Recently in the kitchen, Camille has been working on a couple of different dishes and components that are rooted in her Filipino heritage. When she presented me with these two dishes, it reminded me of something.
Having just returned from the Jeju Food & Wine Festival in Korea, the last interview question from the media was: "what advice would you give to the young culinary students of Korea?"
My response was: "I hope that the school still teaches traditional Korean cooking because it's important not to lose that as part of your culture. Yes the base or foundation of cooking is partially French, European, Italian, etc., but the students must also learn the Korean classics. Be proud of the Korean heritage given to you. Be proud of your Korean cuisine and food. Show the world what real Korean flavors and taste are really about. A lot of my American friends hesitate to go eat Korean food because in their imagination its too spicy, they will smell like garlic, and they put a lot of sesame oil in their food. Korean food is much more diverse than that when you actually get into eating the cuisine. It has depth. It is flavorful, and not all Korean foods are spicy at all or have a lot of garlic in it. With all of the young Korean chefs emerging in the marketplace, there is a budding new cuisine called Modern Korean that uses Korean ingredients and flavors."
I am glad that Camille is embracing her heritage and showing the world that there's more to Filipino food than Patis, Lechon, and Lumpia. Camille, be proud of your food that you grew up eating and keep doing this and show everyone what Filipino flavors and ingredients can be.
-- Alan Wong