In March 2013, Yana Gilbuena had the epiphany that she wanted to bring Filipino food and Kamayan to all 50 states. At the time, she was working a completely different job, and didn’t have any formal training as a culinary chef. 6 years later, Yana is an acclaimed Nomadic Chef, founder of Salos Series, and has brought Filipino Kamayan Popup Dinners to all 50 states, Canada, parts of South America, Mexica, Philippines, and now Europe. Salo Series is a Traveling Underground Pop-up Dinner that hosts Kamayan dinners, serving Filipino food through the traditional culture of eating with your hands. She has also been featured in major publications such as The New York Times and National Geographics: The Plate.
We discuss her journey, from immigrating from the Philippines to the states, the different career changes she had, and how she ultimately started her 50-state underground tour. She shares struggles she had to overcame along the way, and advice she gives to those looking to pursue an entrepreneurial path and their passion.
Along with discussing the current Food Filipino movement, we talk about her book, No Forks Given, a compilation of stories of her journey and people she met during my 50-state tour, that she said taught her a lot about letting go, resilience, faith and trust.