9 bestselling Pinoy food books to grab at the 38th Manila Int’l Book Fair

September 14, 2017 - 10:47 AM
Complete your bestselling Philippine food book collection. These books are now available at the 38th Manila International Book Fair, September 13 to 17, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Photo courtesy of MIBF.

Missed out on the food and culinary books of your favorite Philippine chefs and authors? Well, now’s your chance to complete your collection. These popular and important books are available at the 38th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), which opened on September 13 and will run till September 17 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Book lovers unite at the country’s biggest and longest-running book fair with the largest and most varied collection of literature for various topics like leisure and academic reading, including bestselling novels, to textbooks, to graphic novels, to religious publications, to stationery and school supplies.

Discover the bestselling cookbooks and culinary history books on Philippine cuisine that is being touted by many chefs and food celebrities all over the world as “the next big thing.”

Complete your collection of top Philippine culinary books—here are nine MIBF recommendations:

1. The Filipino Cookbook by Miki Garcia

‘The Filipino Cookbook’ by Miki Garcia. Image courtesy of MIBF.

Filipino cuisine is as diverse as our islands. Each region has its own distinct taste. The Filipino Cookbook explores these varied tastes with its different takes on classics such as Pinakbet from Ilocos, Pininyahang Manok from the CALABARZON provinces, and Christmas party favorite Morcon. Recipes are simplified for those just starting out on their cooking adventures or for OFWs who want to replicate the dishes without the guidance of an elder family member.

2. Kulinarya (A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine) by Glenda Barretto, Conrad Calalang, Margarita Fores, Myrna Segismundo, Jessie Seincioco, and Claude Tayag

‘Kulinarya’ by Glenda Barretto, Conrad Calalang, Margarita Fores, Myrna Segismundo, Jessie Seincioco, and Claude Tayag. Image courtesy of MIBF.

Considered “the bible” of Filipino food for many gourmands, this book features the country’s top chefs, the secrets of what make Filipino food special, and all the flavors essential in the cuisine. They also share some of their best recipes such as Deep Fried Pork Belly, Bistek with Onions, Rice Noodle Sauté, Stuffed Crab Steamed in Banana Leaf, and White Coconut Custard.

3. Food Tour: A Culinary Journal by Claude Tayag

‘Food Tour: A Culinary Journal’ by Claude Tayag.

Two things that Kapampangan chef Claude Tayag is passionate about are food and travel. In this book, Tayag, who famously introduced chef/ travel show host Anthony Bourdain to sisig and kare-kare, combines both with notes on what separates each region’s unique cuisine from the other and observations on what makes Filipino food, in general, distinct. There are also recipes for Tayag’s famous Sisig, Bagnet, Bicol Express, Bacalao a la Vizcaina, and other dishes. His illustrations also whet the appetite of any foodie.

4. Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan

‘Memories of Philippine Kitchens’ by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan. Image courtesy of MIBF.

Authored by the couple behind trendy New York restaurants Purple Yam and Cendrillon, the book goes back to the writers’ roots to present a fascinating look into Filipino cooking traditions, which relate to Filipino culture’s love of food. Besa and Dorotan go traditional, revealing techniques that are sadly disappearing but are essential to preserving the tradition of each dish. The couple shares their traditional recipes for classics such as lumpia, pancit, kinilaw, adobo, and lechon. Photographer Neal Oshima also gives readers a view of how these dishes are traditionally made.

5. The Adobo Book: Traditional and Jazzed-Up Recipes by Reynaldo Gamboa Alejandro and Nancy Reyes-Lumen

‘The Adobo Book: Traditional and Jazzed-Up Recipes’ by Reynaldo Gamboa Alejandro and Nancy Reyes-Lumen

If there’s a dish one can call stereotypically Filipino, it’s adobo. As immortalized by the film American Adobo, the dish is ubiquitous in a typical Filipino household’s menu, and because of that, many different versions exist. The book explores the versatility of the dish and showcases different recipes for it using different proteins that range from the traditional to the experimental, such as Adobong Palos using eel, and Kamaru using field crickets.

6. Philippine Cookery: From Heart to Platter by Tatung Sarthou

‘Philippine Cookery: From Heart to Platter’ by Tatung Sarthou. Image courtesy of MIBF.

What is Filipino food? For Chef Tatung Sarthou, it’s all about putting importance on the techniques and ingredients. In the book, Sarthou talks about the different ways Filipino chefs and cooks steam, grill, and cure, among many techniques, as well as the importance of ingredients such as vinegar, coconut, and rice. He also talks about the history of certain classic dishes and food such as pan de sal and how it was influenced by the Americans. Generally, rather than telling readers on what to do in his recipes, Sarthou encourages readers to “feel” their cooking, a very important part of cooking Filipino food.

7. Dessert Comes First by Lori Baltazar

‘Dessert Comes First’ by Lori Baltazar. Image courtesy of MIBF.

Top food blogger Lori Baltazar has a passion for food, especially sweets. In this book, she shares this love in four forms: essays, photos of scrumptious dishes, chef profiles, and her secret recipes. She shares again some of her most famous recipes from her blog, as well as exclusives such as her famous cheesecake.

8. The Filipino Family Cookbook by Angelo Comsti

‘The Filipino Family Cookbook’ by Angelo Comsti.

Foodie and author Angelo Comsti takes readers to the heart of the Filipino kitchen where many food memories are formed. Together with food historian Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, restaurateurs Robby Goco and Gaita Fores, notable writers Nana Ozaeta and Jin Perez, and 35 other prominent figures in the local food industry, Comsti shares more 50 yet unpublished recipes from some of the county’s brightest culinary minds to showcase the richness of Filipino cuisine.

9. Curiosity Got the Chef by Sharwin Tee

‘Curiosity Got the Chef’ by Sharwin Tee.

TV show host and chef Sharwin Tee has been making cooking easy for busy Filipinos through his show “Curiosity Got the Chef”. Through his book of the same title, he also displays the same easy, fun attitude to cooking. He shares recipes for some of the show’s most popular dishes, as well as exclusive ones such as Tinapa Carbonara and Lechon-Style Beef.

MIBF is organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc. in partnership with Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc., Book Development Association of the Philippines, Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc., and the Overseas Publishers Representatives’ Association of the Philippines. For details, call (+632) 896-0661 or (+632) 896-0682, e-mail [email protected], or follow @ManilaBookFair on Twitter.