As Filipino cuisine gains ground overseas, not many Filipinos seem to realize that local gastronomy is spreading beyond the efforts of celebrity chefs and trending restaurants. In the last few years, Filipino cookbooks have been gaining momentum quietly. They have been winning numerous prestigious prizes, including the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
In 2021, the Gourmand Awards recognized four cookbooks by Filipino chefs and writers. Edouard Cointreau founded the Gourmand Awards in 1995. It celebrates the culinary heritage and tradition preserved in cookbooks via various media formats, such as print, digital, and video.
The awards are broken down into specific categories, each having at most four winners. Ninety-eight countries were represented in the winners’ pool. Winners receive Best in the World certificates, stickers that can be used for promotion, and the right to proclaim one’s work one of the greats.
Check out the Filipino cookbooks that made the cut this 2021:
Also Filipino by Angelo Comsti
Publisher: RPD – The Kitchen Bookstore
Category: Cookbook Bookstore
Prolific food writer and chef Angelo Comsti previously won a Gourmand Award in 2014 for From Our Table to Yours, an anthology of longstanding family recipes and the stories behind them. Building on a theme of nostalgic Filipino flavors, Also Filipino: 75 Regional Dishes I Never Had Growing Up goes beyond well-known classics.
Comsti embarked on a four-year-long tour, studying regional dishes that are just as meritorious as adobo or sinigang. More than a general how-to guide, Also Filipino serves as a safeguard to lesser-known Filipino cookery.
Simpol: The Cookbook by Chef Tatung Sarthou
Categories: Celebrity Chef World; Easy Recipes at Home
Sarthou’s written work has constantly received acclaim, including a 2017 win at the Gourmand Awards for Philippine Cookery: From Heart to Platter. In Simpol, the chef and TV host doesn’t waste time with semantics. The recipes are so basic, even the most uninitiated cook would have a breeze following the recipe. Apart from recipes, Tatung also included tips on cooking techniques and information on popular ingredients in Philippine cuisine.
Designed to be practical, this paperback carries a light-hearted, conversational tone, as if the effervescent chef is right beside you in your kitchen.
Managing a Food-Safe Kitchen by Maya Kitchen Culinary Arts Center
Category: Cooking Schools / Education
Cookbooks are often pigeonholed to recipes and dishes but Maya Kitchen’s Managing a Food-Safe Kitchen: A Guide on Sanitation for Food Service Professionals tackles a significant yet oft-overlooked aspect in the culinary industry.
This manual describes the ideal sanitation conditions in food establishments to avoid food poisoning. It serves as a practical and no-nonsense guide for developing an effective safety system. By employing hazard analysis and critical control points, foodservice operators can recognize potential hygiene issues as well as measures on prevention and solution.
Mesa ni Misis by Juana M. Yupangco
You’ll want to eat your vegetables now. Yupangco’s culinary journey began when she started eating moringa to boost her breastmilk supply. In her search to find more interesting ways to consume galactagogues, she came up with numerous ways to integrate greens into cookies and other more seemingly desirable foods.
Eventually, Yupangco became a healthy and clean eating advocate and her work was converted into a book at the height of the pandemic. Apart from recipes that feature ingredients any Filipino household would have in its kitchen, the book also has helpful tips on usual culinary woes such as alternatives to equipment.
Cuisinero, Taste the Philippines by Flavel Monteiro
Flavel Monteiro published his digital cookbook in the UAE, which technically doesn’t make it a Philippine entry, though it is Filipino nonetheless. The setting, however, complements the book’s theme, which is to celebrate contemporary Filipino food the way it is enjoyed overseas.
Cusinero was co-authored by Keesa Ocampo and chefs Nouel Omamalin and John Buenaventura. Monteiro has won the Gourmand Awards several times—Legacy in 2019 and Come Together – The World’s Finest Chefs in 2020.