“This is the book that I’ve always wanted to write.” I told Amy Besa, co-author of Memories of Philippine Kitchens, a book of Filipino stories and recipes gathered from all over the country.
“I get that a lot,” she replied with a sweet smile on her face. She was about to sign the book, so she asked, “What’s your name?”
“GJ,” I said. “I’m a food blogger. I blog about my lola’s recipes.”
“That’s great! You should write a book too!” she said. And that’s the same message that she scribbled as she signed her name on the title page.
The truth is, I’ve always wanted to write a book — a cookbook. I know I’m not the best writer out there and there are times that I loathe writing because, well, I write for a living. That’s what I do everyday, albeit it’s not as glamorous as being a journalist or a book author.
But Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan’s Memories of Philippine Kitchens essentially mirrors my idea of how I want my imaginary cookbook to be:
Raw. Thorough. Real.
It’s a storybook. A collection of memoirs on how us, Filipinos, whether we live in the country or abroad, differ in culinary tradition and taste, yet we shout in unison our love for Filipino food. Go to any part of the country and ask the locals what their food specialty is, and they will answer your question with selfless pride and enthusiasm.
The book is personal, because it talks about the authors’ experiences in their culinary journey. But it’s also something that we can relate to. This familiarity, I believe, is also what unites us despite our individual predilection in flavor.
We love and enjoy the same gatherings and the same family customs. We share the same passion and the same secrets. In fact, this very food blog that you are reading embraces that same vision and respect.
Perhaps, someday, I will have the opportunity to write my own cookbook. But for now, I will indulge myself reading Amy and Romy’s and gather all my aspirations and ideas on this blog. 🙂
Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan are renowned restaurateurs. Their Purple Yam restaurant in Brooklyn, NY is famous for its Filipino cuisine. Memories of Philippine Kitchens is their second revision of their original publication of the same title.