Will Filipino Food Go Mainstream?

Dishes from restaurants participating in Filipino Restaurant Week. (Photo via The FilAm)

Dishes from restaurants participating in Filipino Restaurant Week (Photo via The FilAm)

At a recent event to kick off the second annual Filipino Restaurant Week, which runs from May 11 to 23, restaurant owners and chefs were asked why dishes such as Kare Kare haven’t reached mainstream appeal like General Tso’s Chicken. In a story for The FilAm, Cristina DC Pastor collected some of the responses.

“People love the Filipino taste, it’s just not pretty on the table,” said Faye San Agustin, floor manager at La Parrilla de Manila in Colonia, New Jersey.

Tyrone Conshue, who co-owns Pinoy Filipino Restaurant in Somerville, New Jersey, with his Filipina wife Cynthia, said some eateries highlight the Balut or the Dinuguan but not so much the more appealing food that brings out the color and flavor of the islands.

“We need to see the beauty in our own food,” he said.

While Filipino food may not have crossed over into the mainstream here quite yet, Philippine Consul General Mario de Leon Jr. said Filipino Restaurant week has grown from its first year with more restaurants, adding that it gives a “a glimpse into what Filipino identity and culture is about.”

For more from the participants, including one who said her restaurants are “an homage to everything that we (Filipinos) are embarrassed about,” go to The FilAm. Find a link there to information on the week.

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