10 Nov2009

Martinis & Aprons

by Marketman


SOSYAL. In capital letters. I know that is what many of you will immediately think of when you hear about this book, Martinis & Aprons. Many of Manila’s ladies who lunch and members of the gated village “society” are included in this book, offering up interesting recipes, useful tips and entertaining wisdom. But before I go further, you should know that ALL of the proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit the Holy Family Home Makati Foundation, a sanctuary run by Capuchin Tertiary Sisters for abandoned and neglected girls. THAT is precisely the reason why Marketman contributed several recipes to this effort, and allowed Marketmanila.com to be used as a resource for produce, herbs, dishes, etc. So immediately retract those catty claws and read on… :)


In 2007, several local and expat ladies published “Silvia’s Book” – An Expat Guide to Living in Manila, which became a huge success and provided substantial funds for the Holy Family Home Makati Foundation… and that success led an expanded group of ladies to attempt a much bigger book project, now called Martinis & Aprons. More than a cookbook, it is essentially a guide to entertaining, with sections on table settings, floral arrangements, food selection, handling and storage, recipes, music, etc. and it took over two years to come to fruition!


The book provides an interesting glimpse into the entertaining lifestyles of Manila society, that not surprisingly, have their amusing share of recipes with shortcuts that make entertaining not so daunting and unattainable. I will pick on one of Lizzie Zobel’s contributions to illustrate the point (I know she will probably allow me this teeny-tiny bit of cheeky-ness) — her mother’s pink salmon mousse recipe made with canned pink salmon, cream, gelatin, etc. that makes a perfectly wonderful spread on melba toast. It doesn’t have to break the bank, and it isn’t necessarily all made from scratch. Works well for holiday entertaining. :)


So if you like to entertain, if you are curious what the ladies (and a few gentlemen) have in store, and if you WANT TO HELP a good cause, be sure to pick up a copy or two or three of Martinis & Aprons at Fully Booked (PHP1.300 each for a softbound copy). My only concern with this book is that it did not list a bibliography of sources, and while marketmanila.com and lots of individuals are generously acknowledged, I think there are other print/web/cookbook sources that were not mentioned. When you have items as specific as tables of cooking temperatures for meat and fish, pairings for certain foods, scientific names for flowers, etc., I can’t imagine these were all written from scratch and personal knowledge. I know a lot of cookbooks don’t bother to put bibliographies, but they should. At any rate, a very worthy effort for a very good cause, and I have purchased several copies and was honored to participate in this charitable effort.

For those of you with questions about where the book is available of whether they might be able to ship it to you, please contact the Martinis & Aprons team at Martinisaprons2009@gmail.com, and they should get back to you directly. Many thanks.



  1. chinachix says:

    I’m intrigued. the cover design and photography looks nice. Looks like a coffeetable quality even though you mentioned is softbound. Does it have mostly Pinoy food recipes?

    Nov 10, 2009 | 6:38 am


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  3. emsy says:

    though i’m not really a cookbook kind of girl, i guess anyone can be swayed into buying something when you know some part, if not all of the profit, will go to a good cause. :)

    Nov 10, 2009 | 7:42 am

  4. fried-neurons says:

    Do you know how someone in the USA like me can get a copy (besides telling one of my friends to buy one at FB and ship it)?

    Nov 10, 2009 | 7:48 am

  5. Marketman says:

    fried-neurons, I will text the authors and ask if the book is available in the U.S., emsy, I think ALL proceeds go to the beneficiary. And there were a few tasteful sponsors for the book, so some of the publishing costs were “underwritten” or “donated” to boot. Yes, this is definitely a “good” and noble thing. chinachix, the recipes are an interesting mix of pinoy favorites and many foreign dishes that you might expect to see in a Manila household that hosts guests often… some of the recipes that caught my eye: Conrad Calalang’s Barasoain’s Chicken Binakol and Beef Sinigang sa Kamias; Dee Dee Agustines’ Wagyu Beef Sinigang; Malou Fores’ Tuyo Salad; Sofia and Patxi Elizalde’s Calatagan Crab Relleno; Pia Lim-Castillo’s Kroeung (Cambodian Yellow Curry); Jay Gamboa’s Slow Roasted Beef Belly; Jennifer Um’s Japchae Noodles; Mary Ann Aboitiz-Arculli’s Tablea Brownies, to name JUST a few of the MANY recipes in the book. And there were nice hard bound copies but I think they sold out almost immediately…

    Nov 10, 2009 | 8:31 am

  6. cherryo, yvr says:

    Yeah, and those in Canada, too?

    Nov 10, 2009 | 8:34 am

  7. Betchay says:

    Is it only available at Fully Booked?How about in Powerbooks or National Bookstore?I’ll get one for myself.Congratulations MM! I can see that there are many new commenters meaning you’ve gained more followers!Keep up the good work!

    Nov 10, 2009 | 8:43 am

  8. britelite says:

    hard bound copies available at fully booked as of yesterday evening

    Nov 10, 2009 | 9:02 am

  9. Marketman says:

    britelite, thanks for that, I wonder if they did a second run of hardbound books…

    Nov 10, 2009 | 9:37 am

  10. Joyce says:

    the cover looks great. must remember to pick up a copy in december, hope they dont run out

    Nov 10, 2009 | 10:05 am

  11. VickieB says:

    A friend of mine gave me a copy of this book and I found it very useful! I still have to try out your recipes though :-)

    Nov 10, 2009 | 11:00 am

  12. susie b says:

    MM, just to let you know that if anybody in Cebu is interested in the book, I will have them at the Cebu International School bazaar on the 28th-30th November at the Marco Polo hotel. I believe that Artisan will be there with his wares as well.

