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In partnership with Feastly, Traveling Chef Yana Gilbuena has been touring the U.S. and cooking Filipino food in strangers’ kitchens, welcoming churches, on sunny rooftops, and any space that will have her. Through The Salo Project’s pop-up dinners, she gathers and unites people with authentic Filipino food. During our chat with her back in February, we learned that this self-taught chef would be traveling with just a set of knives, sourcing her ingredients locally in each city, and confirming her venues along the way. So how is she faring? A 50-state pop-up dinner tour is a hefty challenge, but Chef Gilbuena is brave and determined. The Salo Project is gaining momentum and attention—receiving coverage by CNN and CNBC News—and shows no signs of stopping. In the midst of her 50-state tour, she took some time with us to reflect on her cross-country adventures thus far.

The Chefs Connection (CC): Is your SALO tour meeting your expectations?

“It has exceeded my expectations, in terms of reception of people who have shown interest in what Filipino food is. A lot of people are really, really interested! And everything was so novel to them. ‘Oh, what is this? Ooo, banana leaves!’ Just little things like that. It makes me so happy!”

CC: What about in terms of people helping you out? Have you been able to find the resources that you need: venues, people helping you spread the word?

“I’ve been very blessed to know people or have friends that know people, that have directed me to the right path, connecting me to people who knew exactly what I needed, or who are just happy to help out. People say, ‘No, no, no. You don’t have to pay for this venue.’ I’m like, ‘What? Are you serious?’ Or letting me stay for free in their house. I’m very thankful.”

CC: It’s bringing everyone together.

“Yeah. And it spans different age groups. I’ve had ones that are younger from 17 to 19 all the way to people in their 50s. And they’re coming together and exploring this cuisine on their own. And sharing that experience, because they’re not familiar.”

CC: And most people have never had Filipino food before?

“Yes. Or they’ve had a friend that is Filipino, but don’t really know what Filipino food is. Because it was only based on what that friend has made them. Even their friend who is Filipino would say, ‘I’ve never heard of this dish!’ So I’m like, ‘That’s great!’ 

CC: What’s the best compliment you’ve received on your food?

“That it’s very different. That it’s savory, spicy, sour – all in one. It’s well-balanced. Everything complements each other. And they love eating with their hands. [Laughs] I think that’s what it is.” 

CC: Let’s talk about each of the salos you’ve held so far. 

“Sure.”

SALO #1: Key West, Florida on March 7, 2014

CC: How would you describe the first one in Key West?

“That was fun. [Laughs] It was very magical! Because Key West is a very special place. I couldn’t even believe that this was America. We’re in the tropics, but we’re in America. Everyone was chill. We got to experience the island with locals. We were able to go snorkeling in the middle of the ocean. We got to experience one of the Key West typhoons. We were snorkeling just an hour before, and then suddenly had to go back. As soon as we got off the boat, gray clouds started coming … I was glad we weren’t in the ocean before.

“It was easy to find local stuff, because I have a friend that lives there and is a chef. So he was able to point me in the right direction of where to source my seafood, where to source my produce. He was helping me a lot: securing the event space, which was really nice. It was called Coast. It’s a skateboarder-surf-lifestyle shop, so they have bikes, skateboards, surfboards, and it’s on another island off Key West called Stock Island.”

CC: How did you create the menu?

“Everything was seafood based. I realized, as soon as I was in the markets, that they couldn’t source out pork there. They don’t have anything that’s local. They have to get it from Homestead, which is seven or 10 miles away. It’s a city at the very end of Florida before the Keys start. So they have to source the pork or beef from there. So I opted for everything to be seafood. I mean, I did buy a pork belly, because I found one and it’s like, ‘Who doesn’t like pork belly?’”

“I was able to get sushi-grade ahi tuna. It was beautiful!”

CC: What did you do with it?

“I made it into a ceviche, of course! [Laughs] I’m not going to cook it. I’m going to serve it as raw as I can. That ceviche was very interesting. It’s called sinoplau. It’s topped with barbecued pork belly and then doused in coconut milk.

“I had Florida pink shrimp, because they were season. I had a local fish, coconut rice, and flan for dessert.”

