Filipina chef receives Ambassador's Commendation
By Jaspearl Tan
A Filipina chef received the Ambassador’s Commendation on Friday for promoting cultural exchange between the Philippines and Japan.
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa bestowed the award on Reggie Aspiras at his residence in Makati City.
In a speech, Koshikawa thanked Aspiras for her contributions to the culinary ties of the two countries.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Chef Reggie, for her efforts in advancing Japanese cuisine. By presenting you with the Ambassador’s Commendation, may your exemplary work inspire others to be cultural advocates like you,” Koshikawa said.
Aspiras assured Koshikawa that she will continue to deepen the friendship of Japan and the Philippines.
“How fortunate am I indeed to be a chef for food is the best ambassador of goodwill,” Aspiras said.
“Ambassador, rest in the thought that in my own little way, I will continue to bring our two little nations together, one dish and one bite at a time,” she added.
Aspiras said she enjoys all sorts of Japanese food.
“As a person who works in the kitchen, it is my duty. No, it is my joy to eat and to try as much as there is because it is through all these different cuisines that we get to appreciate food, culture, the person who cooks. At the same time, for me as a culinary professional, it enables me also to develop different dimensions in my cooking and in my flavors when I cook,” she told reporters.
Aspiras said her love for Japanese cuisine began as a child and she recalled fond memories o having a trip with her mother to Tokyo where she ate sweets that had “gorgeous and vibrant colors”.
“My turning Japanese transpired many moons ago. As a little girl, it was one of my of my favorite cuisines and still is. Each visit to a restaurant with a misono table left me in awe of the precision, the skill, and the show,” she said.
“Forty-five years hence, the romance lives on. Though it is no longer limited to food. As of late, I have developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture and of its people,” she added.
Koshikawa announced that Aspiras will be hosting a Japanese food tour in March which is inspired by food cultures of Kyoto, Osaka, and Wakayama prefectures. DMS