Meet the Food Content Creator Putting a Unique Filipino Twist on Traditional Barbecue

When it comes to traditional American barbecue, purists rarely take liberties with unique flips on the classics. But for Tone Ramirez of TFTI BBQ, letting his Filipino heritage take the lead in some of his barbecue recipes has produced genuine interest from many in the flavors he grew up with as a Filipino-American in the San Francisco Bay Area. There he was raised by his Filipino father and Filipino and Cajun French mother. “That’s kind of where my influence came from, from both of them,” he shared.

Ramirez has been resolute in paying homage to his Filipino roots by way of traditional American barbecue, knowing that it serves as a universal vessel for classic American flavors, thus enticing and showcasing to a wider and more unfamiliar audience the complex and flavorful heritage of the Philippines.

With October being Filipino American History Month, Ramirez debuted several of the following barbecue recipes that had mouthwatering Philippine influence and were creative flips of food that he loved to eat growing up.



The flip on this traditional Filipino dish is Tone’s use of thinly sliced beef short ribs in place of the traditional sliced sirloin. Bistek Tagalog is known for its tangy punch just as much as its tenderness, with meat that falls apart as well as a game of Jenga.



“One of the things I get most creative with is with wings,” admitted Ramirez. That’s heard loud and clear once your senses gather the deliciousness of his recipe for Tocino Chicken Wings. Tocino is a traditional Filipino dish of sweet cured pork meat and is often made with pork belly or pork shoulder. Having it in wing form unlocks the incredible and delicious potential of other Filipino takes on chicken wings.




Here Tone finesses the humble chicken and rice porridge into a jaw-dropping recipe that harnesses the potency of smoked chicken and unleashes a mouthwatering final product. “I didn’t really change much from the traditional recipe [here] other than the smokiness you get from it all. The flavor reminds me of my mother, who always made this. Arroz Caldo is one of my favorite Filipino comfort foods she use to make.” Mom would without a doubt be proud of this one, Tone.




Ramirez kicked off his Filipino American History Month series with this banger.  “Just a simple BBQ twist to one of the most Famous Filipino finger foods,” he said. I’m pretty sure that the beef cheeks that were smoked for six hours set things off with a level of tenderness that would make your favorite r&b singer jealous.




Jaw dropping tenderness, practically an act of love, is what I’d describe this Smoked Beef Rib Adobo. Which would be completely on point, as Tone’s take on the Filipino classic is an ode to his mother’s Filipino/Cajun French background and how she used to prepare it.

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