On today’s show
Today we’re talking with Bryan Koh, author of the book “Milk Pigs and Violet Gold” – a hardcover title from a Philippine university press, first published in 2013 and then re-issued three years later to the rest of Southeast Asia.
The illustrations, photos and artwork in Bryan’s books are BEAUTIFUL. Turning the pages, I’m driven by the narrative, structure, and immediacy of his stories – like I feel like I’m there – and constantly think, reading the recipes…that “really, that’s all it takes to make that?”
But of course, it’s never just that! It isn’t just gathering ingredients in a bowl, and not even just knowing the right technique – whether you’re making handmade noodles or one of the dozens of kakanin, or rice cakes, that are in the book. What I really love about Milk Pigs is that sense of discovery, of excitement – like how the food he writes about sounds totally familiar, but at the same time, also really new.
Come along with us for this month’s adventures in Philippine cookery.
02:45 How the book started
05:30 Why write about Philippine cuisine?
07:05 Getting by with a little help from friends
09:00 The reality of travel
10:05 Why guides are crucial
11:25 “Research is ongoing”
12:25 Foods of the Ilocos Region
13:35 “You never really know until you travel”
14:05 On locals’ generosity
15:05 A Filipino approach to cooking
17:50 How much rests on the quality of ingredients
20:30 “No wonder people feel so strongly!”
22:20 On food terminology
25:00 Feedback from readers
Links for this episode
- You can order a copy of Bryan’s books through The Kitchen Bookstore