A Recap of Paminta: Our First-Ever Collaborative Feast with Yana Gilbuena of The Salo Series and the Folks of Your Local

April 4, 2020

We literally had a week and a day to put Paminta, Pepper.ph’s first collaborative feast and pop-up dinner, together.


After a sweltering stroll around the recent weekend Gourmand Market, the Bonifacio Central Square mall was an oasis. We met up with Yana Gilbuena, founder and gypsy chef  behind The Salo Series, outside a coffee shop inside the air-conditioned space, our tables strewn with paper cups filled complimentary cold water. We were only meant to schedule a profile interview with her, but it led to a recipe shoot, and we eventually ended up planning a collaborative feast with Yana and Your Local.


You should’ve seen the flurry going on in our small round table. Phones were whipped out, numbers were exchanged, ideas were jotted down, calls were made—we were delegating, brainstorming, multi-tasking, ideating, and there was the occasional excited squeal. We couldn’t believe this was happening! It was more than just putting a dinner together; it was more about celebrating local culinary talent, championing local cuisine, making a more physical connection with our readers, and using delicious food (and drinks!) to bring people together.

L: Ensalada made with Pomelo, Watermelon Radish, and Dilis | R: Seafood Bringhe with Uni and Aligue: a Pampanga favorite, made with crab fat, sea urchin and seasonal seafood

The next day, we met up with Yana and Denny Antonino of Your Local to do an ocular and to finalize the menu. There was so much creative chemistry between Yana and Denny, it was so cool to see them bouncing off ideas and getting all excited about local produce and local flavors like old friends. Arsenio Solinap of Solo Meats was quick to join in the fun and supply us with some of the best local short ribs in town. Aaron Aw and Olivia Lim Pe-Aw of Destileria Limtuaco were on a mission to make sure everyone was in good spirits during the dinner. Dolly Menghani of Black Apron prepared a battalion of Deconstructed Champorados made with Malagos Chocolate, Guimaras Mangoes, and Condensed Milk Ice Cream that got everyone swooning. And Brian Tenorio of KKK Coffee made sure that food comas were not an option by providing us with tasty coffees and teas, which were proudly made from Filipino beans and ginseng.


L: Kambing Sisig: local goat, cooked sisig style | R: Short Rib Adobo sa Gata Khao Soi: local beef short ribs marinated in soy, cane vinegar and sugar with coconut milk on a bed of hand-cut crispy egg noodles and seved with a century egg

Our team was in charge of Marketing, Logistics, and Service. There is so much that goes unseen when it comes to running a restaurant, and this is the closest we’ve gotten to experiencing it firsthand. From finalizing and confirming the headcount to copywriting, graphic designing, floor planning, and learning each and every ingredient in the dishes served to our guests, it was an incredible experience for all of us. And we know there is still so, so much more to learn.


Most of the time, we get to witness the food industry from an observer’s perspective, but experiencing the other side of the coin was definitely an unforgettable one. Our appreciation for the industry, if anything, was exponentially heightened, along with our respect for the folks in the service industry. It is definitely not an easy job, but it was so fulfilling to be working hand-in-hand with determined and extremely talented individuals who were so kind in helping us out that evening.

L: Kare-kare Porchetta: crispy pork belly rolled with roasted eggplants and grilled bokchoy, crusted with cashews, and topped with deep fried tripe | R: Deconstructed Champorado: rice cake with dark tablea chocolate and fresh mangoes, topped with condensed milk ice cream

The response was also very overwhelming. We were (and still are) incredibly floored with the outcome! It was truly an evening worth remembering, and it filled our hearts with so much joy seeing everyone working together and having a great time.


When it was time to clean up, we felt the exhaustion creeping over, but that didn’t matter. Our hearts were so full. For those who came out and joined us in Paminta, thank you so much for being a huge part of it!


Oh, and we might just start planning our next collaborative feast soon. Hope to see you there?

What would you like to see in our next collaborative feast? Tell us your suggestions and ideas with a comment below!

Mikka Wee Mikka Wee

Mikka Wee is former editor of Pepper.ph and was part of the team until she got whisked away to Singapore in 2016 where she worked in advertising and eventually found herself back in the food industry. She currently does marketing work for two popular Singaporean dessert brands and is a weekly columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s lifestyle brand, Preen.ph. She has always been crazy about travel, food, and her dog Rocket.

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