CC: What were the people like at the salo?

“They’re very hippy. [Laughs] Everyone in Key West is very chill, spiritual, outgoing, easy going. They’re island people. Nothing phases them. No one was like, ‘It’s 7 o’clock. Where’s the food?’ Everyone was happy hanging out. Singha Beer was there.”

Yana Gilbuena prepares a meal at Coast in Key West, Florida

Yana Gilbuena prepares a meal at Coast in Key West, Florida

SALO #2: Miami, Florida on March 9, 2014

“That was a bust! [Laughs] I love to say that, mainly … You know, I’m partnering up with Feastly, so they requested that I do one in Miami. I said, ‘I guess it makes sense to stop in Miami, but you have to find the diners in Miami for me.’ Otherwise, I would’ve done it there myself. No one signed up. But I still made a dinner, because I said I would make a dinner. So we ended up calling our friends. But it was nice.”

SALO #3: Charleston, South Carolina on March 16, 2014

CC: So what happened in South Carolina?

“South Carolina was fun. I was able to take a tour of a pig farm. It was really cool. I was researching different food blogs about South Carolina, and Holy City Hog was always [mentioned]. I picked up the phone and said, ‘Hey, I’m a traveling chef. I wanna source out pork from you guys. Is it possible to get a tour too?’ He said, ‘No problem. We’ll figure it out when you’re here.’ 

“We were staying with a friend of an acquaintance. We just got off the bus and we’re like, ‘Hey! Can you come pick us up?’ We never met this person before, but she was nice. Her roommates are nice. We were able to have it at their friend’s beachhouse in Sullivan’s Island. It was beautiful. Big house. Massive kitchen. A grill outside on a patio.

“Then the guy who owns the pig farm. He asked us how we were going to get there. He was like, ‘I’ll just come pick you guys up.’ It was a pick-up truck with me and my friend Cass. None of this sounded sketchy to me at all. [Laughs]”

CC: It was probably easier than having you find the farm.

“Yeah. I was asking him for the address, but he said, ‘No. I like to keep my location a secret, because I have some very rare pigs that I’m breeding. And I don’t want people to know.’ My friend said, ‘That sounds really sketchy!’ [Laughs]

“So we went and learned about the different kinds of pigs. It was very educational. I didn’t know. For me, pigs were just white and have pink noses.”

CC: But there are a lot of different kinds.

“Yeah, the Tamworth, the Berkshire. And there are cute wooly ones that look like a cross between sheep and a pig. They’re called Mangolista. They look like little pig sheep.”

CC: They’re smart too.

“Yeah. I tried to chase them, but no. They would run away. I was like, ‘But I wanna carry you!’ 

“So I bought a half hog from him. I think it was a 200-pound hog, so half was 100-something pounds. Then he gave me the head for free. I was able to slice up a pig head for the first time! I’ve never done that before. [Laughs] 

“I was trying to carve it with a chef’s knife, but wasn’t working. I was like, ‘I need a different knife for this.’”

CC: What did you make with the hog head?

Sisig. Basically, the pig’s head is cut up, boiled and then fried.”

CC: How would you describe the people there?

“Laid back. It’s more of a small-town feel too. Everyone knows everyone. I reached out to a food blogger who happens to know the guy who owns the pig farm who knows this food photographer who knows this other person who works for a food magazine. It’s like, okay, I’ve just tapped into your whole network of friends! [Laughs] 

“There were two Filipino people: one was a guy and his partner and his mother. His mother was the star of the show. She was this older Filipino woman, yay-tall, and just dominating the entire table, telling everyone how to eat with their hands. The age range was about 21-22 to late 40s. And she was the oldest one. Everyone was hanging on to her every word about how to eat. She comes from Luzon, the northern part of the Phillipines. She was like, ‘Honey. Where are you from?’ ‘I’m from the Visayas.’ She’s like, ‘Ah, yeah. She’s a good cook. People from her island cook. Us, we’re very lazy, because we live in the city. We don’t cook at home. We go out and eat at the restaurants.’ She was a hoot.” 

