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To Seattle’s Fil-Ams, ‘adobo’ is more than food

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The Fil-Am winner, Garret Doherty, to the left won a trophy and cash; Prometheus Brown is in the middle. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Linda Cupp

SEATTLE, Washington—Hip-hop artist Geo Quibuyen said he hosted the Adobo Fest cook-off to bring the community together to find the best adobo in town. Turn out adobo lovers did.

With more than a hundred hungry aficionados, the cook-off and kid-friendly block party outside the Station cafe on 2533 16th Ave. South (across from El Centro de la Raza) was almost out of adobo half way through the scheduled five-hour event.

“We wanted to mash up all three and to see what happens,” said Quibuyen, better known as Prometheus Brown of the Blue Scholars hip hop duo founded in 2002 when he was a student at the University of Washington.

Quibuyen’s adobo organizing team grew up going to Filipino festivals, food events and block parties.

“The event was planned and put together in less than a month so we definitely want to do it again next year, but this time, with a whole year to plan ahead and make it even bigger!” said Quibuyen.

In this cook-off, Filipino American Garret Doherty won top prize for “The Best Adobo” in the greater Seattle area.

Doherty received a cash prize, trophy, and his adobo will be featured in the Beacon Avenue Sandwich http://www.yelp.com/biz/beacon-ave-sandwiches-seattle shop’s “Jose Rizal” adobo Sandwich.

A wide variety of Adobo Fest entries included chicken, pork belly, and chicken/pork, vegetarian. Contestants put their cultural influences and culinary skills to use.

“I’m from Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, and I came from a very poor family, so my style of adobo is inexpensive and easy to prepare,” stated Linda Gatcho Cupp, her style of cooking reminding

Adobo Fest entry of contestant Linda Cupp. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Linda Cupp

her of where she came from.

The audience chose three best-tasting entrees. A panel of judges led by Mayor Mike McGuinn chose the winner at a live tasting in the final round.

The judges were Charles Aguiling, chef-owner of Outside the Box Paleo Food Truck; Dr. Agnes Garcia, director/board member of Filipino Community of Seattle Arts & Culture; JFK – Emcee Grayskul & Th3rdz; Aleksa Manila, LGBTQ activist/ counselor and Seattle’s Queen of Drag;  Ajani Quibuyen, eight-year-old “adobo expert”; Kuya Ernie Rios, owner of Inay’s Restaurant ; Luis Rodriguez, owner of The Station & Beacon Ave Sandwiches; and Myrna Victoriano, Filipino Community of Seattle administrative assistant.

Quibuyen’s eight-year-old son Ajani said, “It felt really good to be sitting next to our Seattle Mayor McGinn!”

Adobo Fest judges including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Linda Cupp

“After the event, the audience told me they liked what I said as a judge and that I was honest about each adobo dish. I’m glad that my mom and dad said I could be a judge,” added Ajani.

Seattle Fil-Am’s proved that adobo can be used to gather as one big family and influence younger generations while not forgetting about “home.”

A portion of the Adobo Fest funds will be donated to an exposure trip to the Philippines, which will include several Fil-Am families with children.


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  • walaywalay

    FARCE!–this is so fake–nothing but semantics!!
    ADOBO (TAGALOG)
    CHOPPED FRIED CHICKEN (ENGLISH)
    has been a southern US mainstay dish over 100 yrs before the first Filipino was brought to the USA
    calling US snails by its French name escargo does not make it a ”new” dish—caviar is still just fish eggs

    • blue_lights

      Actually you’re the one in need of correction:

      1) adobo is a Spanish, not Tagalog word used to describe a recipe that was indigenous to the islands

      2) adobo is not fried, it is stewed with vinegar



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