From left: Chef Tatung Sarthou, Arci Muñoz, and Chef Gene Gonzalez have all recently released books that can help home cooks.
Culture Books

7 Kapamilya books that can help you sharpen your skills in the kitchen

From meal prep and food storage to creating sauces and cooking healthy, these recent publications can help you be a culinary boss. BY JACS T. SAMPAYAN
ANCX | May 21 2020

Philippine Cookery: From Heart to Platter

By Myke Tatung Sarthou

Named recently as the “Best TV Chef Book Outside Europe” by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China, this 10-chapter publication delves on native Filipino cuisine. By teaching basic cooking methods such as steaming, grilling, sautéing, frying, and curing, the jovial chef-author wants the reader to understand the historical roots of our hearty dishes. There are 71 featured recipes in this compilation, mixing Pinoy classics like tinolang manok and kare-kare with more unusual fare like bulanglang, piyanggang, and pinaupong manok sa asin. The chef also gives a primer on oft-used ingredients and cookware such as vinegar, rice, palayok, and bamboo tubes. Sarthou also weaves his memories of cooking with his mother and grandmother, including a touching anecdote about how adobo saved his family during World War II.


Cheat Days

By Arci Muñoz​

Intended to lift up the single and heartbroken (assuming the former needs lifting up), the book is filled with puns on cooking and love—particularly that elusive state of having “moved on.” “I want this cookbook to help others move on, like how cooking helped me. This book is also what I call a love letter to my old self,” Munoz explains. “Enough of the fast food cheat meals. For huge heartbreaks, I promise you, just cook and you’ll feel better.” Some of her favorite recipes that she has included here are monggo with chorizo, lemongrass tilapia, Cajun shrimp tacos, and mango sorbet. In between these recipes, she bares some of her favorites, including her love for garlic powder, polvoron, rock ‘n’ roll, and open kitchens.


Have I Cooked For You?

By Nadia Montenegro

A natural extension of her hit YouTube cooking vlog Cucina ni Nadia, this is a collection of Montenegro’s heirloom recipes and other favorites. Among the 50 recipes in this compilation are the favorites of some of her celebrity friends: Potchero, Callos, Binagoongang Baboy sa Gata, and her Beef Steak A la Nadia. The book is divided into three sections, pertaining to the number of people sharing the dish: family, friends, and big groups. Montengro is particularly fond of the latter chapter as she herself also runs a catering service and has a home that she describes as being open 24/7. “Cooking for 20 to 30 people will always be a norm to me,” she admits.


The Kitchen Scoundrel

By Gene Gonzalez

With a foreword by Lourd de Veyra, this is a collection of essays and recipes written by Chef Gene of his own adventures and misadventures in and around the kitchen. Frank and unpolished, his recollections delve on the good and the bad in the process of ensuring the completion of different culinary tasks. The writer Erwin Romullo likens the chef’s essays with his food, “except when chewed, it’s often with your mouth wide open.” The memories he shares are engaging and genuine, painting an honest picture of what it means to take up the chef’s hat.

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Dimps Tips

By Dimples Romana

Going beyond the kitchen, the actress shares 52 essential life skills in this particularly useful publication. While it is targeted for homemakers, many of the lessons shared here have a broad appeal. Such topics as time and financial management, mastering to-do lists, creating long-term calendars, and even mindfulness are useful for people of different walks of life. Among the recipes Romana included here are her salted egg shrimp, chili garlic crab, white tuna pasta, and ginataang santol concoctions. She also included tips on cooking Pinoy favorites like adobo, sinigang, pancit, and sisig.


21 Days to a Sexier You

By Rachel Alendro and Barni Alejandro

“Love your body and it will love you back” is one of the primary principles by which sisters Rachel and Barni live their life. The duo, who are co-owners of health food delivery service The Sexy Chef, is sharing more about that love in their latest compilation of fitness advice and fat-fighting recipes. Aside from including tips on slimming down and reducing stress, the book also demystifies the high fat/low carb diet phenomenon. Each recipe in the book spells out the number of calories and nutrients the dish contains. These include cilantro-lime shrimp stuffed avocado, beef and lentil stew, stir-fry beef with basil, quinoa and lentil tabbouleh, cranberry amazeballs, chocolate banana overnight oats, and dairy-free mango sago.


Dishkarte sa Kusina

By Myke Tatung Sarthou​

Chef Tatung shares around 100 kitchen hacks, recipes, lessons, and illustrations in this comprehensive guide for Filipino homes. This handy compendium starts with the basics, from storing, preparing, and cooking food to menu planning, grocery shopping, thawing frozen items, slicing ingredients, and creating sauces. Noting that many in the food industry have not gone to culinary school, the chef decided to write his book in conversational Filipino, hoping that it will help bridge the readers’ knowledge and skills gap.


All of these books are available on Lazada. You can get a discount on these books by just watching cooking demos on Jeepney TV. For the full mechanics, click here.