Since 2014, chef Ellie Tiglao has hosted over 100 pop-up dinners around the greater Boston area. Tiglao landed in Boston to pursue a career in neuroscience, but quickly realized that unlike her hometown in northern California — the Filipino community in her adopted area was nearly nonexistent. The pop-up events gave Tiglao a chance to reconnect with her roots and educate the Boston community on Filipino food.
Eventually Tiglao dubbed the series Tanam — meaning cultivation or planting in her Philippine dialect — a reference to her family’s roots as farmers.
What particularly interested me about her events is an emphasis on “narrative cuisine,” where stories are told and shared over a meal. Tiglao’s approach to understanding Filipino food is rooted in research and history, which I find fits fit perfectly in Boston.