W W W. C R A F T BY U M H . C O M (Cont.) Bagoong (fermented shrimp paste). And rice! What dish makes you happy and why? Pinakbet is a humble Filipino dish comprised mostly of vegetables (bitter melon, okra, longbeans, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, garlic, onions), but studded with bits of pork belly, and umami-bombed with fish sauce and fermented shrimp paste. Though simply made, it’s incredibly complex in flavor in that it balances all of the tastes (bitter, salty, sweet, sour, umami) in one bite. It’s my favorite dish in the world, and it makes me happy because it reminds me of dinners at my Grandmother’s house. If you could cook a meal for any three people outside of your family, who would it be? What would you cook? What would you talk about? My standard answer for this question has always been Anthony Bourdain, LeVar Burton, and Magic Johnson. I’d cook Sisig (a Filipino pork dish that Bourdain loved), Pinakbet, and some sort of adobo. And we’d talk about food, books, and basketball! Even now, after Bourdain’s tragic passing, I’m not taking him off this list. He meant so much to many people, but he was especially influential in helping to push Filipino cuisine to a larger audience. So, for obvious reasons, he’d be a great dinner guest. I grew up watching Burton on Reading Rainbow, and I’ve recently discovered his podcast entitled, LeVar Burton Reads, wherein he reads short science fiction stories aloud. It’s like Reading Rainbow for adults, and it’s awesome. I’m a huge Lakers fan, so Magic is the greatest of all time to me. What is something that my readers should know about Filipino foods and cookery? Filipino food is definitely worth seeking out if you’ve never had it. In addition to its own indigenous flavors, it features influences from Spain, China, Mexico, and the US – it’s the original fusion cuisine, and it has something for everyone. Honestly, a great Filipino dish (like an adobo), can be made with everyday ingredients already in your pantry, so people shouldn’t be afraid to try cooking it at home. What was the idea behind your book and why did you want to share with the world? My book, Pulutan!, is all about Filipino finger foods and bar bites that best go with an alcoholic beverage. I’ve always been into cocktails and craft beer (I’m now a Certified Cicerone®), so it just seemed natural for me to write a book on this subject. And as per the tradition in the Philippines, Pulutan is never eaten in solitude, but al- ways shared amongst a group of hungry and thirsty family and friends. Beyond food and drink, Pulutan is a practice in camaraderie and social bonding. Who doesn’t love that? What is next for you? After promoting Pulutan!, I’ll probably stop to catch my breath, take a break, and then hopefully put together another proposal for another Filipino cookbook. We’ll see how it goes. © Hundred-to-One LLC 2018. All rights reserved.