The James Beard Foundation has named Filipina pastry chef Margarita Manzke and the online documentary Moro Food of Muslim Mindanao: This is Filipino, Too” as finalists in their respective categories this year. 

Margarita Manzke isn’t new to the James Beard Awards. She is a four-time finalist for the Outstanding Pastry Chef category, which is given to “a pastry chef or baker who demonstrates exceptional skill, integrity, and character in the preparation of desserts, pastries, or breads served in a restaurant.” Qualifications include a five-year track record prior to the nomination. Manzke owns six-year-old République, an LA-based French restaurant, alongside her husband. She also co-owns Manila’s Wildflour Cafe + Bakery with sister Ana de Ocampo.

Meanwhile, a YouTube documentary produced by Al-Jazeera about undocumented food from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is also nominated in the Visual Reporting (on TV or online) category under the Broadcast Media awards. The documentary captures the underrated story of Moro cuisine and how it’s tied to the state of Mindanao. The video is part of the Fork the System series, which tackles the world’s biggest questions by diving deeper into global cuisine.

Early this year, Filipino eatery and sari-sari store Oriental Mart owned by a Seattle-based Filipino family was also honored last March with the America’s Classics award. It’s given to locally-owned restaurants that serve food representative of a community. The restaurant-slash-store is run by sisters Joy Apostol Mori and Leila Apostol Rosas who both cook and manage the business. The restaurant is known for serving home-cooked Filipino food—from sinigang to silog meals—in a carinderia and turo-turo style.

Instead of a physical awards ceremony, the foundation will be announcing the winners online on May 27 for the 2020 Media Awards and on Sept. 25 for the Restaurant and Chef Awards. The winners will be announced via press release and livestreamed on the foundation’s Twitter account respectively. The full list of finalists can be accessed on the James Beard Foundation’s website.

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