With a dream of opening a restaurant Elena Brodland is busy cooking food for takeout orders in Williams Lake.
About two months ago she launched La Lulon Bahay Philippine and Asian Cuisine.
She already owns the Burger Shed and uses the commercial kitchen there to prepare the Asian food.
“I’m thankful and overwhelmed by the support,” Brodland said, noting she previously had a takeout trailer next to Burger Shed but had to close it when her chef moved away to Alberta in 2017.
For Christmas she designed a party tray menu with such items as Buddah’s Delight and Chinese Lemon Chicken and will be celebrating ‘Noche Buena.’
“For Filipinos, noche buena is the night, and the feast, before Christmas Day,” she said. “More specifically, it is the meal eaten after hearing the midnight mass to welcome Christmas Day.”
In the Philippines, families eat together and greet each other and set off fireworks.
“On the table we have lots of foods such as Hamonado ham, adobo, caldereta, pasta, buko salad, young coconut salads and macaroni salads and then some sweets.”
As a young girl, Borland grew up around her grandmother Avelina Bondoc’s restaurant in Iligan City in the Philippines.
When she was about eight years old, her grandma would give all the grandchildren food to eat and question them about what ingredients were missing.
“She wanted us to use our taste buds to recognize the spices and what was missing,” Brodland recalled, noting how her grandmother also taught her how to cut vegetables and meat for each particular dish.
The recipes she uses today are all her grandmother’s.
“I’m so thankful for all the training and now I am making all the foods she made. They are all well-known in the Philippines but she had her own twist on how to cook them. I use all those tricks.”
Borland arrived in Williams Lake in 2005.