Pinoy Chef Wing wins People Choice Award at Embassy Chef Challenge

Pinoy Chef Wing Embassy Chef Challenge
Filipino chef Erwin “Wing” Villarias and his signature chicken inasal. Photos from PH Embassy in Washington DC.

Filipino chef Erwin “Wing” Villarias has been honored with the People’s Choice Award in this year’s Embassy Chef Challenge (ECC) in Washington DC, U.S.A.

Villarias won first place in the People’s Choice category for his signature chicken inasal dish (chargrilled/roasted chicken originally from Bacolod) which he paired with his majin ube cocktail, a gin-based cocktail with purple yam or ube.

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The rising Pinoy chef represented the Philippines and bested participating embassy chefs who showcased food around the world in the annual competition held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The Philippine Ambassador to the United States said the win affirms the rise of Filipino cuisine across America.

“The people have spoken. It is no exaggeration to say that Filipino cuisine is coming of age in America, and the Embassy happily greets the local community’s cultural curiosity about the Philippines and our cuisine,” Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez said in a statement released on October 13, 2022.

“Because of the growing number of Filipino-Americans, the United States is learning more about our flavors and culture, and they love it.”

Marking Filipino American History Month (FAHM) this October, the embassy also highlighted Philippine culture and heritage in the ECC through a dance medley by the Migrant Heritage Fil-Am Dance Ensemble.

Chef Villarias has been featured in the Washington Post, Arlington Magazine, and the Washington City Paper. The news release by the Philippine Embassy said that Villarias comes from humble beginnings and traces his Filipino roots to his hometown Roxas, Palawan.

Villarias is the owner of the Filipino pop-up restaurant, Balangay DC, which he established amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.

Villarias’ success in the contest follows the wins of fellow Pinoy chefs Claude Tayag in 2016 and Abigail Sincioco-Mateo in 2018.

Two Filipino chefs were earlier named among the Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipino chef Erwin “Wing” Villarias for winning the People’s Choice Award in this year’s Embassy Chef Challenge (ECC) in Washington DC, U.S.A.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.