A huge day for Filipino cuisine: neighborhood restaurant and bakery Kasama in Chicago’s East Ukrainian Village just snagged its first Michelin star.
It is also the first restaurant that focuses on Filipino food to earn the distinction.
Kasama joins three other restaurants in Chicago that were also awarded the highly coveted star.
It’s a huge stride for owners and chefs Tim Flores and Genie Kwon, both from the two-Michelin-starred Oriole in Chicago’s West Loop, who opened Kasama at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
The 2022 Michelin Guide noted that the restaurant “has now evolved to represent the true vision of what the couple had in mind for Kasama with a dinner tasting menu that emphatically displays this talented team’s training, experience and heritage for an experience that is ambitious, clever, and distinct.”
“The chefs have taken traditional Filipino cooking and given it a creative, contemporary spin in items such as maitake mushroom adobo sauced with mussel emulsion; ‘pancit’ reflecting Spanish influence with thin squid ink noodles, scallop conserva, and shaved Serrano ham; and Chef Kwon’s elegant take on ‘halo-halo’ combining Asian pear granita, pandan ice cream.”
Last year, Kasama and Archipelago, a Seattle-based Filipino fine dining restaurant, were named on The New York Times’ 2021 Best Restaurants list.
The Michelin Guide has been published since 1904 and awards stars to outstanding restaurants and food establishments. It is considered one of the most prestigious accolades in the food scene.