Gathering around a meal set on banana leaves in Raleigh, NC

Gathering around a meal set on banana leaves in Raleigh, NC

SALO #4: Raleigh, North Carolina on March 23, 2014

“I like Raleigh a lot. It’s like a little Brooklyn, a very young Brooklyn. It’s still very industrial and some parts are kinda sketchy, but it’s a budding food scene. Little craft breweries popping up, little artisanal coffee shops and ice cream shops. They even have this mobile farmer’s market. Imagine a food truck that you can step inside and buy fresh produce. They would tweet where they were going. They had everything from seafood to beef to cheese to poultry. I was wondering why New York doesn’t have this yet! 

“Then I was able to get a local brewery to do a pairing with the dinner. Everyone who was there was very supportive. I was able to get a lot of local bloggers. They were super excited. One of them was Filipino, and there’s not a lot of Filipino food in the area. And even now, we’re still in touch.”

CC: What are the people like?

“They’re in their late 30s, early 40s – people who are tired of city living, but want an alternative way of living in a city. A lot of them are very food-oriented. I met a local chef-slash-butcher. He attended the dinner and the next day he was like, ‘What are you doing? I’m making sausages at this restaurant. Do you want to come? I’ll give you a free butcher class.’ I was like, ‘We’re there!’ 

“I had leftover hog, because I could only finish a quarter of the half. I was able to freeze all of it and transport it to Raleigh. So I made a lot of cured Filipino meats with it, like tocino (sweet pork dish) and hamonado (ham hock cooked in pineapple juice and soy sauce).”

CC: Some of these dishes, are you making them for the first time?

“A lot of them … I’m lazy, so I buy my tocino pre-packaged, frozen from the Philliphines, shipped here that I buy in Chinatown. It was interesting to make my own tocino for the first time. I remember the flavor, what it’s supposed to taste like, so I keep tasting the mixture. I was amazed at how simple it was to make. Why was I buying it for five bucks for an eighth of a pound? I was so mad.”

CC: But you paid for its flight here. 

“Exactly.

SALO #5: Virginia Beach, Virginia on March 30, 2014

CC: And then you went to Virginia Beach.

“That was awesome. It was fun, because we stayed with a friend. We did a cross-country road trip from L.A. to New York, when I first moved to New York. So it was me and seven girls in a van. One of the girls had a friend living in Norfolk, so we got in contact with her again, after three years. She was excited. They moved to an industrial loft building closer to the city. 

“They were excited to have us. I wanted to have my dinner in Virginia Beach though, because a lot of Filipinos settled there. There was a naval base there. So I reached out to the Filipino community center in Virginia Beach. I called them two weeks before, but they seemed very bureaucratic. I was talking to them in Tagalog, our native language: ‘Just get me to the person that is in charge of renting out your hall!’ They were like, ‘Oh, but Mr. So-and-so is not here today. Do you want to leave a message?’ I’m like, ‘No, I left a message already! Can I just talk to him?’

“So I just went there and talked to them in person. It was an older stern Filipino man, who has been living in Virginia Beach for the longest time. I told him about the project and he said, ‘Wow, you’re so ambitious, huh? I don’t think people in Virginia Beach like to eat with their hands.’

“I said, ‘I enjoy kamayan. I love eating with my hands, and I think that’s something people genuinely enjoy, because it’s something new. It’s different.’” 

“In the Phillipines, when you eat kamayan, you’re from the farms. You’re not city folk and a lot of the people from the city look down upon people who are not from the city. They think that they’re uncultured and don’t know how to use utensils. I don’t care. This is how we eat! Embrace it! [Laughs] I’m going to prove you wrong! 

“So we got to the kitchen, laid it all out in banana leaves, and everyone was happy. I served clams, oysters sourced locally. And I got another pig too. So I made sisig again. I was able to properly carve it out, because I bought a good fillet knife. And I got beef tongue, so I made lengua as well. That was my first time cooking that. A lot of these things that I put on menu are traditional Filipino dishes, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve cooked all of them.”

CC: Are you nervous then, making it for the first time? 

“I always say it’s only me that knows it anyway! [Laughs] If I make a mistake, no one is going to say, ‘This doesn’t taste like lengua.’ 

