Mabuhay Nights - Philippine Independence Day

Video by Luisa Brimble


"He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.”

- Jose Rizal


On Monday 17th June 2019, The Filipino Food Movement Australia presented their second bespoke pop up dinner. 

In honour of Philippine Independence Day (12 June), The Filipino Food Movement alongside Guest Head Chef Nina Cruz from Sizzling Fillo and Guest Head Chef Pierre Marie Lucente from Chicago Jones collaborated together for a special dinner through six exquisite dishes celebrating Filipino flavours using seasonal, local Australian produce alongside much-loved Filipino elements.

Filipino cuisine is, in the first instance, derived from over 10 distinct ethno-linguistic groups throughout the country, and like many nations all over the world, The Philippines’ culinary history is incredibly diverse, informed by centuries of colonisation and trade. The Philippines has therefore been the recipient of cross-cultural influences whether organically or by the country’s colonial past, the Philippines’ cuisine adapted and changed. What may have started as unique cuisines / dishes from faraway Spain has been adapted by Filipinos to better reflect their culture.

With both Chefs having acclaimed experience and success in their own careers they are dedicated to promoting Filipino cuisine to Sydney’s mainstream palate.

Chef Nina Cruz is head chef and owner of the Sizzling Fillo restaurant in Lidcombe. Resigning from the corporate world, Nina took up studies at the William Blue College Sydney developing her culinary skills and knowledge in French cooking techniques and methods. Nina still continues to advance her culinary talents through education and travel. Nina has always been passionate about food and introducing Filipino cuisine to the community.

Chef Pierre Lucente is currently the Chef of Chicago Jones and Universal Burger Co in Auburn. From Taguig in Metro Manila, Pierre originally moved to the USA to study Liberal Arts at tertiary level. The culinary life called and he began to study at the International Culinary School in California and landed him a job while he completed his course. His food philosophy is based on creating an experience, which involves the senses. He also advocates ecological sensitivity and social responsibility as an integral part of his culinary practice. Moving to Sydney in 2017, Pierre hopes to build his career in the food industry as a leader and innovator.


Hamonado at Pandesal
Lengua Estofado
Pocherong Manok
Leche Flan
Nilupak at Panutsa

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