Food is memories. One bite of ensaymada from a favorite bakery brings back memories of after-school meriendas; a sniff of a favorite chocolate drink and suddenly one is a child again, rejoicing at home because classes have been canceled.
Food is love. For Filipinos, sharing food has always been part of the culture and an expression of care and love. Neighbors exchanging home-cooked meals during fiestas, potluck lunches in the office, reunions filled with all sorts of dishes … these reflect how Filipinos bond through food. Christmas — both the noche buena feast and the family gathering on Christmas day itself — is everyone’s most awaited time to gather at the dinner table and share not just our favorite meals but gifts, stories, and love most of all with those we hold dear.
But will Christmas this year be the same? With the pandemic-caused travel and crowd restrictions continuing to restrict families and friends from gathering together and the sustained spread of the virus dampening the supposedly merriest season of all, will we be celebrating the holidays like before? Or has Christmas been stolen by the Grinch that is COVID-19?
Lemon Grass Food Services Inc., a catering, canteen, and fine dining business specializing in gourmet Filipino and intercontinental food, believes nothing can stop families from continuing the tradition of sharing stories and love through food on Christmas.
“At the heart of Lemon Grass is a home-cooked meal, a passion for cooking, and my mom who started it all. We understand and value the essence of eating together as a family, especially during these stressful and uncertain times. Christmas has always been a time to reunite with families and loved ones – sons and daughters from the city and even relatives from abroad come home to celebrate. With good food being shared, the Christmas spirit remains alive despite the challenges we currently face,” shares Lemon Grass owner Ray Anthony Cleofe.
Lemon Grass offers gourmet-style Filipino favorites such as beef caldereta and pork barbeque and best-sellers such as fish salad and roast beef that can be enjoyed by the whole family and delivered to loved ones around the metro and nearby cities. This way, even apart, food and stories can be shared with the family – via a video call that is.
“Every food on the table not only provides nourishment but also creates new memories and brings back old ones. With every serving of our creamy fettuccine carbonara, shrimp picante, and parmigiana pasta, keep in mind that above all else, you have a family to be thankful for and share a meal with. As you bite into Lemon Grass’ cream puff, mango crepe, and chocoflan cake, remember that in the midst of a pandemic, love and the unfailing spirit of giving will prevail,” Cleofe added.
Christmas might look different this year – noche buena via a video call instead of the usual dinner table gathering – but with love and good food, even without your loved ones physically next to you, Christmas will be as memorable and special. After all, Christmas is all about saying thanks, sharing a good meal, and making memories to talk about in the years to come.