“The most important thing I want folks to understand about Filipino vegan cuisine is that it is equally as delicious as traditional Filipino cuisine,” says Chef Jay-Ar Pugao of No Worries.

He gave his final cooking demonstration at the Oakland restaurant on August 30th in front of a crowd of 20 people.  The aroma of sautéed garlic and vinegar from the vegan “pork” adobo filled the air as the diners felt melancholy—this was their last time dining at the brick and mortar.  Due to the economy, it was difficult to stay afloat in a society that hasn’t totally accepted vegan cuisine, let alone Filipino cuisine.

The team, including his brother Jasper, had to make a choice and they chose to transition into the mobile food business.

“The No Worries food truck is set to launch end of October/beginning of November.  As far as where?  We’ve got a few things in mind: definitely we plan on finding a parking lot to operate out of to establish a solid lunch crowd.  We also want to be a part of the phenomenal events at Off the Grid.”

With a truck, it is easier to expose their food to the masses from the East Bay to San Francisco down to the Peninsula.  Not only does he want to promote the flavors of the Philippines, Chef Jay-Ar is eager to show that it can be healthy too.  Because of his mother’s health problems in his early life, he decided to change his diet without giving up the flavors his family grew up with.

“Although our history has brought us to a point where our dishes are meat heavy, the foundation has always been the sauce.  So the majority of my culinary experience revolves around perfecting the sauces, then substituting animal protein with soy protein.  With this approach, I can then take traditional flavors and give it an innovative twist making Filipino cuisine healthy.  Fortunately with the growing trend of people making a deliberate change towards healthy eating, No Worries has been able to bring Filipino flavors to the forefront of the culinary world.”

This is certainly not the end of No Worries and its team.  They started their mission through catering more than 10 years ago and are not stopping soon.  By the time the diners reached the last savory course of vegan “chicken” afritada (pictured right), they felt a sense of relief when they realized it wasn’t the end of No Worries and they would still have a chance to eat the fod they had just had again.

“We will continue to serve our one-of-a-kind of cuisine, Filipino vegan food!  We truly believe in what we do, and really want to expand our flavors to the masses. No Worries has supporters who want to see us succeed and continuing our passion is our goal. So when you see the fork and spoon logo on our truck, you’ll know that it’s Filipino vegan cuisine.”

For more information, go to: http://filipinoveganfood.com/

Photos by: Joanne Boston (Vegan Adobo) and  Arnold Gatilao (Vegan Afritada)