The Regional Cuisine Of Cebu With Louella Alix

On today’s show

We’re going to the province of Cebu, in the central Visayas region of the Philippines, to talk about a much-beloved way of cooking with Louella Alix, author of a book called “Hikay: The Culinary Heritage of Cebu”.

Cebuano cooking in itself – like many regional cuisines of the Philippines, is a reflection of its landscape – with local communities that each have distinct ways of preparing meals and various traditional food products. Like “puso”, those perfectly steamed heart-shaped rice packets, and the famous “sutukil”.

I am so excited to dive into the regional cooking of Cebu. Let’s get to it!

Show notes

02:30 About
03:25 “I was commissioned to write about food”
05:30 The meaning of “Hikay”
08:05 How families eat
09:30 Writing to preserve culinary traditions
10:25 Cebuano adobo
12:10 Flavours of Cebuano cooking
13:30 The essence of tinolang/tuwang isda (fish soup)
14:00 Cebuano escabeche
14:50 “There’s ginger in everything”
16:50 Utan bisaya and the need to keep vegetables whole
20:00 Finding “Lagda Sa Pagpangluto”
25:30 Recipes from the book
29:30 All about torta
35:30 “This is my life’s work”
36:30 “Reality makes you optimistic”
41:00 A little context on local food culture
43:15 What happens when you eat an “old” dish
44:10 “Filipinos are all about food”


About Exploring Filipino Kitchens

What’s “Exploring Filipino Kitchens” about, you may ask?

Well, to be honest, it’s about me telling my story – and the stories of many amazing people from the Philippines who have contributed to what is arguably one of the most fascinating things to watch – and that is the story of how food brings people together. Continue reading

On Travel With Purpose To Manila, A Farm And Ancestral Lands

On today’s show

This episode, we’re going off the usual path – actually, quite a ways off from my studio in Toronto, back to where it all begins: the Philippines.

We can’t really Explore Filipino Kitchens, without going to the motherland, right?

So today, no interviews – just some raw thoughts from my trip, instead – and you’ll hear horns rise above the traffic of Manila, tricycles speeding by, the calm of the countryside and the best joke about a caterpillar.

Let’s go!  Continue reading

The Ancient Filipino Diet With Dr. Ame Garong

On today’s show

What can we learn from our ancestors’ diets?

This month we’re talking with Dr. Ame Garong, researcher at the Archeology Division at the National Museum of the Philippines. In 2013 Dr. Garong published a book called “Ancient Filipino Diet”. It’s the first study of Filipino food in pre-history – before colonizers or any foreign influence arrived in the Philippines – written to explore and understand the prehistoric diet of our ancestors. Continue reading

Cooking Filipino Food At Home With Betty Ann Quirino

On today’s show

We’re talking with Betty Ann Quirino – an author, recipe developer and prolific blogger at whose thoughts and experiences on cooking has personally helped me develop confidence in my own cooking abilities – to become part of what keeps global Filipino food culture alive. Continue reading

Building Communities Around Filipino Food With Joanne Boston

On today’s show

This month, we’re talking with Joanne Boston, a founding member of the Filipino Food Movement. Their vision for the success of Filipino food in the American mainstream has and always will be supported and inspired by community – the main theme we’re talking about on today’s show. Continue reading

Rediscover Philippine Ingredients with Amy Besa

On today’s show

Why does Amy Besa go to great lengths to find a vanishing fruit, turn it into jam, then serve it to diners who come to her restaurant in search of a truly Filipino meal? That answer is in Amy and Chef Romy Dorotan’s philosophy to cooking at Purple Yam – the restaurants they own in Malate, Manila and Brooklyn, New York City. Continue reading