Intent on reflecting the things that he has learned from his recent travels to the homeland, Chef Bejun is joining KULTURA for Kain Kalye 2014! Join us on August 10 for the KULTURA festival finale at Artscape Wychwood Barns and taste Chef B's fried chicken skin, open-faced siopao, and sisig taco at the Kain Kalye Street Eats Competition!
Read on after the cut for a short interview about his insights on Canadian food culture and Filipino cuisine, the mainstays and the delicacies of Pinoy food, and growing up in the food business.
(1) What do you think is the dish that is most representative of Filipino culture? Do you think that Filipino cuisine fits into the Canadian food culture?
Bejun Dela Cruz: Three things that come to my mind: adobo, pancit and balot. Adobo and pancit are mainstays of Filipino cuisine, whereas balot is a delicacy, where there is a curiosity that revolves around it and not many will dare to try it. Filipino cuisine definitely fits in today's food culture. It is just a matter of selling our food and marketing it in a way that entices individuals to try our dishes. There have been movements to bring Filipino cuisine to the Toronto market and they are paving the way for others. Props to them!
(2) What was it that led you to start cooking?
BJD: Back in the Philippines, my family used to run a "karinderya". So, I've always grown up around food. I also like the feeling of having to accomplished something. Every time I create a great dish or meal, it's like my happy place. Oh yeah, the ladies dig it ;).