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Nov 20, 2015 9:18 EST

Bring Filipino Food to Boston!: A sibling duo team up to bring inventive, approachable, ethically prepared Filipino food to Boston

iCrowdNewswire - Nov 20, 2015

Bring Filipino Food to Boston!

Why Isn’t There Filipino Food in Boston?

Boston is a world-class city and it’s surprising that a cuisine as complex and ripe for interesting exploration as Filipino food is not on the restaurant roster. There are many eaters like me that enjoy engaging with other cultures through food, so it’s really not a question of how many Filipinos there are to eat the food… so, what gives?

I’m Ellie and I’m one half of the dynamic Filipino-American sibling duo that’s dreamed up and executed pop-ups of all forms, shapes and sizes in Boston this past year. The answer is complex, but I think one of the puzzle pieces into which Kulinarya and the Pamangan pop up fit is answering the call to create. If the pop-ups we’ve run are any indication of the hunger Boston has for Filipino food and our take on our Kapampangan heritage, we’re also getting at another piece: 

The desire to have the Filipino-inspired food that Pamangan is serving is clear. Dare we say… ardent.

Filipino food in Boston. Why not, indeed!

 

But This Isn’t Just About Filipino Food

While we are filling this void of Filipino food in Boston, what’s even more important to us is that we do this work in a way that takes care of everyone involved — that’s diners and all the people that work hard to put that food in front of you. From the beginning, we want our voice to carry a message that says food is more than a transaction. 

Our restaurant will be an echo chamber for all the important work people are already doing to change the way that people think about food consumption. People are behind every part of that process and our mission is to be intentional about recognizing that in a practical way. 

For us, that means sourcing from farms and other producers who have a sense of purpose beyond profit and who treat their folks well. That means starting with a living wage for the people that work with us and working to provide them benefits and ways of plugging into the business. That means thinking about you, and how our food nourishes your health, but also your soul (that beind said, there’s always time and place for lechon).

So Where Does My Money Go?

Funding a restaurant is an expensive and risky endeavor. That’s not lost on us and it’s why we believe your contribution is an essential part of giving the restaurant the best shot it has. We have a concept (tapas bar!) and a realistic idea of how much money we’ll need (a lot!) — so your piece comes into making sure the space we decide to make our home is in the right place and is on favorable terms. 

Many bootstrapped restaurant businesses not only cut corners but rush into decisions without enough consideration, and we want to avoid that. $20,000 of your contribution will go towards legal, financial and marketing counsel as we make our first move: securing a space.

The rest will go towards supplementing the funds we pay into the pop-up to develop the menu, find a place in town that’ll let us be a regular fixture and explore questions like “What does it take for us to pay all our staff a living wage and still survive the restaurant grind?” “How can we involve the people who grow and raise our food in our business?” and “What can we do to continue to rethink the hierarchy of the kitchen and the floor?”

So, are you wondering why there isn’t Filipino food in Boston? Are you wondering why Filipino food hasn’t had the same presence that other food cultures have? Do you live in Boston and want to be part of bringing a culture that needs representation to the place you call home? Do you live elsewhere and care about the representation of the Filipino diaspora? DONATE!

We’ve got 30 days to make it happen! If we meet our goal, let’s party! Pamangan will throw a holiday party for all our contributors in Boston!

About the Project Thus Far

While we both had a lot of personal and professional experience, we started this project flying by the seats of our pants. We really had no expectation for this beyond being able to do something together that we’ve always done, put ourselves wholly into the task of creating and cooking and serving food, something that has always been an expression of love in our family. The intensity of support and excitement for more of what we were doing was inspiring and without hesitation, both me and my brother felt we had to do it again.

Since August of 2014, we’ve hosted this dinner in many places, turning everything from gallery spaces to cafes into restaurants for a night. My brother often takes a red-eye flight on a Friday night to be here for a weekend of insanity and we’ve made lots of connections to folks and facilitated connections between folks who are completely supportive of bringing Filipino food to Boston. Since that first pop up, our idea of what we want has become more and more concrete and it’s clear to both of us that we want to give Filipino food a permanent home in Boston. What that means is a restaurant and that’s why we’re asking for your help.

Personally, I’ve explored many different paths… it’s almost cliche that I return to the place I began, making Filipino food. One of my first memories is of being at the stove with my dad, on a step stool, stirring a sauce while he showed me what to watch for as it thickened. With my dad being a chef, and with our house being the house that all family and friend gatherings happened, and with so many positive memories around the preparation of food, making food is a way for me to bring the social and sharing culture of it that I’ve known all my life.

Does My Contribution Absolutely, Positively Guarantee This Restaurant Is Happening?

The short and disappointing answer is “no.” What’s important to say is that there are lots of pieces that are crucial to opening any restaurant’s doors and unforeseeable things can happen that stall or halt the process. That being said, we’re repositioning our lives to give this project everything it needs to become a brick and mortar. 

RJ is going to be one of the major investors in the business and I will be 100% focused on the task of bringing the restaurant to life, and running it once we’ve welcomed you in.

Your contribution is an essential piece to giving this restaurant the best chance possible here in Boston and acts two-fold: it shows investors that there is undeniable support and demand for a Filipino restaurant in Boston and it provides us with the capital necessary to secure a space and to develop best practices that will inform the restaurant.

Money Is Hard to Come By, But I Still Want to Support!

Tell your friends and urge them to donate. That is one of the most helpful things you can do! If there’s one specific thing we’d like to ask all of you to do is record a 15-second video to put on Instagram or Facebook about why you think Pamangan should be a restaurant! Tag it with #PamanganPopUp and #RestaurantorBust2016 and we’ll feature it and shower you with many, many thanks!

I also know you have mad skills. The business of making a restaurant go is much, much more than chopping onions with lightning speed and zero tearing (but if that’s one of your many talents, then I wanna hear about it!). Email me at [email protected] and let’s sit down for coffee.

I Got Other Questions

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RJ is going to be one of the major investors in the business and I will be 100% focused on the task of bringing the restaurant to life, and running it once we’ve welcomed you in.

Your contribution is an essential piece to giving this restaurant the best chance possible here in Boston and acts two-fold: it shows investors that there is undeniable support and demand for a Filipino restaurant in Boston and it provides us with the capital necessary to secure a space and to develop best practices that will inform the restaurant.

 

Contact Information:

Ellie Tiglao
Rj Tiglao

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