Getting a Michelin Star is a big deal. It’s kind of like winning an Academy Award for an actor or film or a Grammy Award for a musician. Basically, it’s saying you’ve made it in the food world. To get even one star means you’re regarded with the highest standards in service and a master of outstanding cooking.

 

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With this said, it sure is a proud moment when a Filipino restaurant gets awarded with this high honor. Kasama, a Filipino-American Restaurant based in Chicago, USA garnered its first Michelin star and is the first Filipino restaurant to do so. Chef couple Timothy Flores and Genie Kwon are the brains behind the bakery-slash-modern Filipino eatery that’s located in the East Ukrainian Village in the city.

 

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Their menu is quintessential Filipino-American comfort food but made reimagined with forward flavors. One of their signature dishes includes a Chicago-esque sandwich dressed with Filipino flavors by making its hearty fillings with pork shoulders adobo and longganisa sausage but adorned with giardiniera, a favorite local condiment of assorted pickled chilies and vegetables. Another is a Filipino staple, Pancit Bihon that’s typically made with rice noodles, seafood, and crushed chicharron. Their version is elevated however with not-so-typical ingredients like castelvetrano olives and sumac. Award-wining publication, Chicago Magazine even praises its hard-to-reserve 13-course dinner tasting menu. For foodies who just want to try a piece of the magic, walk-ins are very much welcome, especially with their all-day café menu where customers can try their regular fares and some of the best pastries on that side of the city.

 

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It may come as a surprise to some as to how this restaurant, which only opened in July 2020 has gotten such an achievement. Even the management is astounded, as stated in their Instagram post sharing their sentiment over the news:

 

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It is still hard to believe what this industry has been through since the beginning of 2020. To make it here and to be recognized by the @michelinguide is truly beyond anything we could have ever imagined. – Kasama Restaurant, Instagram.  

But with other accolades and nominations that they’ve collected from other renowned American food award-giving bodies and publications like the James Beard Foundation, Eater, and The New York Times, you just know that their work is the real deal. This time, you just can’t help but be proud of our fellow kababayan with their incredible achievement.

Congratulations!

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