Origin Story: Pinoy Heritage Pop-Up
Where one of the most popular ChefsFeed Experiences got its start.
November 12, 2019 ● 2 min read
We love any opportunity to collaborate with our Experts. So when Anolon asked us to partner to try out its new line of Advanced Cookware with Infinity Slide™ nonstick coating, we were thrilled that Chef Francis Ang of the beloved SF pop-up, Pinoy Heritage could join us in our kitchen.
When Francis Ang was 19 years old, he emigrated from his childhood home in Manila, to San Francisco, where he enrolled in City College’s culinary program and showed a prodigious talent for pastry. After completing the program, Chef Ang earned an appointment at Gary Danko before moving on to become Executive Pastry Chef at Fifth Door, and later, Dirty Habit. But it was during a trip home to his wife Dian’s home in the Samar region of the Philippines in 2013, that the couple was reminded, not only of their rich cultural and culinary heritage, but the love and tenacity of their family and fellow countrymen.
Finding themselves stranded in the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, Francis and Dian did what came to them instinctually and from the heart: they rolled up their sleeves and began cooking for as many people as they could. When the couple returned to their lives in San Francisco later that year, it was with a deep commitment to raise awareness and aide money for ongoing recovery efforts in the Philippines. Thus their first pop-up, a benefit dinner featuring contemporary takes on various regional Filipino cuisines, took place. Their wildly popular pop-up, Pinoy Heritage, grew from these roots.
When Francis and Dian aren’t in SF feeding their loyal fan base, family, and friends, they can be found traversing the Philippines. It is there that they research history, cultural influences, ingredients, and most importantly, take time to learn from the home cooks, street vendors, and chefs who make Filipino cuisine some of the most historied and delicious in the world.
Lamb Adobo Empanadas is just that kind of dish, and showcases so many of the diverse flavors and textures of Filipino food. Fatty cuts of lamb belly and shoulder are marinated in soy sauce and vinegar, seasoned with star anise, bay leaf, black pepper and garlic, pot braised until tender then folded into freshly pressed rice flour empanada dough, pan-fried in oil until crispy gold and chewy, and served with chopped herbs and seasoned vinegar for dipping. We asked Chef Ang to take this recipe, which he knows by heart, for a spin in some of Anolon’s new Advanced Home Cookware with Infinity Slide ™ to see if it made a difference in his process.
“In a normal pan, I’d have to work the dough for at least an hour. With this Anolon Advanced Home pan it takes me about five minutes. I have to knead the dough pretty hard with a spatula, so the ergonomic grip on the SureGrip® handle is incredibly helpful for holding it steady on the stove. I know the dough is ready when it releases from the nonstick surface of the pan.”