PH Consul General in NY Receives Fil-Am Baker, Author, and James Beard Award Winner Abi Balingit

Consul General Senen T. Mangalile poses with Abi Balingit and her book, "Mayumu: Filipino American Desserts Remixed." (Photo by VC Cathe Aguilar)

On 19 June, Consul General Senen T. Mangalile received Filipino-American baker, author, and James Beard Award winner Abi Balingit for a courtesy call at the Philippine Center in New York. 

Earlier this month, Ms. Balingit was honored with the prestigious 2024 James Beard Media Award – Emerging Voice Award for her cookbook, “Mayumu: Filipino American Desserts Remixed.” She was nominated alongside Ms. Abi Marquez, known as the “Lumpia Queen,” for the Broadcast Media Award under Social Media Account, and Filipino media company FEATR for the Broadcast Media Award categories under Visual Media-Long Form and Docuseries Visual Media. 

During the courtesy call, Ms. Balingit presented a copy of her book to Consul General Mangalile. “Mayumu”—the Kapampangan word for sweet—reflects Abi’s creativity, innovation, and her heritage as a child of Kapampangan parents. The book is a collection of fusion desserts, featuring classic Filipino recipes “remixed” with American influences. Some of the recipes include adobo chocolate chip cookies, strawberry shortcake sapin-sapin (layered rice cake), and ube cheesecake bars with a sesame cracker crust. Ms. Balingit shared that when she was working on her book, she drew inspiration from other Filipino-American chef-authors, such as Angela Dimayuga, Ligaya Mishan, and Nicole Ponseca.

Consul General Mangalile expressed his pride, stating, “Abi’s remarkable achievement shows the incredible talent and creativity of the Filipino community. Her success not only highlights the richness of Filipino cuisine but also strengthens our cultural identity.” 

The James Beard Award is a significant accolade in the culinary world, recognizing outstanding talent and achievement. The Emerging Voice Award specifically honors individuals whose work embodies excellence and originality in culinary writing. END