July 18, 2024


Food & Travel Enthusiast

‘Kaya natin:’ The philosophy guiding Orlando’s newest Filipino restaurant

‘Kaya natin:’ The philosophy guiding Orlando’s newest Filipino restaurant

ORLANDO, Fla. – Ever speculate how you say “capable” in Filipino?

Very well seem no further than Colonial Generate, the place the respond to will be identified in the title of Orlando’s newest good dining Filipino restaurant, Kaya.

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“Kaya natin,” which indicates “we can,” is a philosophy the restaurant’s co-homeowners hope to imbue in the foodstuff and culture of their small business, which opens late summer season of this yr, getting more than the abandoned place left by Dandelion Local community Cafe.


“It’s type of like our way of declaring, like, we can all do this together. We can all feel differently. We can all participate in this local community together,” explained Lordfer Lalicon, Kaya’s chef who has worked in Michelin-starred kitchens in New York and serves as co-proprietor of Kadence, Winter season Park’s sushi and sake bar.


Lordfer Lalicon, who beforehand labored as a chef at the Michelin-starred Blue Hill in New York Metropolis and functions at Kadence, a sushi and sake bar based in Winter season Park, is now adding Kaya to his culinary repertoire. (Kaya)

Lalicon, together with his mate Jamilyn Bailey, co-owns Kaya, their brainchild born out of yrs of discussions bonding more than their roots, which started out when they very first met at the College of Florida in the Filipino Student Union.

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Now, they’re building their desire a fact in Orlando’s historic Mills 50 district, dwelling to a lot of other AAPI-owned organizations.

Kaya will occupy the area Dandelion Neighborhood Cafe after stood. Co-homeowners Lordfer Lalicon and Jamilyn Bailey hope to open Kaya, their Filipino great eating cafe, summer season 2022. (Kaya)

“It’s super neat to be accomplishing it here in the Mills 50 place, which has such a solid historical past of Asian Individuals really showcasing and earning (issues) happen … which is not shed on us. We’re so thankful for the folks who have paved the way,” Bailey said.


They are bringing that Filipino flourish into the combine, grateful to increase their voices to the stories currently stamped on the streets of this vibrant and diverse community. To Bailey, “a mounting tide lifts all boats” and the dynamic duo is excited to champion and enhance, alternatively than contend with, their neighboring corporations.

“The concentration is whatever you prepare dinner, you have to comprehend how it impacts… the local community,” reported Lordfer Lalicon, of choosing clean and community food items for his cafe. (Kaya)

While Bailey mentioned people today normally contact pork and other meats and fried foods to head when they believe Filipino food, she and Lalicon want to concentration on two other culinary necessities: greens and seafood.

“It’s heading to be Filipino great eating, so also a various acquire than lots of of the dining places that you see domestically … We want to also get edge of what’s listed here. We’re working with regional make. We usually say there’s nothing at all far more Filipino than employing what is in your backyard,” Bailey said.

Lordfer Lalicon selecting clean deliver from the Edible Education and learning Encounter in Faculty Park, which places an emphasis on farm-to-table training. (Kaya)

But at Kaya, it is not just about the flavor. It’s about mastering as you eat and receiving a glimpse into the historical past guiding the first Asian American group to occur to this country, Bailey explained.


“Oftentimes when persons find out about a new cuisine, our inclination is to consider to like nail it down into one thing pretty easy to describe and I consider at Kaya, what we want to do is make it even larger, expansive, genuinely check out the Philippines’ 7,000+ islands,” Bailey explained. “Lots of locations, unique languages, a lot of distinct immigration tales … that influences how we cook dinner and the way that that displays up, you know, in our properties. And so we want to invite men and women into our property at Kaya.”

Part of that ambiance is currently being designed with the assist of community designers, vendors and business associates, who they are collaborating with to bolster their neighborhood even a lot more.

The Kaya co-proprietors stated they usually collaborate with other neighborhood companies in the community. (Kaya)

“We’re genuinely like a hub a lot more than just about anything — a conference spot where individuals can discuss, eat and have a great time,” Lalicon mentioned.

Lalicon added it is a tenet of the Filipino society and a way to share tradition with the young generations.

“I felt like a good deal of us really do not speak our parents’ languages. (So we believed) what are the techniques that we can assistance the following technology genuinely fully grasp their culture as Filipinos? And cooking and having and being jointly was a major component of that,” Bailey said.


Growing up as Filipino Individuals, they mentioned there’s a ton of force from their elders to assimilate, talk English and dwell out the American Aspiration, which Bailey stated will come from a location of love but leaves the youthful generations wanting to understand additional about the society they arrived from.

Kaya is an prospect to showcase Filipino foods and society in Orlando, co-homeowners Jamilyn Bailey and Lordfer Lalicon reported. (Kaya)

“A large amount of my mates, they would say like … they didn’t want to have smelly foodstuff or they didn’t want to be found as different for the reason that they knew that they would be dealt with differently,” Bailey claimed. “But I believe we’re at a location now, you know, with the variety in Orlando and the subsequent technology, you know, they’re on the lookout for approaches to reconnect. They want to know a lot more about the place they appear from.”

Kaya is an work to fill that hole in understanding and to deliver alongside one another people who earlier lacked the option to join.

“We want to be that bridge and make it possible for any individual — fifty percent Filipino, quarter Filipino, not Filipino — you know like to feel (there is) a area the place I can master about Filipino lifestyle easily and have fantastic foods and drinks at the identical time,” Lalicon said.


To master extra about Kaya and stay up-to-date on its official opening date, visit the restaurant’s Instagram website page.

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