In Focus: Yana Gilbuena

The atmosphere was warm and inviting at Asia Society Texas Center as nearly 50 guests gathered for a family-style Leo Bar feast with Filipino chef Yana Gilbuena. 

Based in San Francisco, she spends much of her time traveling the world, bringing the food and customs of the Philippines through pop-up dinners. Guests were introduced to classic Filipino dishes made from locally-sourced Houston ingredients. The menu featuring lechon (a local Texas hog roasted over more than four hours), coconut pandan rice, itlog na maalat (egg and tomato salad), mushroom sisig, atchara (a spiced cabbage salad), and ube cassava cake – all topped off with a spicy mixed cocktail featuring Infanta Lambanog, a Filipino coconut-flower liquor. 

This family-style dining experience was eaten with the hands on plates of banana leaves, a treat just in time to start off the holiday season.