Filipino foods new direction
Filipino. Food it may be visible in many North American Asian cities but in Europe it is still unknown to many having said that there are more and more scientists that this is changing inching. One example of this is the launch of Sarah a new restaurant in London spree extent that draws from the reach food culture of the Philippines founder interfere denuncia budgie Montoya Hilt earlier residencies around the capital before fighting a home from south London. He told me how the launch of Sarah came about about in the last twelve months we entered in the competition through the bricks village called Brixton kitchen and it was a competition where you're able to pitch your concept. They've picked a group of concepts and we had a sort of battle royale style competition where we cook for three judges. Took Jackson Boxer and James Cochran and we won and as a result we are now in. Brixton market congratulates. It's exciting times. What's the concept of Sarah? Was Your own definition audio. Describe it so Surat for me is a neighborhood restaurant that does modern interpretations thousands of Filipino cuisine of food. That's inspired by Filipino cuisine. What does that mean in practice in means that we look at classics of Filipino dishes? Look to sort of reinterpret them. In a way that is local in terms of ingredients that are available to US techniques leaks that Modern or techniques that I picked up along the way working in the kitchen love worked in and also means sort of challenging. What what we see as culinary truths in the Philippines in terms of taking Filipina ingredients and an applying them in different ways as opposed to just regurgitating regurgitating classic dishes all the time you talk about modern interpretations therein considering that Filipino? Food actually is very well known in the United Kingdom one one cute assume that it would have been station to go and actually start serving classic Filipino dishes. But he decided not to do that. Weiss that what I think for me. The sort of classic assist Filipino. Cuisine is very much a home based cuisine and so when you look at classic Filipino cuisine. It's very much something that's all about the household sold in sort of gathered around the family sort of celebrating. And things like that so for me. It's more a home cuisine. Modernizing it means that we can try and use the word elevate but bring it to the masses. Make it appealing to more people as opposed to just the Filipino community. Now why is it that we don't eventually no Filipino food in the UK or in Europe. You Go to New York to Los Angeles for example and you come across many many Filipino places. There but that's not the case in many parts of Europe. Yeah Yeah it's a question. That sort of baffles me constantly to be honest a diagnose a real answer to it you know. I think there are Filipino restaurants in London that it'd been around for quite some time but they take you down that nostalgic route the very much classic Filipino restaurants sort of older generation type restaurants restaurants. And I think for me. That's maybe why there isn't much of a popularity because it the they're targeting sort of the these for the older generation our budget tell us what you have created. What are the dishes? You're most proud of. I guess I think the most popular dish that we have is probably interpretation of the electron traditionally in the Philippines. It's a whole roasted pig. In depending on which region you're from different condiments in different ways of preparing it. We do a letch on belly which we stuff stuff with lemongrass. Chilli Ginger garlic when we slow roast so that we get a nice so crispy glass like skin on top up and it's very moist juicy and automatic. I like to call it London Lech. On as opposed to you know other sort of got actually received a phone call in two days ago and someone asked what type of latch on. I did whether it was from Seibu or a different region. I said actually notes London. Let Sean and Kinda laughed and said the thought show with that. Is You know for me. It's version of the election using the ingredients that we have available to us. Do you have everything available in London when you need No it's a challenge to get some of the ingredients fresh ingredients that I would like but I think it's also a good challenge for me to be able to figure. Gerrad away to final tentatives local attentive to ingredients that I'm not necessarily being able to get in the UK. So what have you been doing. What have you been missing? And how have you found some ingredients and how of you replace some ingredients with other local ingredients. I think the classic easiest one would be you and local officials local seafood. Philippines is an island and it's blessed with an abundance of seafood. The UK is an island and is also blessed in abundance of seafood so utilized local seafood as opposed to using imported frozen fish. We have additional menu a cynic gung dish. which is a sal super centrally normally salad with Tamarind? We been experimenting using different ways of souring agents. I've tried with re Bob. The most recent recent one. We've done these with fermenting tomatoes which creates not so soundness without having to use as much tamarind or using him as the base of that soup. Timmy tell me more about those Philippine ingredients that are used most. I know that you've been looking for some things over here in London and you've been rather successful in getting them. So the most business ingredients we have in Philippines has to be Callum Ansi the comments he limes native lime. It's a tiny little green line. That packs a big punch in tons of flavor. It's able to get a pure as over here quite easily. That's not an issue. Getting the fresh stuff has been a challenge. I've managed defined a great supplier who who's white really hard to try and find and source could stream of fresh Calisi and even that is still sometimes me. I can't order them within two weeks so they come every two to three weeks sometimes they order them Internet. Come at all. So that's one of the ingredients that we we try and source as much so in the Philippines. It's something we have on the table. It's so abundant that you know everyone has it. It's a gun. Show everything table so I try and get get as much as I can so I can recreate that sort of nostalgic feeling but so we talked about how Filipino food is not particularly well known in the UK. Have you also says host. The aim aim the goal of of creating identity for that food over here and making its better known in Britain. Yeah I mean for me. The the goal of the ramp is talk about cultural awareness for me. Syrup is very much about rediscovering my own culture and creating that identity see so for me. My Gulfs rappers secrete density for Filipino cuisine. In London I want people to understand and have a base Understanding of cuisine like they do with Thai cuisine like they do with Japanese cuisine. Mio Japanese word. But he's it's in our vocabulary. Mary we know what it is. If I can allow people have no idea what that is so I dream of a day where I can say keen allow and people know what that is and not say. It's a Filipino. Version of Savita Juno. So that's something that I dream of. And how much more have you learned about the food off your original home country during in this process during working with Sarah talks about rediscovering Filipino food. So what does your own experience being like. I mean it's been fantastic. I mean I think for me. The food idea syrup is purely based on memory. You know I've not been back to the Philippines for a long time I was. I was born in the Philippines but moved to Sydney when I was five with my family. So you know. I grew up Australian and I don't speak the language so going back to sort of the recipes where I would ask my mother uh for some recipes and I'm then applying what I've land as a cook to those recipes yet. Rediscovering so new ingredients since Rediscovering flavor profiles. That I've always been that from day one but I've sort of forgotten about them too salty. The sow the the sweet sweep you know really high mommy flavors that when I think about it when I've learned as a cook there's other flavors that people crave for it's already there in Filipino cuisine. And I've grown up with it without even knowing it says era is now opening Brixton village in London. What's happening next all your longer term plans lung? It's implants dance. Definitely want to expand syrup and and make it a little bit larger. You know I'd like to be a place where we can see a few more people you know. I I look at some some of mine rations in terms of restaurants and look at places like smoking goat. who were these tiny little sort of restaurant in Soho who now this big restaurant in shortage inch? And that's for me. That's you know Pasta. I would love to recreate for Sarah but also I'd like to bake and I like pastries and I'd love to open a Filipino bakery of some sort that complements as a restaurant.