With so many “health-related” documentaries and news articles scaring the bacon out of all of us, it isn’t surprising to see restaurants now offering healthier options on their menus. A growing number of vegetarian establishments have started popping up like mushrooms around Metro Manila, with some continually pushing the envelope on what it means to serve healthy food.
Earth Kitchen is a project of the Got Heart foundation.
Earth Kitchen isn’t your ordinary healthy restaurant. It’s a project of Got Heart, a foundation that develops grassroots social enterprises among marginalized farmers and indigenous communities all over the Philippines. Got Heart focuses on natural farming technology and advocates its use as a viable alternative to chemical farming. Over the past three years, Got Heart has been working with a number of farming communities, yet their efforts have always been at a disadvantage due to unfair and unjust market prices.
The Got Heart foundation decided to open their flagship store (most of the ingredients used in Earth Kitchen can be purchased here) along White Plains, Katipunan last November 2012 to help solve the problem of insufficient market presence and penetration. Earth Kitchen was soon built right after to accommodate more farming communities that need aid. “Earth Kitchen was mainly borne out of our desire to help local farmers and share the stories of our indigenous communities through food,” says Melissa Yeung, one of the Earth Kitchen partners. “While we were at it, we decided to make our dishes hit that sweet mark between ‘tasty and healthy’ as an alternative to eating ‘yummy but greasy’ and ‘healthy but yucky’ food. Hopefully, we [have succeeded at] doing just that.”
Melissa shared that what makes Earth Kitchen stand out and set itself apart from other “healthy” restaurants is that it is still continually growing and evolving with the help of the Got Heart farming communities and good old Mother Earth. “We try to bring out the natural flavors of the earth, while making sure that as much as possible that the sources and the processing of our ingredients remain sustainable,” says Melissa.
Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to be all-vegetarian.
Though Earth Kitchen sounds like a restaurant that Captain Planet and the Planeteers put together, it is not a vegetarian restaurant. Earth Kitchen serves a lot of veggie-based dishes, but the real benefit comes from the opportunity it provides guests to eat healthy food that’s devoid of chemicals and harsh insecticides. Plus, each meal also helps the cause of our marginalized farmers.
Earth Kitchen Chefs David and JR are the plating masterminds behind the menu. Their dishes are beautiful as well as tasty, overflowing with color and providing a refreshing take different from all the Foie this and Truffle that that everyone’s been going crazy for. “We wanted it to look natural and unpretentious, just like how nature is,” Melissa explains.
The goal for Earth Kitchen is to serve food “that has heart.” Ingredients such as edible flowers, mushrooms, and other greens are sourced from the Got Heart farms in Tarlac and partner farms in Benguet and Bukidnon. Earth Kitchen also does not use dory in their Fish Tacos. Instead, they use Parrot Fish (Loro) because they’re both locally-sourced and cultivated in a sustainable manner.
A lot of care and attention go into Earth Kitchen’s dishes. They also stay true to the spirit of their fresh ingredients, resulting in interesting twists to their creations. For example, their Goat Cheese Ice Cream retains a unique powdery character due to the texture of the goat cheese. It’s an unusual, though not unpleasant, surprise.
Check out some of Earth Kitchen’s dishes below.
Earth Kitchen was created to help sustain the livelihood of farmers by showcasing their produce.
Earth Kitchen is a restaurant dedicated to helping local communities, above everything else. Their dishes are specifically crafted in order to showcase these farmers’ produce and thus, create a demand that will sustain their livelihood. For more information on Earth Kitchen, visit and like their page on Facebook. Also, If you want to help, and at the same time enjoy healthy and tasty dishes, give their restaurant a try.
Still not convinced that healthy food can be delicious? Now’s your chance to try it out for yourself. We’re giving away 3 Earth Kitchen gift certificates worth PHP 1,000 each to three lucky readers.
How to Qualify
- Like and share this post on Facebook or Twitter (or both!).
- You must be following us on Twitter (we will check!).
- You must be living in the Philippines.
How to Win
- In the comments section below, answer this question: How would you make ampalaya more appetizing to eat? Limit answer to one idea per entry.
- Don’t forget to leave your full name and email address so that we can get in touch with you if you win.
- Multiple entries are not allowed.
- Contest is only open to residents of the Philippines.
- Winners will be announced on Monday, November 11, 2013.