dayaw / cooking the filipino contemporary

Berlin, June 2015

jeepney stew series
POP-UP KITCHEN / ‘Dayaw’
Next: 24 June 2015, Markthalle Neun, Berlin
event link


Photos: Kay Abaño

‘Dayaw’ means to come together in celebration. When Filipinos gather, they don’t really say ‘how are you?’ to greet each other. They would instead utilise ‘kumain ka na?’ (have you eaten?) as a way of initiating a dialogue. This cultural detail reveals how important food is as a social glue in defining an experience or making something happen. Inspired by this as well as by his own personal migrations, Pepe Dayaw cooks a pop-up kitchen project that fuses stories, tastes and rhythms together in an attempt to bring Filipino contemporary into the ongoing currents of the Spice Routes.

Dayaw 01

Performing ‘cuisine’ as social engagement

Cooking cultures are living archives of people’s movements. Beneath a brand of identity (i.e. Filipino) that encrusts a cuisine lies a complex stew of accidents, contradictions, assimilations, migrations and appropriations that are made possible through choreographies or spectrums of desire and politics. The Dayaw pop-up kitchen brings these discourses onto the dining table by appropriating cuisine as a sensate meeting place to research what authentic means when one talks about food. In a topic as multi-layered as ‘Filipino cuisine’, authenticity perhaps does not essentially occur in exacting a specific dish that has been cooked ‘over there’ (because traditions merely arise from inventions and serendipities) but in translating its conditions into a savory happening that belongs to the now here. Through and beyond food, this pop-up experience is a collage of rituals, sensuality and rhythmic fusions that through cooking makes humans, whether Filipino or otherwise, come together to celebrate (dayaw).

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