Filipino-Norwegian chef apologizes after bashing Filipino food on Norwegian TV

Filipino-Norwegian chef Jonathan Romano. Photo: Nordic Pinoy via Facebook

A statement during a Norwegian TV show about Filipino food being “very bad” has landed Filipino-Norwegian chef Jonathan Romano at the receiving end of criticism by the Philippine Embassy in Norway, media PhilStar reports. Jonathan Romano has apologized and said that his comments were taken out of context but that he simply stated his subjective opinion.

While participating in Norway’s “4-stjerners middag” TV show chef Jonathan Romano was asked about Filipino food and answered that it is “very bad”. “It’s very bad food. In the eyes of a chef, there is no food art, unfortunately. Lots of fat and deep-fried, fried-to-death stuff like casserole dishes if you can put it that way,” he said. “They do not have the same taste composition as Thai food. Filipino food is more on the sour side,” he added.

After his statements, the Philippine Embassy in Norway released a statement on their official Facebook page. “Whoever says Philippine cuisine is ‘dårlig mat’ (bad food) should definitely visit the Philippines to discover and rediscover the richness, freshness, and regional variety of Filipino food,” the embassy said.

“Filipino food across the country’s 7,641 islands have different flavors and colors and are influenced by the Philippines’ natural resources, culture, and history. Filipino food also reflects the sharing attitude and generosity of Filipinos. You can never leave a Filipino home without being invited to share a meal,” it added.

Following the Embassy’s statement Chef Jonathan Romano has apologized. “I apologize for the words that came out on my TV appearance recently. Everything came out of context and I am so sorry,” he said.

“I am an educated chef with long experience and was just giving my subjective opinion. Of course, I like Filipino food and would not badmouth it without backing it up. I was born in Manila in the Philippines and I have visited 30 times and of course, I love my country. However, I will admit that my mother can’t cook,” he added.

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