Hi! I’m Nastasha Alli. I write about food culture on this blog and talk about all things Filipino food on my podcast called Exploring Filipino Kitchens. Say hello on Twitter or Instagram!

By day I work as a tech consultant in Toronto and love living in a city where fantastic food and drink experiences are never far away.


Philippine foodways and culinary history – because Philippine cuisine is rich and multi-faceted. I find myself drawn to exploring Philippine foodways – generally, that’s the intersection of food in culture, traditions, and history, or “the study of what, how, and why we eat, with emphasis on food events as much as the food itself” as defined by the Southern Foodways Alliance.  

Reviews of Filipino food books because there’s not enough about them online! There is so much to love about Filipino food, and these books are a great gateway to exploring the Philippine culinary landscape.

Ingredients in Filipino kitchens – because I want to learn more about the fruits, vegetables, seafood, livestock and grains of the Philippines. This particular project started because I wanted to build an interactive database of foods in the Philippines – to talk about where they came from, show how they made their way into regional dishes across the islands, and explore what the future looks like for Philippine food products in the global marketplace. It’s a wide net to cast, but these questions to have spurred a serious interest in learning about the history and landscape of Philippine cuisine.

Developing Filipino recipes – because there’s a need for recipes true to Filipino taste, streamlined to work for modern kitchens. I tweak prep methods, ingredients and cooking techniques to suit what many people have in their North American pantry and scale recipes to produce smaller, packable portions.

When the Cagayan de Oro specialty of sinuglaw – a smoky, zesty combination of grilled porksinugba and tuna kinilaw – appeared on tasting menus at this year’s Madrid Fusion Manila, I knew I made the right decision to chase this dish’s origins in Northern Mindanao.

Twenty-six hours after leaving Toronto, Canada, my first regional culinary tour of the Philippines was off to a sweet start!

Read “My food tour, my 1st stop: Cagayan de Oro” on Rappler.com!

Of all the meals I had the pleasure of enjoying during my trip to the Philippines, it was fish and greens in a light broth over rice that hammered home why I travelled so far to eat regional Filipino food…to taste exceptional food grown from the land and harvested from the sea; to embrace Filipino food as a thrilling exploration of tastes, textures and flavour profiles.

Read “How the Filipino Food Movement Inspired the Food Trip of a Lifetime” on
The Filipino Food Movement blog!

One thing I realize, towering above the Toronto skyline, is that if you really wanted to reduce the distance that food travels from its source to your plate, you could start by simply buying produce from farms that grow and harvest vegetables within your locality…whether we volunteer our time or support with our purchases, we can become a part of the process – of learning how to live (and eat) sustainably – by becoming gradual stewards of local, seasonal eating.

Read “How You Can Eat Fresh & Local Wherever You Are” on Cambio Market‘s blog!