October 17-20, 2024

Francisco Augelyn

Augelyn Francisco

Kabisera

Born in the mountain region of Northern Philippines, Augelyn (Augee) Francisco seemed destined for a culinary future. Growing up, coffee wasn’t considered gourmet, no more than the humble grain of Filipino rice would be considered regal. She grew up on a coffee farm, where roasting the beans was a job expertly performed by the heat... READ MORE

Born in the mountain region of Northern Philippines, Augelyn (Augee) Francisco seemed destined for a culinary future. Growing up, coffee wasn’t considered gourmet, no more than the humble grain of Filipino rice would be considered regal. She grew up on a coffee farm, where roasting the beans was a job expertly performed by the heat of the sun, and brewing meant boiling whole beans in primitive pots over open fire.

A descendant of the indigenous tribe known as the Igorot from her mother’s side, Augee’s palate was influenced by the flavors of her forebearers’ culinary tradition which included stewed (nilaga), vinegar-marinated (kinilaw) and grilled (inihaw) dishes. Later on, when she was an international student in Korea for one year, and then lived and worked in Japan for ten years, Augee continued to add layers and depth to the spices and flavors that would be the basis of her menu offerings in her growing portfolio of businesses. Living and working on a farm, respect for seasonal rhythms, harvesting at peak flavor, and the role of nature were intuitive to Augee and governed her values in the kitchen.

Resourceful from a young age, she learned the art of bartering when she would be by her mother’s side with bowls of home cooked meals to bring to the miners working nearby in exchange for gold. The women in Augee’s family would take their raw gold to metalsmiths for smelting and then for pouring into molds designed or selected by their mother. Their home served as their storefront, and Augee was tasked to collect installment payments from her neighbors, always coming home with her rattan basket full of hard earned money.

Never one to shy away from hard work, as a child, she shepherded animals on her family ranch, learned to fish, farm, ride horses and other staples of rural life. The tomboy in the family, she was often alongside her father who helped develop the independent and fearless personality we see today.

Weaving her past with her dreams, with the love and support of her family, Augee and her partner, Joey Payumo opened their first food and beverage business together on December 2017, in a 200 sq. ft. space on Allen St. in New York City’s Lower East Side. There, Augee authentically and enthusiastically began to build her reputation as the brains, beauty and secret ingredient of Kabisera (“head of the table”). Within a few months, she moved to the larger space next door where she and her team never fails to delight their customers with a cup of love, a feeling of family and for the Filipino and the Filipino-American community, a nostalgic taste of home.

With her heartfelt interest in the wellbeing of her community, in 2020 she and her team dedicated their resources and time, while risking their own health, to the healthcare workers during the earliest, darkest and most terrifying months of the pandemic. Partnering with Kabisera’s neighbor, a non-profit known as 3 Stones Ministry, they collaborated with over two hundred organizations to sponsor and prepare meals and coffee for hospitals across all the boroughs of New York City. So much of the city’s healthcare workers are of Filipino descent, and Augee was overwhelmed by the response of her customers, old a new, and of strangers through word of mouth and social media, who donated amounts large and small.

As she became increasingly known not just for her flavorful but expertly crafted coffees, but also for the Filipino dishes and pastries she and her team prepared at Kabisera, members of the culinary community started recognizing the mark she was making. In October 2022, she was invited to participate in the Food Network’s New York City Wine & Food Festival. Non-Profit group, Send Chinatown Love also asked her to contribute recipes to a soon-to-be published cookbook they are producing alongside other businesses in the neighborhood.

Augelyn is also one of the founding members of the Philippines Fest, a Filipino-American organization founded in 2022 that produces large scale street fairs in New York City, as well as a handful of other cities across the US. It is a small and young group with big plans and ambitions to celebrate and spread Filipino culture, food, and creativity to a broader audience.

Augee has received awards from the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) in 2020; Ilocano American Association Inc. (IAAI) in 2022 and National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) in 2022. In June of 2022, she also completed the Institute of Culinary Education’s (ICE) Pastry and Baking Bootcamp.

Catch Augee at one of her locations: Kabisera on 151 Allen St. or inside the Canal Street Market on 261-267 Canal St., where there is a second Kabisera location as well as her latest opening, Chinatown Deli.

Augee’s words to remember: “every individual you encounter on your journey, whether they stay or they go, is a meaningful piece of your unique puzzle we call, life.”

READ LESS
Favorite Event
trade 07

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Trade Day hosted by Wine Spectator at Grand Tasting

Trade

Fri, Oct 18

12:30 PM

Trade

More Info
Favorite Event
grandtasting saturday 07

Grand Tasting featuring Culinary Demonstrations presented by HexClad

Grand Tasting & Culinary Demos

Sat, Oct 19

1:00 PM

Grand Tasting & Culinary Demos

More Info
Favorite Event
0000 Sponsor 1 (3)

Grand Tasting featuring Culinary Demonstrations presented by HexClad

Grand Tasting & Culinary Demos

Sun, Oct 20

1:00 PM

Grand Tasting & Culinary Demos

More Info