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Filipino-American Chefs Showcase Filipino Cuisine at ‘Platform’ by James Beard Foundation

James Beard Foundation

Six talented Filipino-American chefs came together to present a unique culinary experience at “Platform,” a new dining destination by the James Beard Foundation at Pier 57’s Market Hall in New York City. This sold-out, one-day-only Filipino brunch, named “Merienda,” featured a blend of traditional and modern Filipino dishes, capturing the essence of Filipino culture and cuisine.

A Celebration of Filipino Food and Culture

James Beard Foundation

The event was led by Nicole Ponseca, a James Beard nominee and pioneer of the Filipino Food Movement, along with esteemed chefs like Dale Talde and Leah Cohen, both Top Chef alums. They were joined by other notable New York chefs, including Woldy Reyes, LJ Almendras, and Diana Manalang. Together, they created a memorable Filipino brunch experience, combining flavors and techniques from the Philippines with contemporary culinary trends.

Ponseca emphasized the communal and joyful spirit of Filipino food, saying, “It’s the memories, it’s the laughter. And that’s really what I want people to know about being Filipino and our food—it’s very joyful, it’s very communal… I really think it’s the food but it’s also the people behind the food that makes an event and makes Filipino food like this, which is fun.”

Victoria Jordan Rodriguez of the James Beard Foundation explained that Platform is designed to celebrate diverse cultures from around the world while providing a delightful dining experience for their patrons. The event attracted a sophisticated audience of food enthusiasts, with Rodriguez noting, “They’re really savvy, savvy consumers… And these are the kinds of folks that are tastemakers. They’re going to be bringing people, they’re going out to these restaurants, they’re traveling for food and for restaurants. So I think that our clientele is typically a very more influential consumer.”

A Culinary Journey Through Filipino Delicacies

James Beard Foundation

The brunch began with Chef LJ Almendras’ pandesal with kesong puti, a traditional Filipino cheese, as an appetizer. Chef Woldy Reyes showcased his vegan mango-glazed bibingka and sinangag frittata, while his “Kamayan Feast” recently received acclaim in Vogue Magazine and the New York Times for its invigorating culinary approach.

Chef Dale Talde’s premium palabok, served with blue crab gravy, smoked trout roe, and chicharron, added a gourmet touch to the menu. Nicole Ponseca’s salmon kinilaw with pinakurat and coconut milk marinade, topped with achara and ampalaya chimichurri, offered a refreshing and flavorful dish that was a highlight of the event.

The Filipino brunch at Platform concluded the Filipino Food Month with a powerful message: the Filipino food movement gains strength when chefs unite to share their passion for Filipino cuisine with the world. This unique collaboration among Filipino-American chefs not only showcased the diverse and vibrant flavors of Filipino food but also highlighted the sense of community and camaraderie that defines Filipino culture. As these chefs continue to bring Filipino cuisine to the forefront, the world can expect even more exciting and innovative culinary experiences.


Read Also: Southeast LA Spotlights Filipino Culinary Delights with Weekly Buffet in Artesia


Written by Marjo Piedad

Traveler | Foodie | CONTENT EDITOR
📍Cebu, Philippines
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