“People like the way I cook lechon, that’s why it tastes so good.”
Ask anyone in the Philippines where to find the best, tastiest lechon and they’ll send you to Cebu. Cebu is beloved to many Filipinos as the Lechon Capital of The Philippines. So, it was only a matter of time before I made a pilgrimage there. During a recent visit to my family’s home country, I asked my food-loving uncle to take me to see who he believes is the best lechon maker in Cebu. He took me to Rico’s Lechon.
Rico Dionson is a legend. Or so they say. He started his lechon business after money started running low in cock-fighting. On his own, without any experience, he bought a pig, and then another, eventually perfecting the crispy lechon recipe that makes him famous today. And if gold chains are any indication of how well a man is doing, then Rico is killing it.
In Cebu, you can get Rico’s lechon – regular or spicy – from his restaurant or WHOLE via special order. Believe it or not, they ship their whole lechon around the country, even to Hong Kong and Korea. It’s that good. And if you want to know how I feel about it, just listen in…
Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy eating!
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” -Philip Pullman
It’s been amazing to see the rise in short-form food filmmakers over the years. I remember when I launched my series at the end of 2009, I was only one of a small handful of food filmmakers in the scene, grinding out stories, trying to make an impact through video storytelling. Now, there’s a lot more faces out there. A lot more series producing beautiful videos about the craft of making food. In many ways, it makes food more accessible, less mysterious. We all benefit.
It’s a great honor to be recognized by Saveur Magazine as a finalist for Best Use of Video in this year’s Best Food Blog Awards 2014. I’m a huge fan of the magazine, especially their food travel essays. I hope you come out to vote (here). It would really be great to have your support.
Happy Viewing! And best of luck to all the awesome finalists.
It’s a huge honor to announce my recent partnership with The New York Times.
It’s been a hard secret to keep and months in the works, but totally worth the wait. This collaboration will not only allow NYTimes readers to enjoy food videos the Dining Out Section “wouldn’t normally cover”, but it will also bring more eyes and ears to the passionate stories I curate. Ultimately, it’s been a really happy and joyful week for me, and an important win for the artisans, chefs and farmers that I cover.
Over the course of the next year, you can expect more food. curated. stories from locations around the country — make that around the world – that explore new themes and expose innovative food makers to the most informed and interested palates in the culinary universe. They’ll be fun. They’ll be inspiring. Most of all, they’ll make you WANT to eat.
You can check out The New York Times every week (on Monday) for our latest stories and discoveries. Your loyal support means so much to me and my series. I truly feel like the little engine that could.
“Food is so rich. So personal. It’s never just about a bite of food.”
What does it take to tell a story? What is it I ask of people time and time again when I make my videos? What’s my trick? These are all questions I pondered and tore apart as I prepared for my food. curated. TEDTalk this winter. Surprisingly, I never really knew how hard it was to share until I had to look in the mirror at my own story. The stages of discomfort I went through. The self-doubt. The anxiety. The tripping over my own words. It made me feel for my subjects, truly. God bless them for what they’ve given me. For the trust they’ve granted me. I think, coming out of such a beautifully challenging experience, I have much more respect for the process. You see, the process was never something I ever had to pick apart. It was just something I did without thinking. I picked up my cameras and let the story flow. But, now, I see it went much deeper. My journey to the heart of people always involved more. Asked for more. Even more out of me. Now I understand the hurdles of vulnerability, I know the heights to which it pushes us, I know its tender edges. I have to say, giving this TEDTalk was a soul-opener. A path to understanding my own need for intimacy with people. And the beauty that sharing gives us: the magic of being real.
So, I’m humbled to share with you, dear friends, a little bit more about me. A look into the very essence of my storytelling series: food. curated.
I hope you enjoy it. I hope you share it. Many thanks to the organizers of TEDxBrooklyn for inviting me to speak. Please send through any questions or comments. I’d love to hear from you!
“The window of opportunity to eat a freshly fried churro is actually very short.”
Meet Alex Raij, the co-chef and co-owner of La Vara, a bright and beautiful Spanish restaurant in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. To me, Alex is a Saint. A Churro Saint. She saved me. She single-handedly absolved all the sins of New York City churro makers by creating, in my opinion, the Holy Grail of Churros. Just one bite will transform even the strongest skeptic into a believer. Trust me, from street food vendors to Zagat-rated restaurants, my crusade for the perfect churro has spanned years. I’ve chewed on cinammon-starved cardboard logs. I’ve suffered sponges full of dirty oil. I’ve sat alone, hungry and hopeful, awaiting the arrival of someone’s “favorite churro” only to be left disappointed, dejected and exhausted, with nothing to show except cinnamon & sugar in the deep lines of my hands. So come you tired churro masses, come cake your weary lips with sugary heaven. Your search is finally over.
La Vara’s churros are ONLY available on weekends on the brunch menu. I know it’s been awhile, but I have lots of stories in store for the new year.
Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy eating!