The Future Of Pinoy Food Looks Bright In Melbourne

An all-female crew leads the charge in elevating Filipino cuisine.

Photo courtesy of The Entree.Pinays

The Entree.Pinays is a group of six Filipinas who are spotlighting Philippine food and culture in Melbourne. Its co-founders — Fides Mae Santos-Arguelles, Grace Guinto, Felis Sarcepuedes, Kristina Náray, Sandra Tan and Maysie Lecciones — were bound together by Instagram, family members and their love for (Filipino) food.

The group’s name is an accurate description of each of the enterprising Filipina foodies who happen to be the powerhouse behind some exciting events at next month’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFWF). We speak to Fides to find out more.

Tell us about The Entree.Pinays.

Our grand vision is for Filipino cuisine, culture and the community to be represented and celebrated within our own communities and mainstream Australia.

Our ticketed events are promoted through our Instagram and Facebook channels. Last year, we set up a commercial arm offering creative development and design, curated events and storytelling services — [in 2019, we did] Cebu Pacific’s first #CEBTravelSquadAustralia launch in Melbourne, and the celebration of its first Melbourne-Manila flight anniversary.

You’ve invited chefs Nicole Ponseca from New York’s Jeepney and Maharlika restaurants, and Jordy Navarra from Toyo Eatery. This year, you’re bringing in “lechon diva” Dedet de la Fuente and the Valencia brothers from Lasa in Los Angeles. How do you decide which chefs and personalities to work with?

We don’t have a formula. Nicole, we’ve been fangirls forever — she’s a female powerhouse and phenomenal pioneer of the Filipino Food Movement in America. Jordy, we’ve been following his journey since Toyo Eatery won the Miele One To Watch award for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2018.

It’s really about linking up with those who inspire us; people who are aligned with our purpose and values and have a voice and platform to amplify our narrative.

For more information, visit, and follow the group at and



This story first appeared in the February 2020 issue of Smile magazine. Cebu Pacific flies to Melbourne from Manila. 

Written by

Cheryl Tiu

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