Three culinary books
- Lydia Castillo (The Philippine Star) - January 5, 2014 - 12:00am

It was a real delight that we got three culinary books this season, each with a different focus, two published in the country and available in local bookstores, and the third one produced in Bangkok, Thailand. These are certainly much welcome additions to our kitchen library. We spent two whole days reading each book from page to page, and now we share bits of information with our readers, hoping these will be useful.

Aroidee (meaning ‘delicious’) ISB is a compilation of recipes representing the 60 nationalities that compose the population of the International School of Bangkok, the book’s publishers. As global citizens, the school authorities are aware that in some areas, putting food on the table is not easy, thus they earmarked part of the proceeds of the sale for the victims of the tsunami that devastated the country in 2004.

Mothers, fathers, teachers, administrators and even students contributed recipes, some heirloom dishes handed down from generation to generation, a few contributed by household help in the employ of an international group of residents. Thus we see the Filipino adobo and arroz caldo, plus recipes from Kenya, Egypt, France, Spain, the US, Scotland, Italy, Japan and, of course, Thailand.

The last portion of the book lists typical Thai fruits, useful cooking and household tips as well as weight and measurement table, oven temperatures and food pyramid.

Kulinarya  – Expanded Second Edition, A Guide to Philippine Cuisine, published by Anvil Publishing Inc. The Asia Society, Philippine Foundation Inc. brought together six of the country’s most respected chefs to share their talents and passion in the promotion of our culture through food.

The book traces the history of Filipino cuisine, from the ancient eating habits of our ancestors, which showed traces that kinilaw is one of the oldest dishes we have. It defines Filipino food as malinamnam, a deep and complex taste, savory and fragrant. It lists the three major cooking techniques – paksiw, kinilaw and sinigang.

The reader will find familiar recipes and might compare how an individual cook interprets them. In the last portion of the book are some notes – Ways with Rice, Ways with Lumpia and Noodles and Basic Butchery Information. This is one book that any homemaker would want in her culinary library.

Creative Catering and Entertainment by Liza J. Alvendia, published by the Maya Kitchen. We feasted our eyes on the photographs of various table settings, projecting each mood and ambiance of an event that is being catered. This is a very useful guide for those wanting to enter the catering industry, or even homemakers who want to put color and life on their tables when entertaining.

It gives the ABCs of establishing a catering outfit, from the budget one needs, the equipment, how to staff the organization and even  how to fold the napkins. It has detailed instructions. The author has strong credentials, having been well-honed in the industry.

E-mail me at lydiadolores34@gmail.com.

A GUIDE ANVIL PUBLISHING INC ASIA SOCIETY CREATIVE CATERING AND ENTERTAINMENT EXPANDED SECOND EDITION INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF BANGKOK LIZA J LUMPIA AND NOODLES AND BASIC BUTCHERY INFORMATION MAYA KITCHEN PHILIPPINE CUISINE
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