Despite growing up surrounded by the cooking of his mother and grandmother, Chef Ariel del Rosario of Edmonton’s Filistix didn’t realize he had a passion for food until he started reading Gourmet Magazine. These days he’s inspired by Filipino chefs and restaurateurs levelling up Filipino cuisine on a global scale.
“For far too long, Filipino restaurants serviced only the Filipino community exclusively,” Chef Ariel says. “My mission, as with these new chefs, is to introduce and educate the dining public outside of the Filipino community to the deliciousness of Filipino cuisine.”
“Filipino food is the original fusion cuisine,” Chef Ariel explains. “It’s a mix of Spanish, Malay, Chinese, and American cuisines.” Get a feel for the four flavour profiles – salty, sour (acidic), sweet, and ‘funky’, and you’re on the right path.
Chef Ariel shares a recipe for Sinigang na Baboy is a sour, tamarind-based soup with pork ribs and veggies. “This is actually my wife's recipe but I'm stealing it. She learned this from her lola (grandmother) and it is purely by feel and by taste.”
It takes time, but it’s well worth the result. “Don't be afraid to use the ready-made Mama Sita's or Knorr Sinigang powder,” adds Chef Ariel, and adjust the amount you use to your taste.