Monday, November 12, 2018


Mrs.Wise was just happy and grateful to have received an invite to the launch of Chris Urbano's cookbook, held at the Australian Ambassador's Residence.  

This foodie can't hide her excitement, to finally meet Chris Urbano of, because I would love to hear him speak Filipino as he shares some of his loved Pinoy dishes.  Also, I love anything and everything Australian, so meeting the Ambassador herself, Ms. Amanda Gorely, is equally exciting!  And to top it all, who wouldn't love to have a taste of Chris' recipes, right? 

No reason to miss this event!  


Chris shared some of his experiences during the launch. Specifically, his interesting stay in the Philippines. It all started in 2007, when he studied Filipino language and Philippine politics at the University of Asia and Pacific.  From then on, he has not only learned the language, but also grown to love the food.

As he said, the best way to know more about a country and learn about its people and language, is to learn more about its culinary history.  

Candidly, he also shared, that one of the best ways of learning Filipino is just to go to the local markets and engaged in a conversation with the tinderas.  

So now, he speaks the language quite fluently, know the local products and ingredients, and finding ways of cooking Pinoy dishes with a twist.

He was just so happy to compile these recipes in the his book THE WORLD OF FILIPINO COOKING:  FOOD AND FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES. 


During the book launch, Chris demonstrated how to cook....   and how to prepare the Filipino Style Fruit Punch, which is basically mixing of local fruits (orange, red apples, kalamansi).

Chris loves street food. He said, he saved a lot of money when he was still a student, eating street food. For the launch, he showed us how he likes his Streetside Calamares.

500-600 grams whole squid, cleaned and cut in 1/2 inch pieces, including tentacles
2 tablespoons calamansi juice
1 tsp salt and pepper
1 cup corn flour / starch
30 ml spiced vinegar

1.  Place the squid, calamansi juice, salt and pepper into a glass and marinate for at least 5-10 minutes
2.  In another glass, place the corn flour and dust each piece of the squid so it is well coated and feels dry to the touch
3.  In a shallow frypan, heat your oil and fry the calamares in batches. Remove as it takes on a golden color
4.  Place the cooked squid on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve with vinegar

Chris said, the Calamares can also be paired with white wine. Just a TIP, if you choose to eat it this way, don't dip it into vinegar. The acid in the vinegar doesn't suit well with white wine. It will taste weird.

Next, Chris showed us how he cooks the Calumpit Longganisa and Black Bean Rigatoni. 

250 grams Rigatoni Pasta
10 pieces longganisa, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium sized white onion cut thinly
1 large red bell pepper julienne
2 cups water
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup black beans
fresh oregano leaves
cherry tomatoes
1 cup Pinot Noir  (optional)

1.  In a shallow frypan, pour 2 cups of water and boil the longganisa until it turns dark brown. Once cooked, remove the skin and strings and cut it into little chunks
2.  In a separate frypan, heat the oil and saute the onions and bell pepper over medium heat. Add the longganisa and the oregano and let it simmer for 5 minutes
3.  Pour in a cup of red wine to neutralize the longganisa's garlicky flavor. Add in black beans and cook for another 3 minutes. Add in the fresh oregano leaves.
4.  Follow it up with tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper
5.  Boil water on a large pot. Cook pasta accordingly. 
6,  Pour in sauce with pasta and mix well. 

I liked the blending of the of the garlicky longganisa and the Cuban Oregano. Chris is also an urban gardener like me, and the oregano, he swears, is an easy herb to maintain. I think I'm gonna try this recipe one weekend, especially that my local oregano is thriving well, and I also have local tomatoes planted in the garden  :)

Will just have to ask the hubby to buy us some red wine. 

Chris, by the way, is also a wine lover.  He is also in the business of bringing into the country some of the finest wines from different countries. 

So get to try fusion recipes... the blending of the Filipino cuisine with Australian and other international influences, do get a copy of Chris Urbano's book!


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