Myrna Segismundo has a big, gusty laugh, a laugh that I associate with a person who loves life and lives it to the hilt. Now that I think about it, most of my passionate food-loving friends are like that. Whenever Myrna and I are seated at the same table at any of the food events we attend, I know that my sides will be hurting from all the jokes and comments she makes. The woman is a natural comedian. When she’s with Michaela (Micky) Fenix, another food writer, the night becomes a veritable giggle-fest.
Last Friday, I attended the book launch of Myrna’s latest offering, a cookbook entitled Philippine Cuisine: home-cooked recipes wherever you may be. It’s a simple yet substantial collection of recipes of food that practically every Filipino grew up eating ”“ good stuff that one never forgets, even though home may now be thousands of miles from the Philippines. Myrna is the managing director of Restaurant 9501, an exclusive corporate dining restaurant of ABS-CBN, one of the country’s leading broadcasting companies. Its chairman, Gabby Lopez, thought of having a cookbook for overseas Pinoys, and this is it.
The cookbook is only about 130 pages long, is in paperback, but it’s a treasure. The recipes are categorized accordingly: chicken; pork; beef; seafood; vegetables, rice, noodles; desserts; and condiments. There’s even an index of recipes and a glossary of Filipino ingredients for those whose Tagalog may be a little weak, but whose love for Pinoy food is still as strong as ever. While not every dish has an accompanying photo, there are enough to keep you happy.
Myrna is one excellent cook, and that may even be understating it. I can definitely say that this is the only Filipino cookbook you’ll need. Every kind of Pinoy dish you yearn to eat (again) can be found here. Philippine Cuisine will hit local bookstores in July, and will cost P350. For overseas Pinoys, I’m sure that this cookbook will soon be locally distributed amongst your own Filipino communities. After all, this cookbook is for you.
Instead of me telling you what kind of food can be found in this book, let my photos taken at the book launch show you.