Pinoy carinderia sa Washington, U.S., ginawaran ng kilalang American culinary award

by Bernie V. Franco
Aug 12, 2021
For four decades, a small eatery located in Seattle, Washington has been serving Filipino dishes that have won the hearts of foreigners. Its latest feat: winning a James Beard Award.
PHOTO/S: courtesy of The Washington Post / YouTube (ABS-CBN News)

Isang kilalang Filipino carinderia sa Seattle, Washington ang ginawaran ng culinary award sa Amerika.

Ito ay ang Oriental Mart, na bago nagkaroon ng pandemya ay tumanggap ng James Beard Award mula sa James Beard Foundation.

Itinayo ang foundation sa alaala ni James Andrews Beard—kilalang American chef, author, teacher, at TV personality. Ang award ay iginagawad sa mga chefs at culinary experts sa buong Amerika.

Kasunod nito, na-feature ang Oriental Mart sa The Seattle Times noong February 2020.

Dito inilahad ni Leila Rosas o Ate Lai, ang may-ari ng Oriental Mart, na hindi raw siya makapaniwalang nakatanggap ang carinderia niya ng James Beard Award.

Una, wala siyang professional training at isa siyang self-taught cook.

Pangalawa, itinuturing lang nilang “hole in the wall” ang kanilang puwesto na nasa harap ng Pike Place Market, isa sa mga oldest public markets sa U.S.

Bukod kay Leila, katuwang niya rin sa Oriental Mart ang isa pa niyang kapatid na si Joy Mori.

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SERVING THE COMMUNITY FOR 50 YEARS

Ang Oriental Mart ay itinayo noong 1971 ng ama ni Leila na si Milo Apostol.

Maliit lang ang carinderia, na may seating capacity na 18 customers lamang.

Kilala ang Oriental Mart sa pagse-serve ng homestyle Filipino lunch dishes, gaya ng sinigang na baboy o salmon at piniritong panga ng salmon.

Nagsi-serve din ito ng dinuguan, adobo, longganisa, at pancit.

Sa isang maliit na bahagi ng kainan ay naka-display pa ang messages ng international chefs na napadako sa kilalang kainan ni Leila.

Siyempre, paboritong puntahan ito ng mga Pinoy.

“They always stop at the Pike Place Market and this is the one go-to [spot] to make sure they eat here,” pahayag ni Leila sa ulat ng ABS-CBN News.

Simple lamang ang sikreto ni Leila para magtagal ng ilang dekada ang kanyang carinderia.

“My staying power is, how I would cook at home is the same way I cook here,” pagbubunyag niya.

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“I’m not making it look pretty. I’m not putting all that stuff.

“Just as long as it tastes good and people know that it tastes good, they’re not gonna come back here just for the looks of it.

“They’re gonna come back for the flavor.”

Sa kabilang banda, kahit na panahon ng pandemya, patuloy na dinadayo ang kainan ni Leila para matikman ang kanyang Filipino dishes.

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For four decades, a small eatery located in Seattle, Washington has been serving Filipino dishes that have won the hearts of foreigners. Its latest feat: winning a James Beard Award.
PHOTO/S: courtesy of The Washington Post / YouTube (ABS-CBN News)
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