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2017 Was A Good Year For Filipino Cookbooks

What a year in the culinary scene! In addition to the great new restaurants opening everyday, we discovered books perfect for cooking at home. They's not too fancy yet not too pedestrian. Overall, we say that one word we say when we're satisfied: sarap!

Feast with Me
By Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi
Published by Anvil Publishing, 2017
Feast with Me invites readers to peek into a life full of travel, home-cooked meals and free-flowing wine. Well known as a food, lifestyle and travel writer and TV host, Stephanie themes her menus, recipes, entertaining and wine pairing tips around her favorite destinations: France, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Vietnam, India, and of course, the Philippines. While the dishes may seem exotic to some, they are in fact a breeze to cook at home, using ingredients you can find in most supermarkets. There’s nothing fancy about her Oeufs en Cocotte with Mushrooms and Parmesan, Balsamic Beef Adobo or her Dark Chocolate Toblerone Mousse. Beautifully photographed and designed, the book inspires readers to travel to faraway lands and imbibe their flavors through cook-it-yourself feasts to share with loved ones. Available at National Bookstore

My Mother’s Philippine Recipes
By Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino
A popular US-based blogger (, award-winning food writer and FOOD Magazine contributor, Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino always writes and cooks from the heart. On the heels of her first cookbook, How to Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks, My Mother’s Philippine Recipes recreates the beloved dishes her mother used to cook in their home in Tarlac. Comforting classics include Sinigang na Baka with Lemongrass, Pancit Palabok, Crispy Pata, Pastillas de Ube, Coconut Leche Flan, as well as new dishes like Salted-Egg Potato Chips and Vegetable Siomai. Elizabeth Ann makes it easy and fun for home cooks to replicate all 30 recipes, with ingredients readily available in most US groceries. Available in paperback and Kindle format on

The Aristocrat Stories Since 1936: 38,888,888 Chicken Barbecues at Iba Pa!
Edited by Nancy Reyes Lumen 
Published by The Aristocrat Group of Companies, 2017
It has been 80 years since The Aristocrat has been serving “the best chicken barbecue in town.” This book commemorates the impressive longevity and popularity of this restaurant with a treasure trove of family memories and historical anecdotes from the 1930s to the present. Felice Prudente Sta. Maria provides the historical and cultural context of The Aristocrat’s founding in 1936. Victor Reyes reminisces about his mother and The Aristocrat founder Engracia “Aling Asiang” Reyes. Nancy Reyes Lumen divulges some of Aling Asiang’s best kept cooking secrets. The book also shares Aling Asiang’s recipes, told in story form, like Tochong Bangus, Pesang Lapu Lapu and “The Best Turon in the World!” Award-winning book designer Ige Ramos plays with pop culture icons and vibrant retro colors and textures, giving the book a pop art aesthetic in keeping with today’s Instagrammable age. More than just a memento for Aling Asiang’s descendants, this book should appeal to anyone with a love for The Aristocrat’s chicken barbecue and the fond memories it has fostered among generations of Filipinos. For inquiries, call (02) 635-6139 to 43 or visit 

French Kusina
By Xavier Btesh
Anvil Publishing, Inc., 2017
This book is Xavier Btesh’s autobiography in the form of recipes. French-born, of partly Syrian descent, and with a nomadic childhood spent traveling “like a gypsy” through many countries, Btesh has a gift for understanding different cuisines and flavors. His recipes cover appetizers to desserts, from France and the Mediterranean, simplifying the mysteries of making Boeuf Bourguignon or Chicken Lemon Tajine. His love affair with the Philippines is reflected in his recipes for Kangkong Pasta Gratin and Adobo Shepherd’s Pie. A delightful read.