Kamayan Feast


While most Filipinos today eat using a spoon and fork, the traditional way of eating is kamayan, or “with hands.” Kamayan was the customary way of eating in the Philippines prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, and although utensils are more accessible and common now, Pinoys often eat this old school way for big celebrations, while on holiday, or just to pay homage to their cultural history.

“For Filipinos, feeding each other is a way we demonstrate love, and this particular way of eating, [is] a literal, tactile way of connecting with what nourishes us and the land it comes from,” 

The term kamayan can be used to describe the act of eating by hand, but a traditional kamayan meal is a feast served family style, usually over banana leaves. There’s no limit to what you can eat when hosting your own kamayan, but in general, grilled and fried things with rice are easier to eat sans utensils, because they aren’t as messy as soups and stews.

Some basic Kamayan Guidelines:

Wash your hands.                                                                                                Try to eat mostly with one hand, keeping the second hand clean for drinking. When taking food, use your fingers to pinch the food into a clump at your fingertips (don’t let it settle onto your palm).                            After taking a bit of ulam (the meat or vegetables) and rice with your fingers and thumb, use the your thumb to push the food into your mouth. Because traditions vary for everyone, Filipino people will talk about what kamayan means to them. They come from all different backgrounds—some grew up in the Philippines, some in America, some have been eating kamayan since before they could remember, and some tried it for the first time as adults. The common ground is honoring a tradition that helps define their cultural identity.

Kamayan Feast is Filipino Food spread out over banana leaves with fresh fruit to decorate the tablescape. The Filipino food that we will prepare is Lumpia a fried spring roll, Adobo prepared with chicken thighs, Pork ribs, Curry with prawn skewers. For dessert a Filipino gelato made with Ube a purple sweet potato with chocolate sauce

If you have a large group of people who like to cook this is a very fun memorable evening for sure!

Price: $100 per person – minimum of eight people.

Email Shelly for availability shelly@bellabistro.com