At the Asian Festival held in downtown Cleveland this spring I met a woman named Marina Villanueva-Velmin. She has a catering company based in Westlake called Tamarind Tree that specializes in the cusine of her homeland, the Phillipines. I tasted her cooking at the Festival and thought it was wonderful.
We’ve been in communication since then and I’ve had a chance to look over her complete menu. It includes some really unusual dishes: a chicken stew called Calderetta; Mechado, the Filipino version of beef bourguignon ; Pancit Malabon made with rice noodles, garlic spiked pork, eggs and vegetables; pork and chicken adobo, the country’s national culinary mascot, and cocido, a meat-based stew featuring cabbage, chick peas, sweet potatoes and green beans. She also offers a small selection of foods from other Asian cuisines such as Vietnamese spring rolls and Thai chicken curry. Putting this sort of thing on your table would definitely make for a unique and memorable party. On second thought, why wait for a party? You can order two dozen empanadas ($30) just for yourself, and freeze the leftover mini meat filled pastries to be enjoyed another day. Sounds like a plan to me.
If you are curious about Filipino food and culture, plan to attend the Phillippine Festival Sunday, August 15. It happnes from 10-6, 9440 Ridgewood Drive in Parma.
Tamarind Tree has no website and Marina doesn’t do email but you can call to talk with her about your next event, 440-871-8708