The pastry bakery cafe turned tasting menu restaurant, Chicago's Kasama is the only Filipino restaurant to have a Michelin rating in America. Spearheaded by Chefs Tim Flores and Genie Kwon began serving the community in July 2020, but with the pandemic impacting the business, the couple shifted their focus. To accommodate and keep doing what they're passionate about, Tim and Genie went from their daytime menu to incorporating a 13-course tasting menu that includes many of our favorite Filipino dishes.
Their dinner menu only started late last year and of course a Filipino favorite, lumpia which is only one reason why people keep coming to Kasama. Their online reservation schedule is released at midnight on a 45 day rolling calendar with notifications available to let you know when there's availability. The tasting menu comes to $215/person and also other options like a beverage or non-beverage pairing at $115 and $65 per person respectively.
They've received awards and recognitions from Chicago Tribune's Food Awards Critics Choice, New York Times, and more! The couple didn't expect to receive a Michelin rating as Kasama was in talks for The Bib Gourmand list which is just as prestigious a recognition but not quite a Michelin star. According to Chicago Eater, Tim shares how grateful he is to receive the news, "So many people have teared up at dinner. It was never my goal, The goal was just to make good food I grew up eating, not to help Filipino Americans get in touch with their roots."
With the serge of the pandemic, Tim and Genie had goals in mind to continuing serving great food accompanied by a great experience and they are delivering. It's fitting that the restaurant is called, Kasama as the word translated from Tagalog to English means "together." Filipinos value meals and eating together as a family tradition, but also in general we do things as a unit, which is how Tim Flores and Genie Kwon started the business. Now, it's also how many people will experience Filipino cuisine when they visit Kasama. If you're in the Chicago area, make sure to get your reservation and let us know your experience @myxnews!
Cover Photo Credit: Kasama Instagram