingredients in Canadian households.

This year’s celebration started on April 1 through a lunch reception at Chopstix Filipino Restaurant, hosted by the Philippine Consulate General in Calgary and attended by various Filipino community associations and other foreign nationals.

“We would like to elevate the stature of our Filipino cuisine,” said Zaldy Patron, Philippine Consul General in Calgary.

“We believe that Filipino cuisine has the potential to become the next big thing in the international culinary scene.”

The hope for the event is that it continues to inspire and spark interest in Canadians to visit and experience the Philippines through tasting food, Soleil Tropicales, tourism attaché of the Philippine Department of Tourism San Francisco said in a press release.

“The richness of our cuisine reflects the over 7,000 islands we have filled with endless fun and adventure,” he said.

The presence of Hon. Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education, made the celebration’s kick-off extra special.

“I want to share my appreciation for Filipino food, culture, and restaurants because I know what it takes and I know the struggles; I know what it means to be able to thrive and raise more awareness about the culture, community, and restaurants,” said Nicolaides.

Promoting Filipino Cusine: Ms. Linda Garson, left, editor-in-chief of Culinaire, with Hon. Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education, and his wife Michelle Nicolaides try some of the popular Filipino food at Chopstix on Saturday, April 1, 2023. Some of Filipino Restaurant Month’s objectives in Canada are to promote and mainstream Filipino cuisine in the country and to encourage the use of Philippine-made ingredients in Canadian households. (Photo by Tim Bati-el/The Press)

Forty-seven restaurants in 19 cities and eight provinces all over Canada qualified to be part of the celebration.

These restaurants feature prix fixe menus highlighting the unique variety of Filipino food and ingredients throughout the month.

“We are elated that we got invited to participate in the event since it is a big exposure for us,” said Imee Galvez, one of the owners of Chopstix, a participating restaurant in Calgary at FRMC.

“We appreciate the effort of the organizers in helping us promote Filipino foods and restaurants.”

The aroma of Chopstix’s LA PAZ BATCHOY, a Filipino noodle soup that contains egg noodles, pork meat, pork liver, pork crackling, onions, fried garlic and green onions in a pork and beef broth, is set to satisfy the cravings of the customers as the restaurant has it on their prix fixe menus.

The excitement of the customers is evident. Apart from experiencing a taste of the unique food and rich culture of the Philippines, they have a high chance of winning local and national raffle prizes courtesy of major Philippine-based sponsors.

“It was well done and well attended. Visiting the participating restaurants is even more exciting since there are raffle prizes,” said Razel Ventura, a visitor from Lethbridge, Alta.

With the effort and support of the 957,000-strong Filipino community across Canada in promoting and mainstreaming Filipino cuisine to gain further public acceptance, Patron hopes this project will become more significant in the coming years.

Love for work: Lydia Gatus, one of the owners and chefs of Chopstix Filipino Restaurant, shows her enthusiasm in the kitchen during the lunch reception of Filipino Restaurant Month in Canada on Saturday, April 1, 2023. Chopstix is one of the 47 restaurants across Canada that qualified to participate in the event. (Photo by Tim Bati-el/The Press)
About Tim Bati-el 8 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Tim Bati-el is working as a writer for The Press in 2023.