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Nicole Ponseca is an experienced marketer and cultural ambassador. Known for translating food and identity-politics with nuance and respect, Nicole has applied her decades of experience working with food,  brands and hospitality into a pioneering position as the vanguard of Filipino cuisine. She respects authentic flavors and an ardent proponent of pushing her culture in the limelight. The Washington Post quoted her restaurants' influence as immeasurable, and The New York Times said she was an “Empire in the Making”.

As the founder and creative director of Maharlika and Jeepney restaurants in New York City, she introduced Filipino food on a global stage. Her recent book, I Am A Filipino, sold out on Amazon and was declared cookbook of the year and received critical praise by The New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Food and Wine, Saveur, Houston Chronicle and much more. The book is a 2018 finalist for International Cookbook of the year by The James Beard Foundation. After 6 months, the book went into its third printing.

Ponseca is also a motivational speaker for young Filipino adults and an active fund-raiser for charities in the Philippines.

She is a graduate of the University of San Francisco.


Miguel Trinidad is the executive chef and owner of Maharlika and Jeepney in New York City. Both restaurants bring a modern perspective to Filipino cuisine. Formally trained at the Institute of Culinary Education, Trinidad has been working in the hospitality industry since the age of 17, starting as a delivery boy, working his way up to management, and later making the move into the kitchen. He was formerly executive chef of Soho hotspot Lola and is a founding partner of 99th Floor, a members-only cannabis club.

 Trinidad maintains a philosophy that food is living art and constantly evolving, and he keeps simplicity and quality as the two cornerstones of his cooking. Trinidad is a believer in keeping positive energy in the kitchen, which is ultimately reflected in the food. Returning customers and rave media reviews are a testament to this approach.

It was during a three-month exploration across the Philippines that Trinidad was able to hone his skills and love for Filipino cuisine. His travels and focus on Filipino food have garnered him serious credibility in the Filipino community, along with this co-authorship, with Nicole Ponseca, of I AM A FILIPINO (Artisan Books, 2018). The book has been named a Best Cookbook of 2018 by The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, among others.


What tasting are you presenting? How is this dish a celebration of rice?

We will be presenting bibingka, a Filipino sweet savory rice cake that shows the diversity of use in rice.

What does the future of Asian food look like? 

The future of Asian food is endless. As the world catches up to the different types of asian cuisine eyes will be opened and tastebuds will be excited.


What does celebrating 10 lucky years of LUCKYRICE mean to you? 

Being a part of the celebration of ten years of luckyrice is humbling and exciting for us. It makes us proud to see the growth in the movement of asian cuisine.

Join this dynamic duo at our LUCKYRICE Feast presented by Rémy Martin on Thursday, September 26th, 2019 in New York City