CC: So this whole time, we’re not actually eating Filipino food? [Laughs]

“[Laughs] Right, it’s actually not Filipino food. I’m just kidding!

“I was YouTube-ing ‘How to cook cow’s tongue.’ I didn’t know that you have to open it up, take the outer skin out and then slice it. I’ve never cooked it. I’ve only had it in restaurants.

“I have more respect now for a lot of the dishes I used to eat as a child, but didn’t know how it was made. And it turned out perfect!” 

CC: How was the crowd at Virginia Beach?

“Very supportive, actually. I reached out to a university and they had a Filipino organization. Some students came from the university, and one of them was from my island! Who knew there was someone here like me? Someone who speaks my dialect.”

CC: What did you make with the oysters?

“I ended them steaming them and dipping them in spicy vinegar.”

Something spicy is brewing for The Salo Project dinner in Virginia Beach

Something spicy is brewing for The Salo Project dinner in Virginia Beach

SALO #6: Washington, D.C. on April 6, 2014

“It was interesting. I did not expect 80 people. It was going to be 45 people, because I was renting out a church hall and knew they had the capacity for 45 people. Tickets were selling out, but I kept adding seats. The wait list just grew. There were 25 people on the wait list. I’m going to have to add seats. I added 20 more and it sold out in hours. It was 65 then and I added 10 more.”

CC: You just wanted to let everyone come.

“Yeah, and because I know I’m not going to be in D.C. again. At least for a long time. So I added to it and called the church and they were fine with it. 

“I had five people helping me in the kitchen. I had just one station of people making rice, frying rice and serving rice. It was a big u-shaped table. We started at one leg, but then the other side still didn’t have rice. There wasn’t enough rice. I was like, ‘Are you kidding? I made 90 pounds of rice! 90!’ I was so glad I had extra rice. I thought I was getting the hang of estimating what I needed. 

“But everyone loved the dishes. I made a ground spicy pork dish, sweet pork hocks, and chicken with coconut sauce. Then there was dessert. Everyone always loves dessert. They’re like, ‘Is there more?’ I’m like, ‘No! It’s one each! I didn’t make a million of these.’ [Laughs]

CC: What was the crowd like?

“It was very diverse. I did not know a lot of them. I only knew seven people out of the 80 people. There were people there that then went to my Baltimore one.”

A party of 80 at the salo in Washington D.C.

A party of 80 gathered at the salo in Washington D.C.

SALO #7: Baltimore, Maryland on April 13, 2014

“It was good. We just didn’t like the city. We didn’t do it justice though, because we didn’t know people that lived there. We just drove around and stopped.

“A lot of people told us about Lexington Market. They would say, ‘It’s a world famous market. You guys are going to have so much fun there!’

“We thought it would be a plethora of world spices and goods. We got there and I told Cass, ‘You shouldn’t take out your camera. Put it back in your bag.’ It was a little scary. We clearly didn’t belong there and stood out like a sore thumb as tourists.”

CC: Where did you stay? 

“We stayed in Rockhall, two hours away from Baltimore. It was interesting. The eastern shore where Rockhall is, that’s where Chesapeake Bay is. That’s where the fishermen, the crabbers are. I was able to see what the local catch was. I saw fishermen deliver to the local fish shop. I bought all the fish from there.

“We took it back to Baltimore. I didn’t have a venue for Maryland, so I was looking on Craig’s List. I saw photos and it said downtown Baltimore. Since we didn’t know the city, we thought, ‘Okay. We’re good.’ While we were driving, it was deserted. When we got there, the owner of the space and his wife was there and they seemed like nice people. The space was beautiful, but it was in a weird part of town. Otherwise, people were easily surprised too. They didn’t know there was this nice place there. It was good for both parties.” 

CC: What was the crowd like?

“There were a lot of Filipinos. A lot of them were run-offs from the D.C. one, because they weren’t able to get to it. So they drove up to Baltimore just to go to my dinner.

“This guy brought his dad, because his dad used to live in the Phillipines during the war. There are some crazy stories of how people manage to find an association to go to my dinners. I like that! 

