Ina Inspired

By Tom Cunanan

By

Tom Cunanan
Chef Tom Cunanan's Labanos at Pinaitum: radishes, burnt coconut crema, pistachio dirt
Chef Tom Cunanan's Labanos at Pinaitum: radishes, burnt coconut crema, pistachio dirt

“I started cooking Filipino four and half years ago when my mother said, ‘Why not try Filipino food?’ I was working for other people, but I wanted to have my own thing, and I gave it a shot through a catering company. I’ve always wanted to run a Filipino restaurant. The hardest part of that transition [from catering to brick and mortar] was trying to get people to accept what Filipino food really is. I didn’t know how to introduce it. Everyone has their own style. In the beginning, I was serving my mom’s home cooking, and it started to evolve as I became more confident and started getting into indigenous cooking. It had a snowball effect. I learned a lot from YouTube, too, and went back to the Philippines last year for the first time since I was 3. I also learned a lot from Claude Tayag’s Linamnam: Eating One’s Way Around the Philippines, a street food guide.” 

Get the recipe for Chef Tom Cunanan's Labanos at Pinaitum: radishes, burnt coconut crema, pistachio dirt

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