Meet the creative force behind Sarap Detroit: Dorothy Hernandez, a Filipino-American food writer & journalist, and her life/business partner, Chef Jake Williams.
This dynamic pair is on a mission to bring the rich flavors of the Philippines to a city in need of more Filipino culinary representation, and they’ve been delighting metro Detroit with their Filipino-inspired, farm-to-table cuisine at pop-ups and private catering for nearly a decade.
Dorothy’s love for Filipino food began in her childhood kitchen in Chicago, where she helped her mom prepare mouthwatering lumpia Shanghai and adobo. As an adult, she and Jake saw an opportunity to bring the delicious flavors of the Philippines to the Detroit area, a region that, until recently, lacked a strong Filipino restaurant presence.
So Sarap Detroit was born in 2014 with their first sold-out pop-up dinner at Supino Pizzeria, where they received an incredible outpouring of support.
“I don’t want to do stuff that people could get at home,” Hernandez told Eater Detroit. “It’s always been [about] finding this balance between trying new things and surprising people.”
Sarap, which translates to “delicious” in Tagalog, embodies the couple’s vision of a healthy, sustainable food system while staying true to Filipino culture.
They put their own creative spin on Dorothy’s childhood favorites, collaborating with local producers and sourcing as many local and seasonal ingredients as possible for their inspired interpretations.
“We don’t aim to replace your mom’s cooking,” the couple says. “We just want to reimagine and reinterpret some of those beloved flavors and create something that’s sarap/delicious.”
Follow Dorothy & Jake on Instagram: @sarapdetroit