Restaurateur Nicole Ponseca’s tip to aspiring chefs
The restaurateur behind New York City-based restaurants Maharlika Filipino Moderno and Jeepney Filipino Gastropub has a very special tip to aspiring chefs that utilizes a negative Filipino trait.
“Yabang”. Nicole Ponseca said aspiring chefs should proud of Filipino food.
“Yabang. It’s a very very negative word. Yabang is to be boastful, to be overconfident. The exact opposite of this is what kept Filipino food in the shadows. When I say yabang, I want you to reconsider what the word means—which means to be proud of balut, which means to eat with your hands,” she said during an international food conference hosted by the Center for Culinary Arts.
Interaksyon said Ponseca was also able to make use of hiya when putting up Jeepney Filipino Gastropub. The restaurant’s success, the report said, proved that Filipinos should not be ashamed of their culture.
“I thought of my dad. I was so embrrassed of him. Hiya. I was embarrassed at him when he would eat with his hands so I started Kamayan Night,” she said, adding she was able to make it successful because she fully embraced Filipino culture.