Meet Greg and Jorge, your hosts for a hands-on cooking lesson and meal in their home. Although originally from the US, Greg has lived in Manila for over 28 years, speaks Tagalog fluently. He is passionate about sharing the history and culture of the Philippines and is a wealth of knowledge about his adopted country. Greg and his Filipino partner Jorge live in a traditional American colonial-style home surrounded by trees and filled with beautiful antique Filipino narra (hardwood) furniture. Whenever he gets the chance, Greg loves to travel within the Philippines to discover new beaches, explore architectural styles adapted to the tropics, and meet the friendly and welcoming Filipino people. He has been to 65 of the 81 provinces - and counting!
Greg says he didn't appreciate how good Filipino cuisine could be until his partner Jorge started cooking. Jorge is a professional tango instructor and competitor who cooks the food of the central Visayas region which is known for its cuisine. Their friend Oscar sometimes joins Greg in the kitchen and cooks Ilocano style food (Northern Filipino cuisine) which is known for its meat and vegetable dishes and use of sugarcane vinegar.
You will be greeted at the entrance to Greg and Jorge's home before walking upstairs to the living room. Sip on refreshing buko drink (coconut water) as you learn about local Filipino culture and cuisine from Greg. Then head to the kitchen for a hands-on cooking lesson. Your lesson will last about 1.5 hours and they will teach you to prepare a few different Filipino dishes. Once the cooking is complete you will sit down to eat together.
Your traditional Filipino menu might include dishes such as pinakbet (an indigenous mixed vegetable and pork dish), fish paksiw (local white fish in a vinegar reduction), pechay (Chinese cabbage and shrimp in a light sauce), bicol express (sliced vegetables, pork and chili peppers in coconut milk) followed by suman and mangos for dessert. The menu may vary based on the season.
Please note, this is not a professional cooking class, rather this experience is a visit into an authentic, local home to meet a local person and share the culture and cuisine together.