“All in all, Baltimore was a good city.”

SALO #8: Delaware on April 20, 2014 

“That was interesting! It was Easter Sunday. 4/20. I was up against all odds. Unless I’m offering weed somewhere in my menu, I don’t think they would come. [Laughs] It was very small and it was weird, because I encountered an obstacle. I researched some Filipino organizations and restaurants. I contacted them, ‘Hey, I know it’s Easter Sunday, but would you mind opening up for a pop-up dinner.’ They said, ‘No. I don’t think so. Filipinos here in Delaware don’t really support other Filipinos.’ I was like, ‘What?!’ They said, ‘They’re not going to come.’ I was so mad. Where is this coming from?

CC: In the end, did you find people to come?

“I had dinner for eight to 10 people. It was fine for an Easter Sunday. I just AirBnB-ed it. I rented out the house and just had the dinner there. It worked out well. It was a very quiet one. We didn’t explore much of Delaware, because we were only there for two days.

SALO #9: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 27, 2014 

“It was at the Asian Arts Initiative. I didn’t have a location, but people bought tickets already. I didn’t know where to have it! I researched and a lot of people needed more time. It’s hard when you’re not there and just calling places. I just had to cook off-site. Otherwise, it was nice.” 

CC: What kind of people attended? 

“It was a mixture of people. It was widely publicized by food blogs in Philly, PhillyBestBYOB, Chowhound and Eater Philly. There were Filipinos, Filipino Americans, and a lot of people that I did not know. I was like, ‘Yay!’

“The Asian Arts Initiative had a silent auction that weekend coincidentally, so I donated two seats. So two people won and came!

“But that was a very adventurous menu.”

CC: What did you make?

“I cooked pork mesentary, the connector between the large and small intestines. When you fry it, it looks like a flower, so we call it chicharon bulaklak. It blooms and you can see all the ridges. I served tripe, woodear mushrooms in the pancet (the noodles), and pork hocks. Then I made something familiar, flan. That’s your reward.

CC: What was the reception?
“Some were familiar with [the dishes], because some were Chinese or Filipino American. Some said, “My mom used to cook this!’ or ‘We’ve never seen it cooked like this before!’ It was a nice reception. 

“I didn’t know who was there from Eater Philly, but the next day they posted ‘Scenes from last night’s salo.’ I was like, ‘Who are you? Why didn’t you introduce yourself? I hate you now!’ [Laughs] It was like covert operations. But I have nothing to hide: I was using an artist’s table to chop up the mesentery. We were running super late, because we were cooking off-site.”

SALO #10: New Jersey on May 4, 2014 

“I was supposed to partner up with an organization. They had a massive warehouse and wanted to do a three-day market, dinner and [wanted] to feature me. [They wanted] to sell 150 tickets. So they were like, ‘We’ve been planning this for two months, since March.’ It was scheduled for May. So all that planning in March and April, planning the ingredients, where to source it from, permits … It was a pop-up space, so there was no kitchen set-up.

“So two weeks from that date, they said, ‘We only sold seven tickets.’ They had promised to market it for me and said I didn’t have to worry about it. Then Tuesday of that week came and they said, ‘We’re going to have to cancel that dinner.’ I’m like, ‘Are you serious? Now I don’t have a space in Jersey.’

“So I had to scramble and find another location, and it was Tuesday and the dinner was on Sunday. And there are a lot of events going on. Anyways, we managed to pull Jersey. We had 10 people. It was nice and intimate.”

CC: Where did you end up having it?

“In my friend’s cousin’s house. So we were literally in her living room. We had two tables come together and put seats around. My uncle and two cousins were able to come. It was more like a nice little gathering versus a massive 150 people feast.” 

Yana Gilbuena prepares her salo in New York

Yana Gilbuena prepares her salo in New York

SALO #11: New York, New York on May 11, 2014

“To be honest, I thought it would be in Long Island City on a rooftop, but [there were issues with the landlord]. I said, ‘It’s fine. I’ll find another rooftop.’ I still wanted a rooftop!

CC: It was really nice that day.

“It was nice. But it was a little windy, so the banana leaves were flying around and we had to tape them. I was able to get a musician to play. The moon was nice and it was clear out. 

