Yana Gilbuena

Yana Gilbuena portrait

As an ancestrally-trained chef, Yana Gilbuena has cooked since she was 5. She started to cook professionally in 2012 while formulating her pop-up concept. In 2013 she launched her Filipino Kamayan pop-up dinner series and by 2014, left New York to embark on a 50-state, 50-week, pop-up tour across America. During this tour, she did pop-up residencies, collaborated with local chefs, and learned about the history and foodways of each state and city she was in. After the US tour, Yana continued to travel and brought her dinner series all over Canada – from Vancouver to Nova Scotia. She then toured Mexico, Colombia, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe in the years succeeding. Yana sought to find and document Filipino foodways and diasporic connections through food in these parts of the world.

Her pop-up, The Salo Series, seeks to celebrate the beautiful pre-colonial tradition of eating with one's hands, called Kamayan, and disrupt the western constructs of dining. Her work centers on the history, culture, and rich heritage embedded in Filipino cuisine and decolonization/indigenization through food

In 2019 Yana wrote and self-published her cookbook/memoir about traveling throughout the 50 states in 50 weeks, called No Forks Given. Yana has contributed to Allrecipes, Serious Eats, and The Kitchn and has contributed to other cookbooks like Cherry Bombe and Feed the Resistance.

In addition, Yana is a 2017 Stone Barns Exchange Fellow, a 2021 Real Food Real Stories Facilitator Fellow, a 2021 Mae Writing Fellow and has also been featured in major publications such as The New York Times, San Fransico Chronicle, National Geographic, and more. She has a bachelor's in psychology from the University of the Philippines.

This global Filipinx food evangelist aims to further her mission and host a Salo on every continent (and resume this quest once we've all been vaccinated for COVID 19). You can follow her adventures @saloseries.

One kitchen tool Yana can't live without is the mandoline (obviously, aside from her chef's knife). She is a writer for Allrecipes.

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