The Philippine Embassy in Australia recognized Filipina Chef-instructor Michelin Galang-Dapo, the dessert innovator behind the classic Pinoy “dirty” ice cream in Sydney, as an exceptional Filipino woman in the country.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations, the Embassy has partnered with the overseas office of the Philippine Department of Tourism.
The collaboration has resulted in an e-book entitled Today’s Filipino Australian Women, which highlights the excellence of the Filipino ladies in their respective fields and their crucial roles in nurturing the friendship between the two states.
The publication acknowledges the contribution of Chef Michelin in bringing the flavors of the Filipino childhood favorite into the Australian market. She likewise shares her knowledge and skills in aiding the youth in their career goals and personal development towards becoming industry professionals.
Chef Michelin, with formal culinary studies at the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Manila and Le Cordon Bleu Sydney, is equipped with years of experience in five-star hotels and restaurants.
She learned how to create gelato from scratch during her stint in an Italian restaurant in Metro Manila. After settling in Australia, together with her husband Chef Chester Dapo, they launched in 2019 the ice cream brand Manila St. – named after her home country’s capital –with the main goal to elevate the Pinoy dessert into a “super premium grade”. This variant is denser and heavier with only 30 percent air.
“Filipino ice cream is equally unique as other flavors from around the globe. It is important to curate and cater to the international market to highlight to the world that with passion, aided with modern techniques, Filipino food can be as competitive as other cuisines,” she stated.
Manila St. first released Ube Halaya (purple yam) and Cheese Milk before adding Tablea Chocolate, White Chocolate, and Salted Egg de Leche in their selections.
They only use specially imported authentic ingredients: ube from Davao; cheese from New Zealand; and milk and cream supplies from a trusted dairy farm in New South Wales. The chocolates are sourced from Auro Chocolate, an internationally awarded tree-to-bar sustainable brand from the Philippines.
“We wanted to introduce Filipino flavors to the Australian market. It has to be competitive and of top quality to achieve the level of recognition,” she added.
Manila St. has found a following both from fellow Sydney-based kabayans who are longing for a nostalgic taste of home, as well as locals who found comfort in Filipino flavors. Currently, Manila St.’s Super Premium “Dirty” Ice Cream is produced at 500 tubs an hour and delivered wholesale to partner cafes and restaurants around Sydney and its environs.
In the academe, Chef Michelin served as the Offshore Director of Studies in the Philippines under TAFE SWSi, Australia’s leading provider for vocational education and training. She traveled back to her home country, particularly to Davao, General Santos, and Cavite, to ensure the sterling standards of the Australian Skills Quality Authority and the Australian Quality Framework.
As an educator, she guided the hospitality professionals and aspiring culinarians in Le Cordon Bleu Sydney, William Blue College and Sydney Business and Travel Academy. She then focused on her role in inspiring the youth as a success coach for Business, Culinary, and Tourism Programs of Torrens University Australia.