by Carlota H. Ader
After a year-long pause due to COVID, food connoisseurs and hungry diners welcomed back the restaurant edition of Filipino Food Week from June 6-12, 2021.
The week-long event celebrated the wonderful world of Filipino cuisine and offered participating diners an opportunity to visit participating restaurants to sample various dishes prepared by different chefs and food establishments.
In commemoration of the 75th year of the establishment of bilateral relations between the Philippines and the U.S., this year’s Filipino Food Week focused on the ways Filipino cuisine has enriched Hawaii’s culinary landscape.
Filipino Food Week was organized by the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu in partnership with East West Marketing Inc., GK SKAGGS, Jun’s Awesome Sauce, Kasama Rum, Marigold Corporation (Mama Sita’s), Oishi, Philippine FoodTrade Co., and Tanduay USA.
The goal of the event was to generate more awareness and interest among locals and restaurants to feature Filipino dishes. Filipino Food Week is part of a nationwide effort of the Philippine Embassy in D.C. and various Consulates in the U.S. to promote Filipino cuisine and culture.
Food Tasting at Eating House 1849
Restaurants across the State offered special Filipino dishes that combined both Filipino and Hawaiian influences. One such restaurant was Eating House 1849 by Chef Roy Yamaguchi.
To launch the week-long event, Eating House hosted staff from the Philippine Consulate and the local media during a special event at the International Marketplace in Waikiki on June 6, 2021.
Consulate staff included Deputy Consul General Angelica C. Escalona, Consul Grace Anne G. Bulos. Vice Consul Andrea Christine Q. Caymo and Cultural Officer Elaine Justine Aldaya. They were joined by the Star Advertiser, Moxie Hawaii, Honolulu Magazine, University of Hawaii, Radio DJ Personalities, Balitang America, Tanduay Rum Marketing and other members of the media.
The parade of dishes started with appetizers, including the Chicken Lumpia garnished with watercress and leeks with mango ginger sweet and sour sauce. Then there was Manila Clams topped with chopped Portuguese Sausage and Hon Shimeji mushrooms with curry sauce.
The traditional pancit or noodles was prepared as a filling for a fried Tai Snapper that spread out to the middle of the plate, while the main dish was adobo glazed short ribs and pork belly garnished with Kabocha puree and luau sauce. Dessert was the E.H. Style Halo Halo which was a mixture of different fruits sliced small and thin like strawberry, blueberry, coconut and jelly and topped with ube ice cream.
All of the delectable dishes were prepared by Eating House 1849 Executive Chef Isaiah “Bobo” Badua who was born in Hawaii and attended Leeward Community College where he graduated from its renowned Culinary Arts program.
For Badua, cooking was a passion he had from a young age. The dishes prepared by his Filipino and Japanese grandmothers inspired him to pursue the culinary arts as a career. He began working in the food service industry some 14 years ago but got his first big break at Roy Yamaguchi’s Eating House 1849 in Ko Olina before moving to the newest location in Waikiki.
Eating House 1849 pays homage to Hawaii’s vibrant culinary heritage by blending the easy ambience and simple flavors of an old plantation town with bold, modern cuisine to create a memorable dining experience.
But even as an executive chef, Badua is not one to rest on his laurels, choosing instead to continue honing his skills and learning from his peers and chefs at other restaurants.
“I always keep in mind what my two grandmoms taught me from their plantation-style dishes that reflect Hawaii’s multi-cultural mixture,” he says. “Whenever I cook and prepare food, it’s with my whole heart. My aim is to always satisfy the customer and of course to uphold the legacy of Roy Yamaguchi’s restaurants.”
by Carlota H. Ader