Filipino Cuisine Symposium, Dessert Festival, Wine Dinner & More

In San Francisco:

Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Thai and Malaysian cuisines.

Been to those restaurants, eaten that.

But when it comes to Filipino food, just how much have you experienced of this bold, pungent cuisine with its Chinese, Polynesian, and Spanish influences?

May 15-16, explore “Filipino Flavors: Tradition + Innovation,’‘ a celebration of the foods of the Philippines organized by the Asian Culinary Forum.

The weekend events, featuring chefs, scholars, writers and winemakers, will take place at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California in San Francisco, a short stroll from the Holiday Inn Civic Center.

May 15 kicks off with a hands-on cooking class with New York Chef Amy Besa ($85 per person); followed by a seminar on pairing Filipino foods with wines, hosted by Master Sommelier Reggie Narito ($45 per person). Next, a panel of scholars and writers will discuss the social, political and cultural touchstones that have shaped what Filipinos eat around the world ($15 per person; $10 for students). Finally, enjoy an “Adobo Show-Down,” where cooks will do battle with their best version of Filipino adobo for prizes ($20 per person).

May 16 starts off with a chocolate tasting with chocolatier Tonet Tibay (free to all symposium pass holders); and ends with a chefs panel all about the future of Filipino food ($40 general, $30 students).

Register here for tickets to individual events or for an all-symposium pass ($180).

Enjoy an intimate dinner with renowned wine importer, Kermit Lynch, May 6 at Absinthe Brasserie.

Lynch, who has made his Berkeley wine shop a vino lover’s destination for decades, will be pouring selected vintages from two of his benchmark producers, Domaine de Cherisey and Domaine Les Pallières.

Executive Chef Jamie Lauren will prepare a four-course dinner, which will include hamachi crudo with pickled green garlic, curried salt and pappadums; and braised beef cheeks with maple syrup-glazed smoked yams.

Price for the event is $150 per person. For reservations, call (415) 551-1453.

Foreign Cinema restaurant in San Francisco throws open its doors May 6 for a benefit auction for Creativity Explored, a San Francisco art gallery and studio for artists with developmental disabilities.

Original art, as well as an array of luxury items will be auctioned off that night, as Chefs Gayle Pirie and John Clark serve up small plates, cocktails, wine and beer. Guests are encouraged to come decked out in chromatic clothing to play up this year’s theme.

Tickets are $125 in advance or at the door. Or reserve by May 5, and pay $225 total for a pair of tickets. Call (415) 863-2108.

In San Jose:

Enjoy beer — a lot of beer — at brunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 15 at Left Bank Brasserie in San Jose’s Santana Row.

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. beer brunch will feature four courses, each paired with a different Sierra Nevada beer. Price is $40 per person. For reservations, call (408) 984-3500.

This will kick off a monthly featured beer brunch at the restaurant. The June 12th one will feature New Belgium Brewing Company. The July 24th one will spotlight Drake’s Brewing Company.

In Oakland:

Local pastry chefs and confection purveyors will be out in full force for “The Sweet Shoppe Sweet & Savory Festival” at Jack London Square in Oakland, May 8-9.

Enjoy demonstrations on making chocolate croissant bread pudding, sticky toffee pudding, dessert cocktails, ice cream cakes and creme brulee. A Bubble Bar will offer flights of champagne. And in case you need something savory after all those sweets, gourmets sandwiches and cheeses also will be available.

Ticket prices range from $12 to $100.

The Oakland Asian Cultural Center will host three upcoming culinary workshops on traditional Asian cuisines as part of its annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival 2010.

May 9, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., learn about “Spring Dishes From Tibet,” including sah paley, a classic picnic dish that originated in Amdho Provence where the 14th Dalai Lama was born.

May 22, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the focus is on “Filipino Regional Vegetarian” fare, including a vegetarian-version of kare-kare (a peanut stew with banana hearts).

And June 5, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., learn all about “Chinese Soups for Health,” which incorporates healthfulness through seasonal ingredients and yin-yang balance.

To register for any of the classes, contact April Kim at (510) 637-0462. Price for each class is a $5-$30 sliding scale donation to cover the cost of materials.

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  • This is interesting, a filipino food fest–I wish they had one here!

  • Always so many interesting events to share. I don’t know that I’ve ever had Filipino food before so I’m going to have to track down a cookbook or a local restaurant.

  • You could try Tina’s Kusina on the corner of Hope and Dana in downtown Mountain View. It’s more of a lunch/steam-table place, but it’s cheap and tasty. I don’t know how ‘authentic’ it is, since it’s relative foreign to me!

  • Uzbekcelia: Thanks for the tip on the Mountain View Filipino restaurant. A new one just opened recently in Santa Clara, too, which I need to check out:
    It’s nice to see that this Asian cuisine is finally gaining more prominence.

  • So wish I knew about this earlier, I would have loved to have gone. Might help me make way through my Grandma and Mom’s recipe book they made. Lots of Filipino dishes I haven’t gotten to yet.

  • I would have loved to go to Filipino food festival, how cool!

  • A Filipino food festival? Wow this sound so yummy and the dessert festival is perfect for me πŸ™‚

    All the best,


  • I am so excited, I’m signed up for the Filipino cooking events on Saturday. I cannot wait! As much as I wanted to I could not justify the entire weekend. Are you coming?

  • OysterCulture: Would love to meet up with you at the Filipino fest, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it. Bad timing. I’ve got another engagement then, which you’ll hear about later…. πŸ˜‰

  • It’s so true, the rest of Asian cuisine is really well represented here but Filipino is a bit harder to find. I do like what I’ve tried thus far though! πŸ™‚

    I shared your (i.e. “recommendation”) here so that automatically I shared your recommendation thru my FB, Twitter, MySpace and Yahoo broadcasts. Hope it gets to our other Bay Area friends. Sounds really delicious. Amy Besa is a friend of ours and her hubby Romy does great “chocolate champorado” try it πŸ™‚

  • By the way, I remember when we went searching for good Filipino cuisine way back in 1996 and had a hard time. Amy and the new Chefs are doing a great job of bringing the best to fans in the US. And, in a “healthier” fashion, too πŸ™‚

  • I think it’s great you posted this article – Filipino food is delicious (I know, I am biased!) and deserves to be recognized and promoted! The first picture is called crispy pata – it’s making my mouth water.

  • this is truly exciting! marvellous! I wish could atend! ;( So far yet i felt so near!

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