Philippines' lechon shines bright in Las Vegas

L FOR LECHON Dedet de la Fuente and Pepita's Kitchen crew

Apart from its most spectacular shows, luxury casinos, and bright lights, Las Vegas is also a culinary epicenter featuring the world's greatest food dishes. Proving that is the offering of its latest city jewel, the Resorts World, which opened last June 24, 2021. Coinciding with its launch is the unveiling of a 24,000-square foot food hall, Famous Foods Street Eats, housing the best meals Southeast Asia has to offer.

Among the dishes that caused the Asian food invasion in the famous Strip are Hong Kong's sumptuous dumplings, the savory Thai beef noodles, and, of course, the star of every Philippine fiesta banquet, the lechon.

Serving the beloved Filipino roast pig is Pepita's Kitchen led by its creator and owner Dedet de la Fuente. During opening day of the Asian hawker-inspired food hall, June 25, 2021, Dedet served to the people of Las Vegas her famous sisig panini and lechon with truffle rice.

Dedet de la Fuente at Resort World's Famous Foods Street Eats

Imbibing the spirit of the Sin City, Dedet put on a show as well with her stylized chef uniform made by Filipino fashion designer, Rajo Laurel.

"I would tell them I am really a shy person. But when I wear my chef's top, my personality changes into a diva—a Lechon Diva," Dedet said. "Everyone loves it, even the vice chairman of Resorts World. After I introduced myself as the Philippine Lechon Diva, smiled and said, 'I can see you from afar.'"

As for her lechon dish, let's say there's a long line of hungry diners salivating over her succulent pig. "Together, let's make Philippine lechon and Philippine cuisine a global sensation," Dedet mused.

Philippine flag on Pepita's Kithcen lechon dish

Famous Foods Street Eats is headed by Singapore-based nightlife and restaurant company Zouk Group, which aims to bring authentic and diverse culinary experience to Las Vegas with 16 different food stalls.

“Famous Foods will transport guests to an authentic Asian hawker market, an experience that’s never been replicated in the US,” Andrew Li, chief executive officer of Zouk Group, said in a statement. “After months of planning and carefully curating the perfect mix of partners, Zouk Group is thrilled to be able to unveil this special culinary concept to the city of Las Vegas, and equally as excited to bring it to the Strip’s most anticipated new resort.”

"We look forward to welcoming many of these concepts to the US for the first time and offering a truly unique dining lineup inspired by Asia’s rich history, lifestyle, and culture," Bart Mahoney, Resorts World's vice president of food and beverage, ended.

The crowd at Pepita's Kitchin waiting for their lechon orders