What did you think of Anthony Bourdain's drool worthy No Reservations last night? The fat crabs, the beer, giant prawns, spicy dishes with coconut milk, the beer, fiddle fern salad, sinigang, the beer. A few minutes into the show both the husband and daughter opened bottles of beer.:)
We thoroughly enjoyed watching him eat sisig, bone marrow, and goat head in Pampanga. He really seemed to love most of the food specially the crispy lechon and we appreciate his keen understanding of the diverse Filipino cuisine having only tried the food in Manila, Pampanga, and Cebu. I was also touched by his genuine concern for Augusto, the young man who convinced him take a look at the Philippines. I hope he goes back to try the specialties in the North.
I read in Claude Tayag's (his host in Pampanga) homepage that he gave Anthony a copy of KULINARYA: A Guidebook To Philippine Cuisine which Claude contributed to as the stylist and has a few of his recipes, one is the Fiddlehead Fern Salad with boiled quail eggs that Anthony had. Click here to read the full article he wrote for The Philippine Star on Anthony's visit to his home.
I like this guidebook very much. The photos are beautiful and the recipes are easy for a new cook or someone who has never cooked Filipino food before. The recipes are unpretentious in their simplicity, no fusion or anything fancy here, the Leche Flan has canned condensed and evaporated milks, NOT fresh milk, as majority of Filipinos cook leche flan using these. The book does not have all the recipes, it is just impossible to include everything because Filipino food, as Anthony has found out, is very much diverse and varied. There are few minor mistakes but I am glad that dishes that are unappetizing to look at like dinuguan (pork blood stew) are not included in the book. KULINARYA is a good start to introduce our food to the world.
Glenda Barretto writes in the Introduction:
The principal problem in branding and defining standards for Filipino cuisine is that Filipinos are by nature highly individualistic and diverse. Standards in our culture seem to exist not so much to be followed strictlty, as to serve as a basis of personalition. In fact, variation and diversity are the standard. The preparation and presentation of Filipino food is tremendously varied, even within the same province, town, or neighborhood, in the same way, for example, that villages separated by less than an hour's walk in the Cordillera mountains speak completely different languages and regard each other as foreigners.
Go get a copy and help KULINARYA's mission to inspire world-class preparation and presentation of Filipino food!:)