Celebrate Filipino American History Month with a kamayan-style feast

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
A diner enjoys the food at a previous Sarap kamayan feast.

Sarap: A Filipino Pop-up is hosting a Kamayan-style feast in collaboration with the Asian American Journalists Association Oct. 7 at PizzaPlex in Southwest Detroit. 

Sarap is one of the only places to get Filipino food around Metro Detroit – unless you have a “tiya” nearby (that’s Tagalog for “aunt”) – and for the 7 p.m. dinner they’ll be rolling out the cuisine kamayan-style, which means the food will be served communally on banana leaves and eaten by hand. 

“October is Filipino American Heritage Month so for this event we wanted to do something that was very traditional and kamayan is as traditional as it gets,” said Dororthy Hernandez, adding that this style of dining if often reserved for special events. 

The dinner is a fundraiser for the AAJA, which provides college scholarships for Asian Americans.

"It's harder than ever to land a job in journalism, which is facing many challenges such as job cuts, dwindling revenue and general antipathy from the public, but it has never been more vital to prepare the next generation of journalists," said Hernandez, who is also a freelance journalist.

Sarap pop-up will host a traditional Filipino dinner Oct. 7 at PizzaPlex

Tickets are $50 for the dinner, which will feature pancit bihon (a noodle dish), spring rolls, coconut milk chicken adobo, garlic-butter-calamansi shrimp, pan-fried chicken livers and more, plus veggies, garlic rice, pickles and dipping sauces. 

Hernandez says the food will be spread out as such so diners can easily grab it off the banana leaves. She’s teaming up with as many local suppliers as she can for her feast, such as Farm Field Table in Ferndale which provided the meat for her beef heart skewers. 

Purchase tickets at sarapdetroit.com. The dinner is limited to 100 guests. Pay an extra $10 and arrive an hour early for a pre-dinner karaoke party. PizzaPlex, 4458 W. Vernor in Detroit, has a full bar; drinks are sold separately. 


Twitter: @melodybaetens