Pinay chefs highlighted during 10-day festival supporting LA’s women-owned restaurants

The inaugural Re:Her festival runs from Jan. 21-30

A five-course kamayan feast from Ria Barbosa’s Petite Peso with baboy Tim (braised pork belly) and pancit at the center. A box of pan de sal and custards from Kristine de la Cruz of Creme Caramel. Cocktails from Pinay-owned gin bar Genever to pair with a three-course vegetarian dinner.

These are some of the exciting takeout menus and collaborations from Filipina American entrepreneurs who are joining over 100 women-owned restaurants this week for a 10-day inaugural virtual food festival starting Thursday, January 21.

Born out of the food industry’s challenges during the pandemic, Re:Her is a new non-profit organization seeking to amplify women-owned restaurants — especially the smaller operations that don’t get enough media attention — across Los Angeles County as well as to build a resource network for grants and mentorship opportunities.

“We thought about what can we do to drive business to our restaurants and create awareness during this time? That’s when we started talking about this idea — actually it wasn’t a festival at first — it was more like a collaboration dinner,” Dina Samson, co-owner of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza who is one of the founding board members of Re:Her, told the Asian Journal.

Petite Peso’s Kamayan feast good for two. | Photo courtesy of Ria Barbosa

Samson is among nine top women restauranteurs like Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill, Lien Ta of All Day Baby and Kimberly Prince of Hotville Chicken.

The festival, which runs until Jan. 30 and is sponsored by OpenTable, will offer an array of take-out menus for any type of cuisine you’re craving and in any neighborhood of the greater LA area.

Chef Ria Barbosa of Petite Peso in Downtown LA is creating a single-tray portion of the “Kamayan” feast for two with “Baboy Tim” (braised pork belly, soy, star anise), half BBQ chicken, longanisa crepinettes, chicken liver “inasal” skewers, pancit (noodles), garlic rice, and polvoron.

Chef Kristine de la Cruz of Créme Caramel offers a Pandesal & Custard Box filled with six assorted housemade “pandesal,” her version of the popular boiled and baked bread roll of the Philippines and Crème Caramel’s popular custard desserts, including their house special and customer favorite, Ube Upside Down Pie. Pandesal flavors are original, havarti cheddar, almost everything, strawberry cream cheese, ube cheesecake, and butter pearl. While custard flavors are vanilla creme caramel, ube upside-down pie, coconut pandan chia pudding (Vegan), banana nutella bread pudding, calamansi cheesecake, and one surprise flavor.

Créme Caramel’s Ube Upside Down Pie

Boxes are $40 and can be picked up at the bakery’s Sherman Oaks location.

Samson’s Superfine Pizza will present “Around the World with Pizza” featuring specialty Thai, Mexican, Spanish and Japanese cook-at-home pizza kits by the women behind Ayara Thai, Casa Vega, Gasolina Cafe, and n/naka.

Meanwhile, Rossoblu will have a three-course vegetarian feast from Jan. 22-24 with The Butcher’s Daughter with produce from Alma Backyard Farms, and featuring creations by Chefs Jamie Lee and Rose Wilde and cocktails by Genever. Pick-up is available at Rossoblu in Downtown or The Butcher’s Daughter in Venice and the meal is $59.

There will also be cooking demonstrations and virtual tastings on how to make margaritas and cocktails or tasting cheese from four women-owned cheese shops; and virtual conversations on topics from family businesses to being a woman in a male-dominated industry.

Opportunities to pay it forward include Meals by Genet’s collaboration with the Nickel Diner in providing comfort meals to the unhoused, food-insecure folks living on the streets of Downtown LA. A $13 contribution to the “Pay It Forward” Meal Program with RE:Her will provide a hot meal to the homeless and support consistent employment at Nickel Diner. They intend to feed the homeless community 50-200 meals twice a week for the next two months and beyond.

Chef Melissa Perello of M. Georgina has also assembled a 10-course snack-themed meal kit, curated by acclaimed female chefs from around the country, with benefits going toward World Central Kitchen.

The first 100 participants to fill up their 10-Day Passports — by visiting 10 participating restaurants and collecting a sticker — will win an exclusive RE:Her gift bag.

After the 10-day festival, Re:Her has more projects under its sleeve like coinciding with Women’s History Month and in the summer. A long-term goal is setting up a grant program that will support women-owned businesses.

“Any donation that’s made and profits from merchandise sold will go to this grant program,” Samson added.

To see the full list of events, categorized by neighborhood, visit https://www.regardingherfood.com/.

Christina M. Oriel
Christina M. Oriel

Christina M. Oriel is the Managing Editor of the Asian Journal Weekly Newspapers.

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