Sunday, November 18, 2012

Scenes from a Book Launching

Last November 13, 2012, the newest edition of the book, Memories of Philippine Kitchens was launched at Enderun Colleges. Authors Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan and photographer Neal Oshima all graced the event and signed copies of the book.

"Memories of Philippine Kitchens (Stewart, Tabori & Chang; May 2012; ISBN: 978-1-58479-973-3) by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, tells a story that all Filipinos should read.  It is the story of our cuisine, told in the many voices of our countryside cooks, and told from the hearts of a couple who have become champions of Filipino food.   
x x x 
In this revised edition, the authors reflect on their continuing journey as they delve into their relationship with food, explore connections with our Asian neighbors and how their food has influenced our own, and share how they embraced these varied and wonderful flavors, transforming them into the much-acclaimed dishes that they serve at their Brooklyn restaurant, Purple Yam.   
Filled with hundreds of Neal Oshima’s delectable photographs, Memories of Philippine Kitchens is more than just a cookbook.  It is about connections and cultures, stories and more than 100 unique recipes from local cooks around the country (some of them little known to us, but all of them researched and documented with painstaking care); it is about vivid food memories passed from generation to generation, and a love for our land and our heritage.  Whether you cook, or not, this book will fill you with joy and pride.
(Memories of Philippine Kitchens-Now Newly Revised and Updated, Press Release)

Nana Meng's Dinuguan
A panel discussion also marked the event. At the end of which, the guests were treated to cocktails and some selected dishes from the book. Among those dishes was Nana Meng's Dinuguan (paired with puto, of course) and Lola Anday's Chicken Kinulob

Lola Anday's Chicken Kinulob

The Kinulob was cooked onsite in palayok (clay pots) over flaming hot charcoal. As the name suggests, between the pot and the cover, there was a layer of banana leaves to seal in all the goodness of the ingredients as the dish cooks. This ensures that the chicken is smothered with all of flavors of the Kinulob.

Guests, including me, waited in anticipation for the Kinulob, and we were not disappointed. The dish was a spectacle even when cooked, as bright yellow globules of immature chicken eggs generously dot the "stew", and finally, before serving, it was laced with a kind of gravy made from ground chicken liver, artisenal patis, and calamansi. This curiously salty, tangy, and mildly bitter gravy makes the dish extra special.

I am sure I have heard about Kinulob for a long time, but I realized that I have never tasted it much less seen it cooked in the traditional way until that day. So it was truly and eye-opening experience for me. Now it may be the very first time that I have ever tasted Chicken Kinulob but I must say, the flavors of this traditional Filipino dish is certainly something that is comfortingly familiar. Much like what Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan achieved with Memories of Philippine Kitchens.

Php895, trade paperback
also available in hard cover

Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan is available in National Bookstore and other major bookstores.

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