Boundless: Bringing Filipino Food and Heritage to Every City

A #FilipinaAmerican Story as told by global nomadic chef and Founder of Salo Series, Yana Gilbuena. Read her full story below:"Filipino food is so popular now. I want to take some credit for that. Sure, there are others who helped push it forward, but I was the one who took my pop-up dinners to all 50 states to evangelize about it. Because I advertised I was serving Filipino cuisine in traditional kamayan way (eating with hands), the concept worked as filter for the guest list. I attracted curious people from the food community as well as different kinds of Filipinos wanting to reconnect to their culture through food. For many guests, Filipinos and not, the dinners brought memories of people they were fond of: a grandmother, a parent, even a nurse who introduced the dishes to them. I treasure the dinner in Baltimore where a son took his elderly father who was stationed in the Philippines and would regale them with stories of the country and its food, so that his dad could relive the experience. How it warmed my heart to learn that! Setting up a dinner in a different city every week took its toll. I missed my friends who were having brunches and cocktails without me. There were days I found myself in a dark place and asking, “Why on earth am I doing this?” Sadly, I lost a couple of friends and broke off a relationship before the tour was through. But this project is bigger than me—and that’s what kept me going. After more than 50 weeks of traveling, I know I have made my mark in placing Filipino food and culture in the consciousness of people around the country, especially for the Filipino diaspora. Every menu of mine—in my first series and in the future—is my way for us to show our pride in our roots and celebrate who we are." About: Filipino American Disruptors is a month-long storytelling initiative powered by NextDayBetter x AARP AAPI Community celebrating the stories of Filipino Americans in a range of disciplines from community activism to tech entrepreneurship. These forward-thinking individuals are trendsetters, trailblazers, and problem-solvers in their respective fields, helping to push America and the Filipino American community forward through their leadership, creativity, and innovation. #FAHM #FAHM2017

Posted by AARP AAPI Community on Monday, October 9, 2017

Boundless: Bringing Filipino Food and Heritage to Every City

A #FilipinaAmerican story as told by global nomadic chef and founder of Salo Series, Yana Gilbuena.

“Filipino food is so popular now. I want to take some credit for that. Sure, there are others who helped push it forward, but I was the one who took my pop-up dinners to all 50 states to evangelize about it.

Because I advertised I was serving Filipino cuisine in traditional kamayan way (eating with hands), the concept worked as filter for the guest list. I attracted curious people from the food community as well as different kinds of Filipinos wanting to reconnect to their culture through food.

For many guests, Filipinos and not, the dinners brought memories of people they were fond of: a grandmother, a parent, even a nurse who introduced the dishes to them. I treasure the dinner in Baltimore where a son took his elderly father who was stationed in the Philippines and would regale them with stories of the country and its food, so that his dad could relive the experience. How it warmed my heart to learn that!

Setting up a dinner in a different city every week took its toll. I missed my friends who were having brunches and cocktails without me. There were days I found myself in a dark place and asking, “Why on earth am I doing this?” Sadly, I lost a couple of friends and broke off a relationship before the tour was through. But this project is bigger than me—and that’s what kept me going. After more than 50 weeks of traveling, I know I have made my mark in placing Filipino food and culture in the consciousness of people around the country, especially for the Filipino diaspora. Every menu of mine—in my first series and in the future—is my way for us to show our pride in our roots and celebrate who we are.”

About:
Filipino American Disruptors is a month-long storytelling initiative powered by NextDayBetter x AARP AAPI Communityommunity celebrating the stories of Filipino Americans in a range of disciplines from community activism to tech entrepreneurship. These forward-thinking individuals are trendsetters, trailblazers, and problem-solvers in their respective fields, helping to push America and the Filipino American community forward through their leadership, creativity, and innovation.

NextDayBetter Storyteller: Candice Quimpo