Chef Alvin Cailan of Eggslut and Isa Fabro of Unit 120 recently collaborated with Carlo Lamagna on a Whiskey Pig dinner popup during Feast Portland featuring a whole roasted pig with accompanied sides and whiskey pairing. This gluttonous expedition came about when Jordan Felix of House Spirits Distillery approached Chef Lamagna on providing the food for this Filipino Pop-Up.
Chef Lamagna is no stranger to the Filipino Food scene here in Portland. As Former Executive Chef of Clyde Common, Lamagna has been able to put a modernize spin on Filipino food in Portland with his “Twisted Filipino” dinner series. Reinterpreting traditional Filipino Food, such as his Inihaw Na Pusit (Grilled Cuttlefish) which he stuffed Longaniza (Filipino Sausage) inside for that added “Twist”.
Among the greater Portland area, Filipino cuisine is quite limited. A quick search on Yelp, there are only a handful of eats including: Tambayan, Kuya’s Cusine, Chicken Adobo, Bibingka, Boba Licious, Phillipine Market, and Erwina’s Inasal Filipino BBQ. To be added on this list, look for Chef Lamagna’s new restaurant, MAGNA opening soon featuring food from his heritage.
(Introduction to the Whiskey Pig Dinner) Prior to service, Chef Lamagna introduces
The Menu was a family style dinner that started with passed appetizers and a welcome cocktail. The cocktails crafted by Jordan himself and uses Westward American Single Malt Whiskey, Krogstad Aquavit, Volstead Vodka and Casa Magdelena rum from House Spirits Distillery’s portfolio line.
The Food and Drinks
The food was A-MAZING, all with loads of flavor! There were hints of garlic, fish sauce, vinegar in some of these dishes which really heightened the taste. The House Spirit Distillery’s Whiskey pairing was phenomenal as the sweetness from the whiskey comes alive after every bite of the Lechon. If I could request a last meal on Earth, the Whiskey and Lechon would most likely be it!
Dessert followed and Chef Isa Fabro, according to her Instagram, had “drove up every last bit of Manila Mangos” in order make her Mango Royale dessert. Not only was it pretty, it was velvety smooth, light, and delicious.
As dinner was coming to a close, Lamagna thanked all the chefs, all the crew, and all the attendees for coming. He also mentioned the ticket to this dinner SOLD OUT in ten minutes. Not only was this event one of the hottest ticket in town for Feast Portland, it further proves the acceptance for Filipino food as part of the mainstream cuisine from the Portland community. Chef Lamagna towards the toasted everyone for their hard work and asked the patrons to support local restaurants.
And according to a recent Andrew Zimmern article from Business Insider, Filipino Food will be the “Next Big Thing” in America. I can see why because this dinner, by far, was one of my favorite meals of all time. I would like to thank the organizers of Feast Portland for giving me this opportunity to attend this dinner as a guest. (Because I took way more than ten minutes to notice these tickets were gone).
Follow Twisted Filipino on Social if you’re interested in his dinner series. The joint collaboration dinner also with Chef Cailan and Chef Isa happened once before in 2016 at Unit120. Hopefully, we will see more Filipino collaborations like this in the Los Angeles area soon. But if you’re hungry after reading all of this, I would personally recommend LASA, which recently occupied the former culinary space of Unit120 if you’re in Los Angeles. For Orange County, try MFK (Modern Filipino Kitchen) by Aysee and check out the “Hands-On” Kamayan culinary experience. But regardless of which restaurant you choose, DO as the chef Lamagna says, “Pay homage to your local restaurants wherever you may be because chefs pour their heart and soul into their craft.”