Food Demo at the Balcony
Pacific Northwest cuisine through progressive Filipino American flavors.
Archipelago is an exploration of a region’s identity – a personal journey to reveal a wealth of resonance in our diverse community.
Aaron Verzosa is a Filipino American Chef born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. After graduating from the University of Washington, Aaron attended the Seattle Culinary Academy while working in the Basque focused Spanish restaurant–The Harvest Vine. After leaving the restaurant, Aaron joined the Modernist Cuisine team lead by Nathan Myhrvold in 2010 working as an R&D Chef. During his five years with MC, Aaron had the opportunity to travel to Paris to apprentice with Michelin starred Chef David Toutain, as a means to understand the Modernist approach through the lens of French gastronomy. Aaron has been engaged in the Filipino American community for many years, and is presently working on empowering Filipino businesses as a co-founder of ILAW: A Coalition of Filipino Food & Beverage Professionals in the Pacific Northwest. Now, Aaron is both excited and deeply passionate to marry his love for the craft of cooking with the flavors of his Filipino roots.
Amber Manuguid is a Bremerton-born, Silverdale-raised, Seattle-based artist and designer whose focus is creating joyful and meaningful experiences. Over the past 10 years she’s worked on creating experiences for a variety of companies including Nordstrom, Pokémon, Amazon, and Mattel. She received an Honorable Mention from Fast Company’s Innovation By Design Awards, which honors “a commitment to solving problems, no matter how big or small, as simply and as beautifully as possible.” She is also an active contributor in Seattle’s Filipino American community providing her design skills to local organizations such as ILAW, the Filipino Community of Seattle’s STEAM Youth Program, the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, Kalsada Coffee, and Pista sa Nayon. Amber is excited to finally merge her abilities at Archipelago — creating meaningful nourishing experiences that bring awareness to Filipino American history, honors her family, and explores the beauty, creativity, and resourcefulness of her culture
Archipelago’s “Balikbayan Box" concept, which is historically meant for Filipino expats and Oversee Filipino Workers to bring remittances back home to the Islands, is a way of showing love upon returning home. It typically would contain everything from foodstuffs, gifts, clothing and much more–things from the States you couldn't get in the Philippines. Much of our focus at Archipelago has been on the Filipino-American experience, and the Balikbayan Box has a deep connection to the Filipino diaspora—the distance, the travel, and the connection of loved ones. Our box is the center of our Mahabang Buhay experience, which means Long Life. The name represents continuation and the growth and change that we and so many others need to adapt to keep going.
Our balikbayan box highlights the foundations of our culture set in the Northwest with various sauces and ferments we make in-house, fresh veggies from local farmers, and a few other pantry staples from other local producers. A kind of mix between a meal kit, a csa box, and an unpacking of culture. It will include suggested uses/recipes for the things in the box, as well as some of the stories and history that have inspired our food. The hope is that the experience acts as a kind of window into our restaurant to give patrons a feeling of being a part of the process.
As always with Archipelago, our products and beverages are being sourced within our Pacific Northwest region. Our beverages are offered by the bottle, as well as various bundles that will rotate seasonally.
In the spirit of remittance the Balikbayan box represents, we will be donating a percentage of our proceeds to support our local community here in the South End of Seattle – specifically the Filipino Community of Seattle’s Senior Meal Program down the street from Archipelago. It has always been important to us to honor our family and elders, especially those who have helped shape the community we know today.