Gino Gonzalez & China Cojuangco find the right recipe for love
THE READING CLUB - Girlie Rodis (The Philippine Star) - March 24, 2013 - 12:00am

The love of food got them together — China Cojuangco (the last single daughter of Peping and Tingting Cojuangco) met Gino Gonzalez (son of famous chef Gene Gonzalez, himself a chef) when she enrolled in the Gonzalez family-owned culinary school around seven years ago. I asked the couple to share their love story and their favorite books.

Gino says: “That pretty face caught my attention and we would have good conversations because we are the same age and I guess we have a lot of common friends. Which is why it is surprising that I only met her when we were already in our late 20s. We both love to travel, to explore new places (both expensive and hole-  in-the-wall places). She knows quite a lot about cars and a lot more. Basically after she graduated from culinary school everything just fell into place.”

China says: “Gino and I get along so well. We have the same interests and we complement and take care of each other. Timing also plays a vital role in a relationship. We are at the right age and stage of our lives wherein we both would like to settle down.”

Well, that sounds like there will be an announcement soon.

Gino Gonzalez:

1. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. “The book says so much reality about the kitchen and his wit always cracks me up.”

2. The French Laundry by Thomas Keller. “It’s a staple for me. He is one of the chefs I look up to in terms of technique and precision. That book still inspires me up to this day.”

3. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. “This is a great book. It teaches you some protocols and ways of life that you don’t learn in school.”

4. What Einstein Told His Cook by Robert Wolke. “It is kitchen science explained in an interesting way.”

5. Mr. Jones Rules by Dylan Jones. “China gave it to me a long time ago and I knew that she knew me well when she gave it to me. The book contains a lot of topics that I am interested in, especially fashion and those little quips about other things that are very informative.”

China Cojuangco:

1. Meals in Minutes by Gino Gonzalez. “A guide to prepare quick and easy dishes in a flash and, of course, it is written by Gino.”

2. Don’t Try This At Home edited by Kimberly Witherspoon and Andrew Friedman, “This book is simply funny in its own ways and entertaining. It shows you that world famous chefs also experience catastrophes in the kitchen.”

3. The Frugal Gourmet by Jeff Smith.  “This is a one-of-a-kind classic for culinary enthusiasts.”

4. Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus by John Gray. “It’s a book that can be read over an over again as a guide for personal and social relationships.”

5. Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. “It’s young, has the mix of romance and suspense and when the movies came out, it made me imagine what I was reading in comparison with what I was watching.”

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The Reading Club recommends Simply Jesse by Yvette Fernandez, inspired by the real-life story of Jesse Robredo and from the point of view of youngest daughter Jillian Robredo. Available at all National Book Stores and Powerbooks.

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