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Presentation: Chef Reina Montenegro

Formerly known as Nick's (Nick's on Grand, Nick's Kitchen, Nick's on Mission)
Friday, 10/1/2021
12:00 - 1:00
Virtual Library

Online Services
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Successful entrepreneur, Chef Reina Montenegro, shares her food journey, cooking adventure, provide a cooking demo and talk about her eBook, Plant Based Filipino Comfort Classics: A Recipe eBook Teaser.

Watch on YouTube. 

Reina Montenegro was born and raised in Dumaguete City on the Philippine island of Negros, and moved to the Bay Area in 1997. Montenegro prides herself as being self-taught in the kitchen, and started her restaurant career as a personal chef and caterer in 2012 when she decided, after 10 years at a corporate job, to follow her passion for food and cooking.


Montenegro has created dishes for Mayors Jean Quan of Oakland, Tom Bates of Berkeley and the late Ed Lee of San Francisco. She also catered events for Apple, NASA, UBER, Twitter, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock Investments and more.


In 2016, her catering business eventually led to opening a restaurant, ‘Nick’s Kitchen’ in Daly City. A year later she decided to change the concept to be aligned with her plant-based diet and cruelty free lifestyle; as the first Filipino Vegan restaurant in the Peninsula. Montenegro opened 3 popular Filipino vegan restaurants in the Bay Area; Nick’s Kitchen, Nick’s On Grand (opened 2018 in South San Francisco) and Nick’s On Mission (opened 2019 in San Francisco).


Now she has pivoted her business into an online storefront and has come out from behind the Nick’s brand, launching ‘Chef Reina’ in 2020, with a new brick and mortar home in Brisbane, CA. Reina is at her best when she’s creating in the kitchen. She enjoys spending quality time with great friends and her most precious humans, her children.

Lumpiang Gulay (Vegetable Lumpia)


2 Tablespoons Oil 4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 medium Onion, finely chopped

6 oz plant protein - ground meat substitute (widely available in stores)  (optional) 

1 cup Carrots, julienned

1 cup Green Beans, julienned 1 cup Jicama,

cubed or julienned

2 cups Bean Sprouts

2-3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce or to taste

1 Tablespoon Vegetarian Oyster Sauce or to taste 1teaspoonMushroompowder Salt and Pepper, to taste Lumpia/Spring Roll wrappers (paper thin variety)

2-3 cups Oil (or just enough to cover the rolls) for deep-frying

Dipping Sauce: (Mix together) 1 cup Soy Sauce

1⁄4 White Vinegar

1 t Garlic, minced

1 T Onion, diced

A pinch of red pepper flakes (Optional) pepper


Heat the oil in medium deep pan garlic and onions until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the vegan meat, cook till brown, add veggies and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add the mushroom powder, soy sauce and veg oyster sauce. Cook until mixed and heated completely, season to taste. Remove from the heat and place in a strainer or colander to drain all the liquid remaining. Allow to cool completely.

To make the spring rolls, place about 2 tablespoon of the filling in one of the corners of the wrapper. Roll the corner with the filling (spreading it a little) towards the middle.

Fold the sides inward to seal, then continue to roll until you have about 2 inches left of the wrapper. Using your finger, brush the edges with a little water then seal completely.

Heat the oil in a deep pan until hot, 350 F. Fry the spring rolls in batches avoiding overcrowding for about 3-5 minutes or until medium brown in color. Place the cooked spring rolls upright to ensure proper draining on a paper towel lined colander!

Serve with dipping sauce!


Connect: Chef Reina - Website | Chef Reina on Instagram 



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This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

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