Filipina shares food, culture, good vibes in Virginia town
BERRYVILLE, Virginia— Cars line up to pick up boxed orders of egg rolls or chicken fried rice sprinkled with crunchy bacon or barbecued chicken skewers – all cooked by Violah Lee, a Filipino American who learned to make those dishes as a girl in the Philippines.
Lee takes orders through the Facebook group she started, “Filipino Food for Clarke County, Va.”
She doesn’t charge a specific dollar amount but accepts donations that she re-gifts to community groups, says an AP report. She retains enough money to pay for the ingredients.
Within the days of her cooking project, she had collected $400 in donations. She recently wrote a $500 check to the Jack H. Enders Fire Company and she was getting ready to make a donation to the Berryville Police Department.
Lee also has a home-based business, the LionsDen Daycare. A former preschool administrator in Loudoun County, she opened her own center when she moved to Berryville in 2004.
She mixes food and cooking into her lessons at LionsDen. Each summer the kids take an imaginary trip around the globe, savoring foods at each stop. London includes a tea party, in Japan they try sushi.
She often shares her food with her fellow church members at Winchester Church of God or with local first responders. For local firefighters she recently served rice, chicken adobo and pancit (noodles).
Crisvic Garrett, Lee’s business partner who is also Filipina, helps out with the childcare business and with the Filipino cooking project. They hand-roll the lumpia, and sometimes Lee makes a pizza-flavored version filled with ham, cheese, tomato sauce and sweet peppers.