With the goal of further expanding its footprint in the community, the Seventh-day Adventist Church office based in Iloilo, Philippines, has opened PiatoVerde, its first Adventist restaurant, situated in the heart of the city.
The restaurant aims not only to introduce various healthy options but also to make restaurant space available for meetings, health talks, and fellowship, leaders behind the initiative said. PiatoVerde focuses on imparting the Adventist health message through the dishes prepared and the kind of experience diners may find in that outreach center, they said.
“While the world offers a wide array of gastronomic experiences for everyone’s palate, PiatoVerde teaches the value of satisfaction through the stomach and wholistically, through body, mind, and spirit,” regional leaders said. “With the right kind of food, our body can reach its full potential to enable us to achieve a fuller, healthier life.”
According to Kerry Estrebilla, president of the West Visayan Conference in central Philippines, an outreach center like the one just opened can help gain people’s attention. It is something, he said, that can lead them to be closer to the church and Jesus. “The center will become a relationship-building and evangelism hub, open for everyone who seeks to feed their hunger and their longing for Jesus Christ,” Estrebilla said.
The restaurant is in the process of creating a presence in the city. Iloilo City is known for many succulent dishes inspired by various cultures and for creative fusion cuisine. PiatoVerde offers diverse options of healthy delicacies to make its customers keep coming back for more, regional leaders explained.
When asked about what the church wanted to achieve by opening this restaurant, Estrebilla referenced a statement by Ellen G. White, a co-founder of the Adventist Church, who wrote, “I have been instructed that one of the principal reasons why hygienic restaurants and treatment rooms should be established in the centers of large cities is that by this means the attention of leading men will be called to the third angel’s message. Noticing that these restaurants are conducted in a way altogether different from how ordinary restaurants are conducted, men of intelligence will begin to inquire into the reasons for the difference in business methods. They will investigate the principles that lead us to serve excellent food. Thus, they will be led to a knowledge of the message for this time” (Manuscript 108, 1902, par. 1).