Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2017

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/873281

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Page 48 of 107

12 under 35 Paolo Dungca, chef de cuisine, Restaurant Eve Age: 26 C hef Paolo Dungca is burning up the kitchen. He's garnering headlines with his Filipino supper club popups that showcase the foods of his native country. Dungca is refining his culinary craftsmanship by working with Chef Cathal Armstrong at inside- the-beltway favorite, Restaurant Eve. And he's bringing both of those worlds together, helping Armstrong launch a new Asian place called Restaurant Kaliwa, this fall, at The Wharf in D.C.'s southwest waterfront. Dungca moved with his family to the U.S. when he was 13 and began his food career washing dishes at Disneyland. He caught the cooking bug—as well as the attention of big-name chefs—and worked at Kali Restaurant in L.A. and Vidalia and Bad Saint in D.C. before coming to work for Chef Armstrong. But during this time, he's kept his native cuisine, and what his mother and grandmother taught him, close. "It's been at the back of my mind, 'How can I present Filipino cuisine in a way that makes sense in a fine- dining restaurant,'" he explains. So instead of simply putting stews on a table to share at the supper club that he runs with another Filipino chef, he presents the diner with a bowl of fish and pours the sauce tableside, letting them smell the aroma. He will continue creating his favorite dishes at Armstrong's new restaurant. Restaurant Kaliwa will offer Filipino, Thai, and Korean food but Dungca notes that this isn't a fusion restaurant. Each cuisine featured will have distinct dishes. "We've been doing research, getting the recipes down. I still have a lot to learn from Chef Armstrong, but I'm excited."— S.S. 46 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com Erika Welsh and Keeley Tillotson, founders, Wild Friends Foods Ages: 26 and 25 W ild Friends Foods started when Erika Welsh and Keeley Tillotson, both col- lege students at the time, ran out of their favorite dorm room staple—peanut butter. Rather than going to the grocery store to buy more, they made their own, and began experimenting with different f lavors and ingredients that went far beyond just peanuts and salt. They began to incorporate some of their favorite f lavors—chocolate, coconut, and honey are just a few examples—and have now come to define themselves as purveyors of friendly foods that are clean and delicious. "Making the best-tasting nut butters on the shelf is our priority," says Welsh. "That means leaving out excess oils, fillers, and ingredients like palm fruit oil, which decreases f lavor." The duo inno- vates with a portfolio of nut and seed butter options, from chocolate almond butter to sesame cranberry peanut butter and organic maple sunf lower butter. As Welsh and Tillotson continue to get their nut and seed butters in grocery stores, they are adding new products. Their latest foray is Super Butters, available in peanut and almond cashew varieties, which are made with pollinator-friendly honey, as well as chia and f lax. By broadening their horizons, Welsh and Tillotson hope Wild Friends products can fall into multiple categories, from staple ingredient to on-the-go snack. "Making food friendly includes making healthy food more deli- cious, fun, and convenient. We're excited to do that by introducing our brand to new customers outside of the nut butter aisle."—S.K.

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