Cultural Food Traditions Project: the Philippines — Slow Food East Bay

Catering company Midsummer Kitchen focuses on plant-based Filipino dishes and will be featured at a Slow Food East Bay event in November. Credit: Midsummer Kitchen

The next installment in Slow Food East Bay’s Cultural Food Traditions Project series will focus on the Philippines with chef Ryan Martinez and nutritionist Cleodia Martinez of plant-forward catering company Midsummer Kitchen. The event series highlights the food traditions of immigrants, refugees and displaced people, illustrating how food plays a role in maintaining connections to culture and community.

Partners in life and business, Ryan and Cleodia both hail from Manila and they will share stories from their own lives about immigrating and maintaining connections to their homeland through its culinary traditions. The couple creates dishes that incorporate Filipino flavors with healthful ingredients and techniques. Yana Gilbuena, a chef born in the Philippines who launched the Salo Series pop-up dinners, will be the moderator for the discussion. The talk will cover the influences on Filipino food from migrant and colonizers’ cuisines (including the United States, Spain and China) and how climate change is altering food traditions and migration. A portion of proceeds from the event will go to support Sama Sama Cooperative, an East Bay nonprofit that organizes a summer camp, including Tagalog language immersion, indigenous music, dance, and exploration of our ecological heritage. The event will Nov. 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Korner Oakland, 1014 Fruitvale Ave. in Oakland. Tickets cost $45 to $90. 

Unity in Giving Dinner — Parche and Oakland Roots

Parche serves contemporary Colombian food, such as the chicharron ceviche seen here. Credit: Parche

Parche, a Colombian restaurant that opened in early 2023, is partnering with the Oakland Roots for a charity dinner. The event starts with a meet-and-greet cocktail hour with players and staff from the Oakland Roots, during which attendees can get photos and autographs. There will also be an opportunity to preview items from the Oakland Roots silent auction. The six-course dinner will feature traditional Colombian dishes with a contemporary twist, such as arepas topped with slow-cooked beef and a fried quail egg. A portion of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Roots & Soul Foundation, the soccer club’s nonprofit charitable organization. There are two seatings for the event on Nov. 9, one at 5:30 p.m. and the other at 8 p.m., at Parche, 2295 Broadway in Oakland. Tickets cost $135 and there is also an option for an additional $45 wine pairing or $65 cocktail pairing. 

Reggae and Cassoulet — Community Kitchens

For a three-night series of special dinners that will benefit Community Kitchens’ programs to feed those in need, French chef David Campigottto of Chez David in Castelnaudary, France will make his renowned cassoulet. The iconic dish of pork, duck and beans is a staple in Southern France, and Campigotto has been invited around the world to demonstrate his version. The cassoulet will be part of a four-course dinner with wine pairings. Campigotto will be assisted by East Bay chefs Chris Pastena of Calavera and Chop Bar, Nigel Jones of Kingston 11 and Calabash and Kendall Jones of Luka’s Taproom, among others. Each event will kick off with a happy hour including aperitifs, music and small bites. Community Kitchens was founded in 2020 by Richard Mitchell and Maria Alderete of Luka’s Taproom to help feed those who struggle to feed themselves. Proceeds from this event will fund Community Kitchens’ hunger and homelessness street meal program for 2024. The dinners will be held at Kingston 11 (now closed), 2270 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland on Dec. 1, 2, and 3, with happy hour starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $250 and include all food, beverage, tax and tip.

As Nosh editor, Tovin Lapan oversees food coverage across Oaklandside and Berkeleyside. His journalism career started in Guadalajara, Mexico as a reporter for an English-language weekly newspaper. Previously, he served as the multimedia food reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune, and covered a variety of beats including immigration and agriculture at the Las Vegas Sun and Santa Cruz Sentinel. His work has also appeared in Fortune, The Guardian, U.S. News & World Report, San Francisco Chronicle, and Lucky Peach among other publications. Tovin likes chocolate and seafood, but not together.