The 1980s were the genesis of our country’s fast food revolution. One after the other, in quick succession during that decade, the most popular foreign franchises opened shop here, beginning with McDonald’s very first store. It was located, in of all places, deep in the University Belt on Morayta, directly across FEU. That historic first branch is still open today, a testament to the Filipinos’ enduring affection for all kinds of fare, and how quickly we assimilate the new and interesting in our daily choices.
Flash forward to 2018. Decades from today, we’ll fondly look back on this as the year when the Philippine Cuisine truly came into its own. Year One of the Filipino Restaurant boom, when many restaurateurs and food entrepreneurs, instead of looking outwards for inspiration, returned home to their culinary roots, and reinvented, rebooted, revolutionized our local dishes --- not only for the new generation of deeply Instagram-influenced diners, but more importantly, for the international market.
Our beloved Filipino fare has never been this interesting, this colorful, this compelling, and yes, this delicious. We dedicate this issue, where we honor the Best of 2018, to all the cooks and chefs, from hole-in-the wall carinderias to the toniest establishments--- all of them, contributing to make our cherished childhood Pinoy favorites--- into a global phenomenon.