Filipino Cooking with Carmela

  • Immersion Experience #1 - Carmela
  • Immersion Experience #1 - Carmela
  • Immersion Experience #1 - Carmela
  • Immersion Experience #1 - Carmela
Experience Schedule:
Saturday May 4, 4:30pm-8:30pm
Sorry, workshop is full!
Immersion Experience #1
Saturday May 18, 4:30pm-8:30pm
3 spots available
Immersion Experience #1
$95.00 Sign up now
Saturday June 8, 4:30pm - 8:30pm
Sorry, workshop is full!
Immersion Experience #1
Saturday June 22, 4:30pm -8:30pm
1 spot available
Immersion Experience #1
$95.00 Sign up now
Carmela is currently enjoying being a new Mom, and is planning to run more culinary adventures in November.  Please email if you would like to be notified when Carmela's experiences start up again.


All experiences are informal, warm and welcoming. In My Kitchen experiences are suitable for families; recommend children are a minimum of 11 years old.

Immersion experiences are a 4-hour experience. Includes a light snack upon arrival, approximately 2.5 hours of "in the kitchen" time, learning the recipes and participating in making the dishes, a full dinner shared, and a booklet of recipes and in-depth culinary info.

Taste of experiences are a 2.5-hour experience.  Includes a light snack upon arrival and then you get to sit back and relax as your host walks you through each recipe step by step sharing their family stories and culture along the way.  Everyone sits down together and shares the meal and more great conversation. 

Cooking with Carmela

Your culinary adventure will take place in the vibrant shopping district of South Granville. Carmela is warm, welcoming and very knowledgeable about Filipino cooking and being a trained chef she can teach you some knife skills!

Carmela will share her favourite Filipino comfort foods with you. These are the dishes that hold her story and memories. You will leave feeling like you have spent some time in Carmela’s family home in the Philippines.

Location: Carmela’s Kitchen is in the South Granville (near 12th and Granville)neighbourhood.

Immersion Experience #1

Lumpiang Shanghai

Small spring rolls filled with a pork and vegetable mix. One of the most popular appetizers found at any gathering in the Philippines and a favourite of Carmela’s family.


A staple in every Filipino’s kitchen. It's chicken or pork braised in a balance soy/vinegar marinate. Carmela makes her Adobo with chicken and serves it with steamed rice.

Pancit Bihon

You will not see a Filipino feast without Pancit, just like you will not see a Filipino meal served without rice. Carmela’s favourite Pancit is Pancit Bihon. Rice noodles sautéed with vegetables, chicken, and shrimp after they have "bathed" in a tasty broth.

Cassava cake

A classic dessert made with grated cassava.  



I am from the Philippines, and I was born in Manila. I lived there until I was 16 with my older sister, brother and younger brother. I grew up in our family home; we also had a whole village of our family living in Mindoro on the north island.

My parents owned a small corner store which was attached to our house.   At one time my parents ran a bakery, and my bedroom was right next to it, I would wake up to those tempting aromas wafting from the bakery every morning! The bakery became very popular, and my mum started delivering bread around the neighbourhood, my mum was the business person in the family! She even started selling smoked fish at one point.

When did you develop a love for cooking?

I started cooking when I was very young, helping my mum and aunts…we always had different aunts living with us at different times! In the Philippines a young girl always learns how to do the rice first, cleaning, sorting and cooking the rice. The rest came from me.   When I came to Canada, I would explore different cuisines and try to recreate the dishes at home.   I had a working holiday in France in an office; I quickly realized this was not my passion. I left my desk job and went to culinary school in France where I did what I love. I love the environment of being in a professional kitchen, the hustle and the adrenalin; to me, it is almost like dancing; I feel fulfilled.

How do you express your love for cooking and culture?

I love cooking for friends and family; it brings me joy to share what I like. If I am testing something new, I want their opinions. I love food; I think it brings people together. Food is in the center and so much happens around it; sharing stories and gathering together.

What makes Filipino cuisine special?

Every meal tells a story; it will tell you a little bit of its past because of the influences different countries had in the Philippines. For me, it is home; it brings me back to my roots.

What is your cooking philosophy?

We need to be very patient with cooking to get the most flavours. We build it up and slowly extract the flavour. Love, attention, detail, and passion needs to go into cooking. Fresh ingredients provide the best foundation.

What guests are saying about Carmela's culinary experiences:

"Carmela is warm, friendly and welcoming. She shared her love of cooking and the Philippines with us, as we made Lumpiang and Pancit!" Mary J.
“I love food; I think it brings people together. Food is in the center and so much happens around it; sharing stories and gathering together.”