Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island chef features in Filipino cookbook raising money for charity
John Buenaventura and fellow UAE chef Nouel Omamalin partnered with author Flavel Monteiro
Acclaimed Filipino chef John Buenaventura has partnered with award-winning author Flavel Monteiro to launch Cuisinero – Taste The Philippines, a cookbook raising money for the Filipino Food Movement.
Recently appointed executive chef for Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Buenaventura and Filipino pastry chef Nouel Omamalin, aka The Nifty Chef, created 100 recipes between them for the new book which aims to put a spotlight on Filipino cooking.
Monteiro, who has also authored cook books in association with The World’s 50 Best, said it was a chance to showcase the “diverse and inclusive” Filipino cuisine.
He said: “Filipino cuisine is all about character and personality, in addition to being a fusion of many international influences. This is a cuisine where technique and ingredients shine with the balance between flavours – sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savoury – in one bite. However saying this, Filipino cuisine around the world is underrated, one has never heard of a Filipino fine dining restaurant in these parts of the world yet we see quite a few Filipinos who are part of the kitchen brigade but less than a handful who hold executive positions.”
Buenaventura and Omamalin were Monteiro’s first choices to create the book, with both having to dig deep into their heritage to come up with their recipes.
“This was a great pair for Cuisinero but each doing 50 recipes in a very short period of time was something impossible,” said Monteiro. “It was fun to take John out of his comfort zone and put his culinary skills to test with a Filipino menu. He scratched his head and found inspiration from his memories. Nouel returned to his Filipino heritage and re-invented a sweet experience in ways one would never expect. It took courage for him to create 50 dessert recipes influenced with Filipino flavours!”
Monteiro and co-author Kessa Ocampo both got involved in the dish creation as well, adding unique recipes of their own to the book which will raise funds to support the Filipino food business and restaurants in the USA.
Cuisinero – Taste The Philippines is just the start, said Monteiro, who hinted at pop-ups and food tastings this winter, plus a new book with 6-10 Filipino chefs from around the world to come in the future.