KANTO by Tita Flips, headed by Diona Joyce is the only one returning in KULTURA2013's Philippine Culinary Competition. She has made a name for herself in making Filipino food accessible by having a street food stall at Market 707 (by Scadding Court Community Centre).
Kanto's Sisig Fries made a killing last year at the ADOBO Masters Competition. This year for KAIN KALYE: Filipino Street Eats Competition, Kanto will serve Kwek-kwek: battered fried quail eggs. See you tomorrow!
Interview by Manuel Luis Veneracion
Where in The Philippines are you originally from? What are some regional specialities to be found there?
I was born in Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental which my mom was from but my dad was from Nueva Ecija. So I grew up to have a combination of both northern and southern cuisine. I grew up eating "kinilaw" or ceviche and anything to do with seafoods particularly.
What is one typical Filipino ingredient that you can't live without?
Calamansi! (That's a Filipino citrus fruit!)
If you were a Filipino dish what would you be?
Lechon. It has so many parts of goodness from the crispy skin to the succulent belly and ribs. And so versatile too where you can create so many dishes out from it.
What are some common Filipino homecooking practices that you maybe grew up with that you would change or any you think are all wrong and drive you crazy?
Nothing really serious that would drive me crazy because I think every step in traditional cooking has their own rhyme or reason why they are doing that but one thing that I'm changing slightly is searing my meat first then cook the traditional way.