Cook-book author Senator Imee Marcos reveals her president brother BBM is "arguably the best cook in the family."

When asked kung may non-Ilocano dish bang paborito ang kanyang ama, binisto niyang mahilig ito sa Indian food. "He liked curry very much—and I'm not sure if was actually the curry he liked or if it was all the mango chutney, the raisin, and all the matamis? He had very slightly disguised sweet tooth. "Hindi kasi daw s'ya umiinom so naghahanap s'ya ng matamis."

Photos: @officialimeemarcos @bongbongmarcos

When asked kung may non-Ilocano dish bang paborito ang kanyang ama, binisto niyang mahilig ito sa Indian food. "He liked curry very much—and I'm not sure if was actually the curry he liked or if it was all the mango chutney, the raisin, and all the matamis? He had very slightly disguised sweet tooth. "Hindi kasi daw s'ya umiinom so naghahanap s'ya ng matamis."

"I'm not a chef, I'm just a gangster kusinera."

Iyan ang natatawang pambungad ni Senator Imee Marcos during the virtual media conference for her cookbook, PinakBest!  kamakailan.

One year in the making daw ang cookbook na ito, which is a collection of Marcos-Romualdez heiloom recipes and new favorites na either ni-reconstruct niya or bibigyan ng bagong twist. Despite her busy-ness, naisingit niya pa talagang gumawa ng cookbook—with the help of Chef Reggie Aspiras—dahil bukod sa foodie, talaga raw mahilig siyang magluto.

Her love affair with cooking started early on in her childhood dahil madalas daw siyang maparusahan ng parents niya noon ng: "Doon ka muna sa kusina."

"Kasi marami akong tanong, e," pagbabalik-tanaw niya. "Ang kulit-kulit kong bata. 'Yong pesteng bata, alam mo 'yon? 'Yong maraming tanong?

"And then when my father and my mother answered hindi ako kuntento sa sagot so I will embark on a long-winded debate na nakaka-peste talaga. E, busy lagi 'yong mga magulang ko. Sa bandang huli, sasabihin na, 'Doon ka sa kusina!' Pasagot-sagot ka lagi diba? Noon, children should be seen and not heard. 'Yon 'yong uso. But I was heard all over the place. Hahaha! So, ayon may I go to the kitchen araw-araw."

Little did her parents know na imbes na maramdaman niyang parusa, nae-enjoy niya ang bawa't pagtambay niya sa kusina.

"Hanggang sa bandang huli, type na type ko na kasi masaya sa kusina, e. Ang gulo-gulo, ang daming kusinero, ang daming nagluluto... tapos 'yong mga tiya ko, my aunties were very active in the kitchen."

Dagdag-kuwento pa niya: "And then my dad tinataranta kaming lahat kasi 'yong papa ko kung tumawag, mag-e-SOS 'yon pag may darating na tao.

Iisipin mo naman 'yong dararating na tao apat, anim...sa amin, hindi! May 150! At may kasama silang bodyguard, may kasama silang alalay, may kasama silang tsuper. Naku, ha. So, ang tawag ng nanay ko doon hindi s'ya SOS, TOS na yan—meaning Tira on Silver. Mukhang sosyal pa rin pero tira actually."

PinakBest! daw, in her description, is "a glimpse of my life through food."

"It shows how matakaw we all were but at the same time, it brought my extremely public, highly-busy family together...all these dishes."

Personally, bipolar ang tawag niya sa kanyang culinary DNA dahil she has the asim of the Bisaya (on her mom's side na mahilig sa mga paksiw at kinilaw) and the pait of the Ilokano taste buds. Plus, of course, she's well-travelled so naka-acquire na rin ng iba pang panlasa.

However, mawala na raw lahat ng pagkain sa bahay nila wag lang ang dinengdeng na all-time favorite ni late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

"Ang tatay ko ay talagang mahilig na mahilig sa dinengdeng. As a matter of fact, pag birthday n'ya sa September in Ilocos, may dinengdeng cook off—na sa awa ng Diyos is becoming more and more weird and bizarre. Sobrang jungle food na s'ya pero type na type nilang gawin kasi alam nila that was my dad's favorite food."

However, instead of bagoong na nakasanayan ng lahat, iba raw ang type na pangpa-alat ni late president.

"Ayaw niyang nilalagyan ng bagoong [ang dinengdeng niya]," k'wento ng senadora. "Meron s'yang tinatawag na tokmeng...'yong maliliit na clams na yon ang pang-alat n'ya doon. Parang clam juice. 'Yon ang nilalagay sa dinengdeng. Favorite n'ya 'yon and 'yon ang talaga ang Top one, sa araw-araw na nilikha ng Diyos...sabi ng mga bata noon pati na ang aking anak, si Governor ngayon na nasa Ilocos, 'Ano ang ulam, Ma?' 'Ano pa, e 'di deng-deren-gdeng.' 'Yon kasi araw-araw. So, we love dinengdeng actually."

When asked kung may non-Ilocano dish bang paborito ang kanyang ama, binisto niyang mahilig ito sa Indian food.

"My dad, strangely  liked Indian food. He liked curry very much—and I'm not sure if was actually the curry he liked or if it was all the mango chutney, the raisin, and all the matamis? He had very slightly disguised sweet tooth.

"Hindi kasi daw s'ya umiinom so naghahanap s'ya ng matamis. Ewan ko doon. Mahilig lang talaga. Kaya sa Ilocos meron kaming molasses. I think you might have seen these candies called balikutsa? They’re actually molasses and noong bata kami at hanggang ngayon parating sinasabi ng mga lola,  'Kainin ninyo 'yong pulot, yong' balikutsa, 'yong panutsa...kainin ninyo yan, tatalino kayo.' Of course it has no basis in factual science. Haha!"

Bukod sa dinengdeng, lagi raw present sa mga hinahanda sa bahay nila ang pochero na may Pnoy twist na (meaning manamis-namis).

Besides the more-than 100 recipes na nakapaloob sa PinakBest!, mas interesting siguro sa mga babasa ang mga k'wentong kakabit ng bawa't recipe doon.

For instance, she reconstructed daw two of her brother BBM's favorite dishes namely Pasta e Fagiolli and Gumbo (a New Orleans staple). And of course, may kasamang anecdote or trivia k'wento 'yon.

"He's arguably the best cook in the family," describe pa niya kay president BBM. "He cooks very well, and very properly. Unlike me."

Ang PinakBest! ay available na now at P598.00.

You may visit the following Instagram pages for details on how to purchase: @officialimeemarcos, @iamreggieaspiras and @randcoessentials; or you may text: 09171538008.

 

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