World Street Food Congress: Making Filipino Food a Global Sensation! (A Photo Essay)

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WORLD STREET FOOD CONGRESS is a global conversation on promoting comfort, heritage street food culture. It aims to preserve the stories of our heritage food, professionalize the street food craft, and provide opportunities for business.

It was a momentous occasion for all of us–Top Chef Paul Qui of East Side King, Top Blogger Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet, Celebrity Chef Claude Tayag of Bale Dutung, and Lechon Diva Dedet Santos of Pepita’s Kitchen–a significant moment in pushing the street food culture and a critical step in making Filipino Food a Global Sensation

Here’s a photo essay on the 2nd World Street Food Congress in Bugis, Singapore, held last April 8-12, 2015…


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K.F. Seetoh, the creator and curator of World Street Food Congress, opened the event with his vision of taking the conversation on the greatest food culture in the world to the next level.

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I was very excited to engage the global street food community on the coming of Age of Filipino Food and the business opportunities in the Philippines. I was also a bit nervous for my first international speaking engagement and speaking right after K.F. Seetoh.

World Street Food Congress Presentation: Revolutionizing the Filipino Food and Street Food Culture in Manila! from Anton Diaz 

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Claus Meyer, co-founder of NOMA, talked about an awesome case study on solving the world’s poverty with deliciousness in Bolivia.

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Victoria Cheng of was the lovely foodie host of the World Street Food Dialogue and kept the discussions going during the hackathon.

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Peter Lloyd of Spice Market in London provided a culinary demonstration on glamorized street food cuisine. Hopefully, our plans to do a Pepita’s Lechon pop-up in London this June push through.

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Everyone had a chance to contribute to the dialogue by posting their ideas on the wall and have a 3-minute pitch in the afternoon during the hackathon. 

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K.F. Seetoh invited smart influencers and young Singaporean entrepreneurs who want to be involved in making street food relevant to the new generation.

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I was impressed with the New York University panel discussion on the history of food in migrant cities featuring Daniel BenderKrishnendu RayDonna Gabaccia, and Jeffrey Pilcher.

World STreet Food Festival Day 2-13.jpgStephen Werther, co-founder of Bourdain Market, presented the blueprint of the authentic street food market in New York, which will be the enduring legacy of Anthony Bourdain in his hometown.

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The Pinoy Delegation was in full force–RJ and Vanessa Ledesma of the Mercato Group, Ayala Malls Group, SM Mall of Asia Group, and JJ Yulo of Pinoy Eats World!



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The main highlight of the WSF Congress was a 5-day Jamboree where foodies could taste the best of street food from around the world, curated by K.F. Seetoh.

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The Dai-Pai-Dong tent is an open cooking tent for demonstrating secret recipes from World Street Food experts.

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It was awesome to have a street food picnic in the park with fellow Filipinos in the heart of Singapore.

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The jamboree opens at around 5pm, and the queues are long during the peak dinner time hours.

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Filipino Food was championed by our street food heroes: Pepita’s Kitchen, East Side King, and Bale Dutung, out of the 24 street food stalls during the jamboree.



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Pepita’s Lechon was an instant hit from the opening until the end of the jamboree. 

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Dedet, also known as the Lechon Diva, envisions making Lechon a global sensation.

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The pigs are stuffed with truffle rice paella and cooked over charcoal for hours before serving.

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It was a proud moment to see the Philippine flag planted on each plate of lechon with truffle rice.

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Truffle Lechon Diva (Pork with Truffle Rice – S$13.80). Roasted over charcoal fire, Lechon is so popular in the Philippines that an annual festival is held in celebration of this dish. 

Dedet ups the ante with her Truffle Lechon–by imaginatively stuffing her little piglets with truffle paella. Her dish comes with roasted pork slices and pieces of glistening crispy skin laid upon paella bursting with truffle flavor. The combination of soft rice, moist meat, and golden crisp skin is fit for a king.

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Pepita’s had the longest line throughout the Jamboree, with queues snaking around and for as long as 2-3 hours of waiting. 



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Paul Qui, Top Chef Season 9 winner, is credited by Andrew Zimmern as the key influencer in pushing Filipino Food in the US.

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He talked about his Top Chef challenge and his ongoing culinary journey of discovering his Filipino heritage.

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He operated the East Side King Food Truck Pop-up for the Jamboree, and people lined up for his Kinilaw and Chicken Inasal tacos.
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Mrs. Awesome Planet and Yugi (the youngest World Street Food delegate) enjoying Paul Qui’s creations.

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Kinilaw (S$9). Known as Filipino Ceviche, it comprises fresh snakehead fish coated in rich coconut dressing, spiked fragrantly sharp Japanese Yuzu.

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Chicken Inasal Taco with Fried Chicken Skin (S$9). With a little American influence, smoky grilled chicken is marinated in a mixture of lime, pepper, and vinegar, topped with sinfully crispy chicken skin, encased in a soft taco



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Filipino Street Food is not complete with the Philippines’ National Dish–Sisig! Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung brought this dish to the congress all the way from Pampanga, the culinary center of the Philippines.

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They also enjoyed long queues and did very well during the Jamboree. 

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Sisig in Wonton Cup – Chargrilled Marinated Pig Head (3 cups – S$9). A concoction of pork ears, cheek and jowl, first boiled then grilled over coals till almost charred, then chopped and mixed with smooth chicken liver, sharp onions, citrusy calamansi and spiked with fresh chili.

The flavorsome product is then served in a satisfyingly crunchy wonton wrapper cup that acts as a vessel to transport the scrumptious dish to your mouth, then you to Nirvana.

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Claude Tayag himself was present to share his secret sisig recipe

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The whole family–Claude, Mary Ann, and Nico in full support to promote Filipino Food in Singapore! 



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Keng Eng Kee’s Seafood Platter (S$13.80) of Soft-Shell Crab, Calamari, and Eggplant, with 3 sauces of Chili Crab, Black Pepper, and Salted Egg Yolk.
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Bon Chovie’s Deep Fried Shisamo (S$10). This is a great idea to promote Tawilis in Manila.

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Penang Apom Manis Crispy Thin Apam (S$4.50)

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Gustu Melting Pot Bolivia’s Anticucho (S$10). Bolivian Pork Fillet Kebabs.

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Thailand’s Hoy Tord Chao Lay’s Oyster Omelette (S$10). It was back by popular demand from the first WSF Jamboree.

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Congratulations to K.F. Seetoh and Makansutra for a successful 2nd World Street Food Festival in Singapore! Thank you for helping us make Filipino Food a global sensation!

Live an Awesome Life,


Disclosure: We paid for our trip to the World Street Food Congress. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. We are excited to host the 3rd World Street Food Congress in Manila, Philippines in 2016!

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