UPDATE: a new revised and updated version of Memories of Philippine Kitchens will be coming out  April 2012. This new edition takes into account that we have closed our restaurant, Cendrillon, in SoHo and have re-opened as Purple Yam in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.  The last chapter is a reflection of our relationship with food: the food from the homeland, how we are influenced by our Asian neighbors and how we transformed all those flavors to the new landscape here in the United States.  It is really an expression of our deep love for our heritage and also our home for many decades now: New York City.  Food is truly a unifying factor and it should connect all of us who come from different cultures and various flavors that nature gave us.  The journey to discovering our palate continues.

Memories of Philippine Kitchens

The essence of Filipino food has always remained somewhat secluded in the family kitchens of Filipino homes, passed down through the generations, melding native traditions with those of Chinese, Spanish, and American cuisines. With Memories of Philippine Kitchens Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, owners and chef at Ditmas Park’s popular Purple Yam restaurant, present a fascinating look at Filipino cuisine and culture. They have spent years tracing the traditions of the food of the Philippines, and here they share the results of that research. From Lumpia, Pancit, and Kinilaw to Adobo and Lechon (the art of the well-roasted pig), the authors document dishes and culinary techniques that are rapidly disappearing and in some cases unknown to Filipinos whether in the Philippines or abroad.

In addition to offering more than 100 unique recipes culled from private Filipino kitchens and their own acclaimed menu, Besa and Dorotan vividly document the role of food in Filipino society, both old and new. Filled with hundreds of sumptuous photographs by the esteemed Philippine-based photographer Neal Oshima and colorful stories of food memories from the authors and other notable local cooks, the book is a joy to peruse both in and out of the kitchen.

Memories of Philippine Kitchens was the winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) 2007 Jane Grigson Award for scholarship in the quality of its research and writing.  It was also a finalist for the Julia Child First Book Award.

About the Authors

Both Philippines natives, Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, own and operate Purple Yam, a popular restaurant they opened in Brooklyn in 2009 following their successful ownership of Cendrillon which opened  in 1995.

Neal Oshima is the principal photographer of more than two dozens books on Philippine and Asian culture, seven of which have won Philippine National Book Awards. He lives in the Philippines.