Culinaria: Musings on the Food World

Most of these thoughts were born out of spending my days (and sometimes, my nights) at my new favorite place.

A Place for the Middle Market

Why is it that most food magazines in the Philippines are targeted mainly to married women or mothers? I mean, I get how cooking is a role traditionally attributed to women, but times (and people) ultimately change.

Where is the food mag for the millennial or the twentysomething culinary student? Also, why is it that our culinary discourse seems to be limited to recipes, tips, or restaurant reviews? Filipino cuisine is so rich in history, and we’re missing out on so much by not digging deeper, and looking for the context behind how dishes came to be, how flavor profiles were built, and the overall story of our cuisine.

I’m still waiting for the day when someone will follow in the footsteps of the late great Doreen Fernandez in order to revitalize the archiving of our food story. We are at this point in our history when people are beginning to see the richness of our food culture, and yet there is no one there to chronicle these milestones.

Wake up, Philippine food industry, and write your story. Chronicle your origins, and your progression, your flavor building blocks, and the stories behind your flavor profiles. Your highs, your lows, your bests, and your worsts… believe me, ours is a story worth telling.

Dinner Table Dining Buddies

A favorite question that Bon Appetit magazine posts to its celebrity guests: “Five people you would invite to dinner, and why?” [non verbatim].

My answer:

Ming Tsai, so we could talk Asian food and he could teach me about fusing Asian and French flavors.

Mario Batalli, so we could talk food history and I could pick his brain for pasta and pizza dough secrets

Masaharu Morimoto, because he seems like a rather warm fellow and I’m sure he would share some good stories!

Ina Garten, because she is my comfort food spirit animal

Bobby Flay, because he loves spicy food and grilling!

So, in essence, four Iron Chefs and a Food Network icon. HECK YES.

A Righteous Read 

Thank you Vogue, for keeping Jeffrey Steingarten’s articles on your online webpage. There’s a reason this man is multi-awarded and a bestselling writer. Looking for a witty brand of warm humor mixed with pragmatic wit? Jeffrey’s your man. Key articles to check out are his “Cooking with Pot” piece and his story on going cold turkey with good old gluten.

Best-O Resto Bucket List 

I have read about a ton of restaurants both here and abroad, and I admit I’ve pined for some. Examples include Jiro’s sushi bar in Japan (the subject of the deliriously delicious documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi), Nobu, Noma, Aubergine, Mesa Grill, and perhaps any restaurant owned by David Chang.

A detailed list will follow in one of my succeeding entries.

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