“I cooked snails for the first time. I love snails. I cooked chicken feet, chicken heart, chicken gizzards. It was so funny, because a lot of them were black, so they were like, ‘Yeahhhh!’

CC: Playing into stereotypes …

“Totally, but they loved it. Chicken gizzards! It was the right menu for them. They were familiar with it, like Filipinos.” 

CC: How did you learn how to cook the snails?

“I YouTube-ed it. [Laughs] How do I cook these snails? Well, I know how to cook them. It’s kind of the same as clams or mussels. You have to soak them in water, so they spit out the sand. I cooked it in coconut milk with chilies and shrimp paste. And I made deep fried pork belly.

“For dessert, I made mango float. Everyone loved it. It’s graham crackers soaked in rum with condensed milk and all-purpose cream mixed in. That’s one layer. Then I put mangos and another layer of graham crackers, then cream and then mangos. Then I froze it, so it became an ice cream sandwich. It was so good!”

CC: What was the mix of people?

“There were a lot of people I didn’t know. There was a woman who brought her mother. She was one of the founders of Kitchen Surfing. She enjoyed the experience and her mom did too.

“There was a good friend I haven’t seen since grade school. She’s married now. It was amazing. And a lot of people came out to help.” 

New York Salo DSC_0041

New York’s salo was held on a rooftop

SALO #12: New Haven, Connecticut on May 18, 2014

“We stayed at a friend’s parent’s place. We had a nice backyard, a nice long table for 15 people. It was sponsored by a Filipino rum company. They were very accommodating.”

CC: Who attended the salo?

“Locals. Friends of friends. A food blogger. Everytime I served, she said, ‘Wow!’ I also sourced the seafood locally there. And I had triple-deep fried pork belly and champorado, which is sweet sticky rice with chocolate, topped with condensed milk.” 

SALO #13: Providence, Rhode Island on May 25, 2014

“I was able to get the location through Airbnb again. The place was a nice industrial loft in the jewelry district. It was perfect. The kitchen and layout was perfect. There was a whole mix of people: local foodies, urban farmers, people curious about Filipino food. And we had a local Rhode Island beer, Narragansett.” 

CC: Have you been able to find all the ingredients that you need in all these cities? You’re still traveling with only your knives?

“Yeah, still with my knives. I added an immersion blender. [Laughs] It’s only for chopping garlic and mixing stuff. My friends who have been helping me chop up garlic have been saying, ‘You need to buy this garlic chopper, please!’ I buy tubs of peeled garlic. That’s been a struggle and in D.C., I finally broke down and bought an immersion blender.

“I’ve whittled it down to three knives now: my Chinese cleaver, my chef’s knife and a utility knife. That’s all that I have.

“I bought one yesterday. I’m still thinking about whether I need it. It was an impulse buy, because it’s beautiful!”

CC: Some people buy shoes. You buy knives!

“I couldn’t resist! It was talking to me!”

CC: What improvisations have you made with the food and ingredients?

“I’ve changed my menu a lot. It wasn’t part of my 50-state tour, but I did a dinner for CNN with Let’s Collaborate New York and Feastly. They wanted to do a dinner about sharing economy. My project is a testament about a sharing economy, because I’m finding spaces, people willing to open their houses to me, who share their time and their resources with me and my project. It’s great!

“So I had the dinner in Williamsburg in a beautiful loft. I had a lot of people contact me that couldn’t eat pork. So I changed it to fish, chicken and tofu.

“Then I received a nasty email from a lady, ‘Why did you change the location? I live in Astoria and it’s hard for me to get to Brooklyn. And you changed your menu! I can’t eat tofu!’ I was like, ‘Seriously? It’s okay, you don’t have to go. I will fully refund you.’ 

“I may have a location, but that location may bail out on me. That’s something that I have to deal with. A) Because it’s free. And B) Things come up. 

“I want to accommodate everyone, but I don’t have a full pantry at my disposal and a lot of people don’t understand that. I’m buying the-day-of to get the freshest ingredients. I don’t have a freezer. That was one of the weirdest messages I’ve ever had.” 

