In celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’re honoring the unique stories, experiences, and traditions that make up the many layers of our community. Andrea Serrano is a fashion stylist, producer, creative director, and content curator and was a member of our 2023 festival Street Team.
Who taught you to cook and how do you honor them?
“I grew up eating a variety of cuisines thanks to my multi-cultural background. My mom was Filipino and loved cooking her native food and sharing her traditions with my family and anyone who would come to our house. The closest Asian supermarket we had in Orlando at the time to get our ingredients was Vietnamese so I developed a love for all kinds of Asian food at a very young age. My Italian grandmother lived in the kitchen so I also grew up eating homemade Italian dishes. She would write her recipes down and share them with me. My father also owned a seafood market so we ate every kind of seafood you could imagine. Looking back I’m so grateful that I grew up on such a variety of food and culture.”
How has food influenced you as a person?
“In both Filipino and Italian culture everything revolves around food. It’s how we show love, hospitality, and bond with family and friends. Growing up family dinner was mandatory and this is something that I’ve carried on with my boys.
Filipino’s love to entertain and a good party always revolves around food, I’ve definitely carried on that tradition as an adult. A Filipino’s fridge is always stocked and they will always offer you something to eat when you come to their home. You will never go hungry at my house!”
How do you celebrate your heritage through food?
“Celebrating food and culture is in my DNA. Me and my family went to the Philippines a few years ago and they were exposed to all kinds of food adventures. This summer we’re going to Italy and my boys will get to experience more of their native cuisine. We always say, follow the good food and you’re guaranteed a good time.”