‘What The Heck is Filipino Food? A Beginner’s Guide to Filipino Cooking,’ is the first cookbook in Australia solely based on Filipino food and has since won Best Asian Cuisine Book (Australia) at the 18th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The Author, Adrian Briones, is a prolific Melbourne-based food blogger (foodrehab.com.au) by moonlight and digital advertising wiz kid by day. Two years ago he travelled back to his birthplace, the Philippines, eating and photographing his way through hawker stalls and restaurants from metro Manila to the white sandy beaches of Boracay. All the way, gathering invaluable tales of food traditions and folklore from passionate locals. The book, which is in two parts, Merienda (snacks/light meals) and larger main dishes, replicating the Filipino style of eating, is based on his mother’s recipes. Briones over a two year period lovingly cooked, tested and photographed all the dishes in addition to creating new recipes of his own. He even experienced a near kitchen fire or two during the process – all in the name of research with the intention of telling the unique story of Filipino food culture to Australians. Born in the ‘Culinary Capital’ of the Philippines, San Fernando, Pampanga, Briones describes Filipino food as Asian Soul Food. “Filipino food holds a unique place in the context of Asian cuisine,” Briones says. My book provides an easy guide to traditional Filipino cooking and culture. There are also a few twists on the classics from ‘Pulled Pork Adobo Pie’ to ‘Frenchy Filipino Toast with Maple Butter’ – taking traditional recipes into the 21st century.” Briones’ fun, humorous and passionate personality is represented strongly throughout the book. The design is inspired by his love of comics, complete with flashy quote boxes, superhero fonts and cartoon characters. Along with easy-to-follow and mouth-watering recipes, the pages are filled with humorous childhood stories, giving you a fantastic sense of what it means to grow up Filipino.