Being the country’s oldest city and the first Spanish settlement, Cebu City is a significant cultural center in the Philippines. It’s been a trading hub for centuries so imagine all the goods that have touched the island, the spices that went into the Cebuanos’ pots, and the dishes they’ve invented with these.
This is what “Street Food,” a new docu-series by Netflix, explores in their episode on the Philippines. It puts the spotlight on the famous lechon Cebu, nilarang bakasi (an aphrodisiac soured stew made with reef eel), tuslob-buwa (pork brain gravy), and the beloved lumpia.
The episode features four Cebuano chefs: Florencio “Entoy” Escabas, who found a way to reverse the cycle of poverty in his community; Leslie Enjambre, the granddaughter of the woman who started the lechon business in Talisay in the ’40s; Ian Secong, who reinvented tuslob-buwa into something new and more hygienic and brought the dish into the mainstream; and Rubilyn Diko Manayon, whose roadside karinderya in Cordova is famous for the lumpia.
“Street Food” is made by the creators of the renowned Netflix original “Chef’s Table.” So, for the new series, we can expect exquisite cinematography paired with an exciting and moving score to complement their impressive storytelling of the history of the dishes and their makers: These are culinary magicians who didn’t have formal training and certificates on the art, yet whose dishes bring the city’s culture to life.
Aside from Cebu City, “Street Food,” which streams on Apr. 26, is exploring other Asian cities in the first season:
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Osaka, Japan
- Delhi, India
- Yogyakarta, Indonesia
- Chiayi, Taiwan
- Seoul, South Korea
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Photos courtesy of Netflix Philippines