Event organizers aim to ‘bring Filipino cuisines to mainstream Canadian markets’

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April marks the kickoff of the first Filipino Restaurant Month in Canada.

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A joint project between the Philippine Department of Tourism and the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Calgary, with support from the PCGs in Vancouver and Toronto as well as the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, the month-long event aims to celebrate Filipino food while also introducing the cuisine to more Canadians.

“Coming out of COVID hiatus for almost two years, the Filipino Restaurant Month (FRM) was conceived to support local Filipino restaurants and suppliers get back on their feet,” Consul General Maria Andrelita Austria says of the event. “FRM is culturally and economically important now because we want to bring Filipino cuisines to mainstream Canadian markets.

“Through the various dishes, the goal is to inspire more people to explore Filipino food, and through cuisine develop a better appreciation for our culture.”

The cross-Canada culinary event will see 40 restaurants participate in seven cities, offering fixed-price menus featuring flavours representing the Philippines’ 7,641 islands, according to the organization. Diners will also have a chance to win prizes ranging from gift cards and vouchers to accommodations in the Philippines, according to Andrelita Austria.

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The Smokehouse Sisig Sandwich Special from Smokehouse Sandwich Co.
The Smokehouse Sisig Sandwich Special from Smokehouse Sandwich Co. Photo by Smokehouse Sandwich Co.

Participating restaurants in Metro Vancouver include: Max’s Restaurant (3546 Kingsway, Vancouver); Pampanga’s Cuisine (5179 Joyce St., Vancouver); Kumare (8130 Park Rd., Richmond); Smokehouse Sandwich Co. (5188 Westminster Hwy, Richmond); Plato Filipino (892 Carnarvon St. #100, New Westminster); Kumare (8047 120 St. #100, Delta); Grandt Kitchen (10257 King George Blvd, Surrey); and Lyra Lou Cakes (102-14370 64 Ave., Surrey).

To select the participating restaurants, Andrelita Austria says the team from Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver visited and dined at restaurants during an initial screening process.

“Meanwhile, some restaurant owners in our jurisdiction heard of FRM via our social media platforms and reached out to us,” Andrelita Austria adds.

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While only in its first year, event organizers have big plans for the culinary event.

“We hope that this project will evolve into an annual event and will include more Filipino restaurants, not only in B.C. but also in Yukon and the Northwest Territories,” Andrelita Austria says. “We hope you will experience the true hospitality of Filipinos through its cuisine.

“Kainan Na!” Andrelita Austria summarizes. ‘Let’s eat!’

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