Pinoy Food for the Soul is a new series on Filipino Kitchen where we interview people who love Filipino food and ask them to share a memory with us.


Ray Espiritu of Isla Pilipina, at Isla. Photo credit: Natalia Roxas.

Ray Espiritu of Isla Pilipina, at Isla. Photo credit: Natalia Roxas.

Ray Espiritu, owner of Isla Pilipina, Chicago, shares his favorite Filipino food memory:

"My Dad's leftover fried rice trumps my Mom's cooking, even though my mom cooked for us most of the time. I would come home after school and see the paper towels covering plates of food meant for me on our kitchen table and its vinyl checkerboard tablecloth. That and The Simpsons were my after school reward.
"But now that table is empty, no more vinyl checkerboard table cloth. It's filled only with the memories of my childhood." 

Ray took over his parents' Filipino restaurant between Chicago's Lincoln Square and Albany Park neighborhoods seven years ago.