Filipino Canadians from all walks of life relived the smells, tastes, and feels of Pinoy home cooking in a special skills training series in Vancouver.
Philippine Consul General Maria Andrelita Austria said its event covered two things. "First is to promote Philippine cuisine, as we have been doing consistently, and second is to provide our kababayans an opportunity to learn more about Filipino cuisine and have extra skills that they can use."
The Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver invited Filipino Canadian chef and culinary instructor Helen Orimaco-Pumatong to share and demonstrate her recipes for delectable Pinoy party favorites such as pork humba, embutido meat rolls, fish escabeche, and bibingka rice cakes.
"It was a great opportunity to be a part of this. They said they were going to invite people who were maybe missing home, [or] feeling [and] wanting the festive food that they're probably missing and so I was presenting it to them," Orimaco-Pumatong noted.
Event attendees shared what they learned from Orimaco-Pumatong. Real estate professional Heidi Ng said her confidence in making Filipino food at home leveled up. "Pag shino-show ni Chef, parang madali lang (When Chef was showing how to do it, it seemed easy)," Ng said. "I really hope one day, Filipino food will take center stage and will be recognized globally."
As for caregiver Femy Perez, she said what hit her most is the chef's encouragement "that wherever we are as Filipinos, we should go back into our own roots, at patuloy lang natin itaas ang flag as a Filipino (and continue to raise the flag as a Filipino)."
Orimaco-Pumatong was born in the Philippines. Her family migrated to Canada when she was only six years old. Despite growing up outside the homeland, she is passionate about Filipino cuisine.
"We should just be out there more and not be shy about it," Orimaco-Pumatong declared. "Filipino food should be joining the global food scene right now. There's just so many things that you could show the other cultures that we have."
To successfully recreate Filipino dishes, the chef encourages everyone to just dive in and let inspiration lead them. "Always be prepared. Don't be intimidated, just go with it, get creative, have fun with it as well."