Chuck Ortiz, along with Sean Santos and Anthony Reyes have come together to form Pop–Op, a collective that will curate unique food concepts. The first itiration of this concept is Horse & Carriage, which will make its first appearance at KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival.
Follow these re-definers of food and culture whip up street food Filipino style. On Sunday, Aug. 11th, don't forget to try their fish balls in a sweet chilli vin, sweet soy sauce!
Interview by Manuel Luis Veneracion
Tell us a about the guys you have working with you on this project.
I have partnered up with a couple of close friends in Anthony Reyes and Sean Santos to create Pop-Op. All three of us come from fairly different industries/career paths and that is what makes this collective so unique. Anthony works in the music industry, Sean is a chef in Toronto and I publish an independent food magazine. The one thing that we have in common is the fact that we love food and the multitude of ways you can enjoy it.
What other food concepts does POP-OP have in the works?
'Horse & Carriage' is the first concept that Pop-Op is putting forth and we are just trying to focus on that for the time being and get it market ready. We will definitely be curating more concepts down the road that all have unique experiences.
You get to witness and experience food scenes outside the city of Toronto. What's the Filipino food scene like?
There are definitely some amazing Filipino food scenes outside of Toronto; all of them in different stages and maturity levels. California definitely has a large Filipino community with many thriving small food trucks. Señor Sisig and Manila Machine are perfect examples of Filipino street food done right.I'd have to say that the Filipino food scene in New York is probably the most developed I've seen in my travels from the restaurant perspective. Restaurants like Purple Yam, Maharlika, Jeepney and Pig & Khao have all gained the respect and attention from media and diners alike.
As experienced epicureans and professional cooks you're used to certain standards in the kitchen
I’m actually fine with all of the Filipino home cooking practices but that's not to say they can't be improved and/or refined. My father's rendition of adobo is great but I'd like to see him use better cuts of meat and maybe better vinegars.
Filipino Spaghetti: Yay or Nay?
Yay. Who doesn't love hot dogs and ketchup in their spaghetti?