Ricci and Irene Gurango, the husband and wife team behind Earthbound Family Kitchen, are used to a little pushback when it comes to their veganized versions of traditional Filipinx dishes. The Gurangos had both a restaurant and an organic cafe in the Philippines before moving to Seattle 10 years ago and remembered facing some skepticism from aunts and grandparents when it came to leaving meat out of a traditionally meat-centric cuisine. “Filipinos are very protective of their food,” Irene said. She remembers friends and family would ask, “How are you going to veganize that?”
Having made the switch to vegetarianism and then veganism for environmental reasons, the Gurangos were eager for a taste of home after moving to Seattle, and willing to bring their recipes to a larger audience as a pop-up. Earthbound Family Kitchen’s next pop-up is this Sunday, December 12, at community creative space and kitchen studio Kasama Space, featuring an all-vegan Pinoy Brunch.
Earthbound’s silog will include garlic fried rice, a sunny side up fried vegan “egg,” ensaladang kamatis, and three types of vegan meat: oyster mushroom tocino, vegan beef tapa, and shitake mushroom and tofu longanisa. Add-ons include taho, a dessert with silken tofu and tapioca, and hot tsokolate, a thick hot chocolate drink. The last time Earthbound held a Pinoy Brunch, online pre-orders sold out within the day.
Earthbound holds pop-ups typically twice per month, with one focusing on exceptional raw vegan desserts, and the second on a savory meal. Baking and cooking for friends and family was something the Gurangos had done since moving to Seattle. The idea of a brick-and-mortar restaurant like they had in the Philippines is still an ambition, but with four children in tow, Earthbound pop-ups provide a flexible and sustainable model for the time being.
Earthbound’s customers vary in backgrounds, from vegans who have never tried Filipinx food due to the abundance of meat ingredients to plant-forward Filipinos eager for veganized versions, to skeptical traditionalists, and everyone in between. One of Irene’s most exciting moments is “when people say, ‘I don’t ever want to go vegan,’ but then they say, ‘I can’t believe this is vegan.’”
Irene noted the rise of community-builders in Seattle’s Filipinx food community in recent years (like Kasama Space, and filmmaker Jeffrey Santos) who continue to inspire Earthbound. “I mean, when you’ve got people like that, who are really putting so much time and energy into elevating a Philippine food renaissance, it’s so helpful.” Unrelated to Earthbound, award-winning Musang is hosting a vegan pop-up dinner on Saturday, December 10, featuring vegan versions of popular Filipinx dishes like seitan kare kare.
Pre-orders for Pinoy Brunch can be made through the link in the profile of Earthbound’s Instagram account, which has the most up-to-date information on upcoming pop-ups.