CC: What kind of people have you been meeting along the way?

“This project has a very good community vibe. One of my diners in Rhode Island mentioned, ‘You really market your dinners as a big dinner party that people can just come as strangers and leave as friends. You’re really attracting a good crowd. You’re putting out that energy.’ It’s not stuffy, no fuss, no frills. So I’m attracting easygoing, fun people, open to new experiences. I’ve been very fortunate with that.”

CC: What are you looking forward to with the upcoming salos?

“I think just knowing more indigenous ingredients. When I was in Rhode Island, I found pink oyster mushrooms. They were so gorgeous! Or skate wings. I’ve never had skate wings. It has a very different texture and no bone. It’s like a firmer tilapia.” 

CC: Do you think you’re closer to knowing what you’ll do after the tour? 

“I did talk to this local lady in Greenpoint. She did an illustration for one of my recipes and put out a zine about Greenpoint recipes. It was cool. I told her, ‘I want to partner up with you. I like your illustrations. I think we would do well together if we did a cookbook-slash-travel-log-slash-memoir.’ So I think I want to do that after the whole 50 states. We’re also doing a documentary.

“And then I definitely want to go back to the Phillipines. I still want to give back to the community. I’m partnering with Advancement for Rural Kids. They build schools and help rebuild devastated schools that were destroyed in Typhoon Haiyan. They also have a feeding program where they teach kids to plant their own produce, organically and using what’s local and seasonal. They grow it and sell it, making it a sustainable source of income. You don’t rely any more on imports or buy their own produce, because they grow it.”

Yana Gilbuena with sponsors from Vermont's 4 Quarters Brewery

Yana Gilbuena with sponsors from Vermont’s 4 Quarters Brewery

If you are interested in hosting or attending one of Yana Gilbuena’s salos, visit her site or book your seat through Feastly

Interview and first photo by Kara Chin; all other photos provided by Yana Gilbuena

 

Upcoming Salos

SALO #14: Boston, MA on June 1, 2014

SALO #15: Portland, Maine on June 8, 2014

SALO #16: Portsmouth, New Hampshire on June 15, 2014

SALO #17: Burlington, VT on June 22, 2014

SALO #18: Cleveland, Ohio on June 29, 2014

SALO #19: Detriot, Michigan on July 6, 2014

SALO #20: Chicago, Illinois on July 13, 2014 

SALO #21: Madison, Wisconsin on July 20, 2014

SALO #22: Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 27, 2014

SALO #23: North Dakota on August 3, 2014

SALO #24: Helena, Montana on August 10, 2014

SALO #25: Seattle, Washington on August 17, 2014

SALO #26: Anchorage, Alaska on August 24, 2014

SALO #27: Portland, Oregon on August 31, 2014

SALO #28: Boise, Idaho on September 21, 2014

SALO #29: Kansas City, Kansas on October 26, 2014

SALO #30: Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 2, 2014

SALO #31: St. Louis, Missouri on November 9, 2014

SALO #32: Bloomington, Indiana on November 16, 2014

SALO #33: West Virginia on November 23, 2014

SALO #34: Louisville vs Lexington, Kentucky on November 30, 2014

SALO #35: Nashville vs Knoxville, Tennessee on December 7, 2014

SALO #36: Atlanta, Georgia on December 14, 2014

SALO #37: Birmingham, Alabama on December 21, 2014

SALO #38: Mississippi on December 28, 2014

SALO #39: New Orleans, Louisiana on January 4, 2015

SALO #40: Little Rock, Arkansas on January 11, 2015

SALO #41: Dallas vs Austin, Texas on January 18, 2015

SALO #42: Santa Fe, New Mexico on January 25, 2015

SALO #43: Denver, Colarado on February 1, 2015

SALO #44: Salt Lake City, Utah on February 8, 2015

SALO #45: Phoenix, Arizona on February 15, 2015

SALO #46: Las Vegas, Nevada on February 22, 2015

SALO #48: Los Angeles, California on March 1, 2015

SALO #49: San Francisco, California on March 8, 2015

SALO #50: Oahu, Hawaii on March 15, 2015

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