^

Cookbooks tell stories

- Lydia Castillo () - January 29, 2012 - 12:00am

Cookbooks, internationally, are the bestsellers among all titles. We can agree to that, considering most of them in the market tell an interesting story. It could be about being exposed, very early in life, to mother’s or lola’s kitchens; it could be about a simple love for eating; it could be about the influence of a successful chef; it could be about the delight one derives from different cuisines one finds in travel; it could be about ambition. 

We are among those who really read cookbooks from cover to cover, recipe to recipe, because we always want to know the motivations and influences of the author/chef. Recently, we have been lucky to be gifted with four cookbooks, each one telling an inspiring story.

First off, one our nephew and niece, New Zealand-based Kai and Lia, gave with a warning we may not find anything interesting in it. Produced by the NZ Red Cross, The New Zealand Red Cross Cookbook has loads of touching stories of how the group, for 90 years now, has carried out its selfless efforts to help the poor and hungry, the sick, the victims of disasters and wars, not only in their native land but around the globe.

They have a continuing program, “Meals on Wheels,” which brings food daily to the elderly. Their women have worked for years and years, some of them already in their 90s, still wheeling the foodcarts.

Among their recipes are bacon and avocado cocktail, mushroom soup, fish kedgeree (fish in rice and curry powder), lamb chops with chickpeas (NZ has very good lamb), and raspberry-almond tart.

American born and raised Bruce Lim’s “Inside a Chef’s Life” (Anvil Publishing) traces his career from a young age, when his assigned chore was to clean the kitchen and bathroom. He cooked his first adobo at 7. He trained in Le Cordon Bleu in London, worked in various food service institutions in Europe and the US and in 2008, the Asian Food Channel started featuring him in a show called Chef’s Table. He has since established his own restaurant called such in Bonifacio Global City.

The innovative Bruce has injected his own twists into such dishes as queso de bola fondue, grilled prawn salad with mangoes and smoked fish, fried tofu squares with green beans, and stuffed chicken leg adobo with crispy pork flakes.

Claude and Mary Ann Tayag’s co-authored “Linamnam” (Anvil Publishing) is a culinary book that is not focused on recipes but rather a guide to the many provinces, cities and towns where they observed regional cooking techniques, noted indigenous ingredients, as well as directing foodies to where good eating places are located.

“The Maya Kitchen Journal for Cooks and Foodies” is a practical diary. Each page of each day has a blank space where the home cook can jot down things to be done, while considering the accompanying recipes. The dishes are simple and make useful suggestions when one is at a loss for what to serve the family.

There’s a fifth book, which we authored, “In My Basket, Travel Collection and Recollections,” which landed 8th in the last bestseller list. This a product of 40-plus years of travel to various countries, each visit a delightful and delicious culinary adventure. This shows that food and travel make perfect companions.

The good news we received from the International Gourmand Cookbook Awards due in Paris in March is that our book has qualified as a nominee in the “Best Foreign Cuisine” category. Our publisher Anvil has declared we are already a national winner! Hurray! 

What an honor! Thanks to all involved.

E-mail comments and questions to ldcastillo327@yahoo.com.ph

ANVIL PUBLISHING ASIAN FOOD CHANNEL BEST FOREIGN CUISINE BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY BRUCE LIM CLAUDE AND MARY ANN TAYAG COOKS AND FOODIES IN MY BASKET INTERNATIONAL GOURMAND COOKBOOK AWARDS KAI AND LIA LE CORDON BLEU
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with