Casa Basa Project
Updated: Jun 12, 2019
Finding a sense of belonging through food, recreating the tastes of home and sharing with friends and family.
I am the chef and voice of Casa Basa. I was born in Manila, Philippines and grew up in the US. I spent my childhood being shuffled between big city Los Angeles, CA and the small town of Beaumont, TX. I currently live in Oslo, Norway with my Norwegian husband, rambunctious twin boys and a mighty daughter.
Casa Basa started as a project where I could share the sense of belonging I found in my kitchen. By inviting my new friends and family to my home, we got to know each other one meal at a time. I connected with my community through the conversations around my kitchen table. We continue to learn from each other, not only how to cook new dishes but how to get through our days, sharing life skills to get through dark winters, how to survive challenging years with young children and enjoy meaningful that evolve over time as we get older and wiser.
What gives someone that sense of belonging? For me it was the flavors from my childhood, the mix of Filipino, Mexican, and American southern traditions. I also missed the eclectic dishes that converge in the US from all corners of the world. The vastness of the U.S. makes it difficult to identify American cuisine. I wanted to represent this diversity in my kitchen using local ingredients and respecting the unique cultural experience of living Norway. When I moved to Oslo, I searched for these ‘tastes of home’. After many calls to my grandmother back in Texas, lots of trial and error, searching through food blogs, pinterest and stacks of cook books, I found ways to recreate the dishes I missed and experience new flavors inspired by my new home and the friendships made at my dinner table.