NEW YORK – On the final day of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Monthwe have one more member of our AAPI community to spotlight.
A chef and cookbook author is embracing the wave of recognition Filipino Americans are experiencing on a national stage.
As CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reports, it was a breakout year for artists with Filipino roots at the 2022 Grammy Awards: Bruno Mars, Saweetie, Elle King, HER, and Olivia Rodrigo. They landed an impressive 22 Grammy nominations between them.
Also this year, Kasama, an eatery in Chicago, became the first Filipino restaurant in America to earn a Michelin star.
“From our ancestors to our immigrant parents, it leads up to this moment,” said Nicole Ponseca.
“This moment” is a long time coming for Ponseca, a NYC restaurateur and author of “I Am a Filipino: And This Is How We Cook.”
“This is years of work, years of craftsmanship. And now I also think it’s Filipinos saying, ‘I’m here,'” Ponseca said.
Ponseca met with Johnson in Brooklyn to prepare a few Filipino staples, including a noodle dish called pant.
“The thing we do here is we want to make sure the vegetables, the protein is cut in similar sizes so when you take a bite you’re getting a little bit of everything,” Ponseca said.
Another dish: Lumpia, a variation of an egg roll.
“You can put back 10-20 easy,” Ponseca said.
“It’s like potato chips,” Johnson said.
“Exactly. You can’t eat just one,” Ponseca said.
They also cooked balut, a steamed, fertilized duck egg. It’s a sought-after source of protein that is widely available and consumed across the country. In 2013, though, the egg was featured in a challenge round in the TV series “Fear Factor.”
And a steamed fertilized duck egg, called Balut. A sought after source of protein that is widely available and consumed across the country. In 2013 though, the egg was featured in a challenge round on the TV series Fear Factor.
“The first time people would reference my culture was ‘I saw you on “Fear Factor,” you eat that?’ Or ‘Wow, your culture is so weird.’ It was a lot to weigh on an 8-year-old,” Ponseca said.
She has since found pride in her Filipino heritage and loves educating and sharing her modern twists on Filipino food.
“Whether you like it or not, I just want you to know about it. I want you to respect that is part of our culture,” Ponseca said.
It’s a culture Ponseca and Johnson take great pride in.
“Thank you for doing this for me. It’s been a walk down memory lane in so many ways and really kind of reinforces that looking at your heritage, its really something to embrace,” Johnson said.