I hadn’t been in Manila long enough to adjust to the climate or even recover from the twenty-hour flight from Chicago before I met up with Chef Sharwin Tee of Lifestyle Network’s Curiosity Got The Chef.
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Lechon, all over the Latin world, means whole roasted pig. Like the Filipino lechon, the pig is the magnificent star of the puertorriqueño Christmas holiday feast table. This begs the question, is the Philippines part of the Latin world? Are we indeed the 'Lost Latinos' as Filipno American comedian Rex Navarrete has joked? We visited Puerto Rico's lechon capitol, Guavate, to find out.
True to her eponymous dinner series name, Chef Chrissy Camba, over the course of three days, stuffed and rolled and steamed and fried little parcels of thin skin wonton wrappers and spongey rice flour dough full of tasty Filipino Christmas goodness. If that isn't the Christmas spirit, then I don't know what is.
Filipino Kitchen started in my kitchen -- a long time ago, on a different blog -- with a bowl of lugaw that became my most visited post. The idea of spinning off a Filipino food website that linked culture to cuisine to current events and history brewed and simmered in the long polar vortex-frequent winter of 2013-2014, as Natalia and I made dinners in, steeling against the cold. Although the starting point for Filipino Kitchen was a multimedia blog, the immediate satisfaction of working with our hands, cooking our food together and eating together as a celebration of our culture is where we really started. Natalia and I always had catering, popup dinners, farmers' markets and cooking classes in our broader vision. Though after only two weeks of publishing our first blog post, opportunity came a' Tweeting.