    Nov 10, 2009 | 11:15 am

  13. Fred says:

    Thanks for this MM, this will make a perfect Christmas gift.

    Nov 10, 2009 | 11:33 am

  14. el_jefe@yahoo.com says:

    Britelite….how much for the hardbound copy? yeah Fred this really would make a perfect Christmas present…

    Nov 10, 2009 | 12:33 pm

  15. Teresa says:

    MM this must be a very good book and I am now so tempted to get a copy fast! The thing is i am still mourning over the lost of some 500 + cookbooks and more food magazines due to the onslaught of the Ondoy flood. I feel so bad coz i want to find the same books some of which were acquired from travels. I am so tempted with this book and i hope to find the courage to start a new collection.

    Nov 10, 2009 | 12:46 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    Teresa, I am so sorry to hear of your loss re: cookbooks and magazines. I too have a large collection and would be most upset if they were destroyed… I guess it’s a matter of slowly building back up the collection. Fully Booked in the Fort has a good food/cookbook section, so if you need a pick me up afternoon, head there to browse and allow yourself at least one goody to take home. :)

    Nov 10, 2009 | 12:59 pm

  17. Eileen says:

    I’m hoping that they will be selling the cookbook here in the US..

    Nov 10, 2009 | 1:07 pm

  18. Marketman says:

    fried neurons et al, please forward your questions/inquiries/requests directly to the martinis and aprons team email that I have added to the post above. Many thanks!

    Nov 10, 2009 | 2:07 pm

  19. britelite says:

    twas 1900+–btw i was at fully booked greenbelt last night–not sure about availability at the fort

    Nov 10, 2009 | 3:26 pm

  20. Teresa says:

    Thanks MM. Your idea is a great way to spend a slow afternoon. Yes, I hope to rebuild the collection. Lucky if I find the same books. If not, I simply have to look forward to new books as there are always new books coming out. I will probably follow you on the books which are featured in your blog. So please do include write-ups on your bed-side reading often One book in my lost collection, which i will surely miss, is the first 1960’s hardbound printing of Julia Child’s book on French Cooking, signed by Julia Child and the co-author. The book was in very good condition. Most other books by famous chefs were likewise signed copies. Sigh. MM if i do get a copy of Martinis & Aprons woild you care to sign on a page with your recipe. Here now, obvioulsy i’m your fan :)

    Nov 10, 2009 | 4:35 pm

  21. Perry Peck says:

    I think what your are doing is great! Why not eat from the pages of love and compassion. Giving money to a worthy charity. We did a cook book at our school and it raised money for the school. So I say go for it. Feed the soul and the belly.

    Nov 10, 2009 | 5:23 pm

  22. Alex says:

    I have scanned through this cookbook and was pleased to see that the recipes are truly promising. I am just wondering, MM why almost all our local cookbooks never include information as to how many people the recipe serves. Considering this cookbook is meant to be for people who like to entertain, this info would be quite helpful. I have quite a collection of cookbooks from many local and foreign sources and the number of servings is always stated. Maybe you can mention this to your foodie friends who are writing a cookbook in the future. I understand most of these recipes are from personal collections but I find this very helpful especially when you are estimating quantities for company.

    By the way, MM I told Gaita Fores that it is high time you come up with a cookbook. I think you have enough recipes to put one together. I am sure you have enough following to guarantee a market. It will definitely be more popular that your yearly brown book.

    Nov 10, 2009 | 5:25 pm

  23. Marketman says:

    Alex, you are right, the standard should be that it states # of servings. I just reviewed the book again, and some 20+% of the recipes seem to have the servings, but other do not. Actually, I have a book on how to best write recipes and it isn’t so easy… but overall, I agree about standards… As for the cookbook, I have struggled with the thought several times in the past. I don’t want to do it half-assed, so I frighten myself out of the prospect. I might finally buckle down and outline the contents page, write a few recipes and have readers test them for me. If things go well, maybe move forward from there… Teresa, would be happy to do so. Ms. Childs’ book is a true loss.

    Nov 10, 2009 | 6:06 pm

  24. Alex says:

    If you have read the book on Julia child “My Life in France” it shows how monumental a job it is to write a cookbook. She tested some recipes up to 30 times. By the way, for those readers who are fans of the movie “Julie and Julia”, this book is a must read. The book by Julie Powell is a let down and quite poorly written. The interesting part about Julia child’s life in the movie by Nora Ephron was based on the book “My Life in France” and not from the latter.

    I think MM, the thought of writing a cookbook is initially intimidating but nothing that you are unable to achieve. I praise your purist approach to cooking. We need more cookbooks like that. Most cookbooks in the market are repeats of the same dishes over and over again. I have been searching for really delicious home cooked recipes from the provinces like puso ng saging sa gata and the likes. Please give it some more thought. May this be your gift to the culinary world of Philippine cuisine. We will forever be grateful. I think you have enough friends in the culinary world to give you good advice.

    Nov 10, 2009 | 8:27 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    Alex, yes, I have the book and saw the movie. I fear a 10+ year process as well… :)

    Nov 10, 2009 | 8:36 pm

  26. jean says:

    Have mercy!!! You had me at “Tuyo Salad”. Must have a copy, especially as it’s for a good cause. I’m in North Carolina, so would also be interested in shipping to the U.S. info.

    Nov 10, 2009 | 10:02 pm

  27. Kit says:

    Hi MM! Thank you so much for featuring Martinis & Aprons in your website! Really appreciate the feedback! So happy to see all of the inquiries for possible foreign orders, I’ll discuss it with the M&A team and see how we can go about sending copies abroad for those interested. If I may recommend a recipe, please try Wynn Wynn Ong’s Sayote Fries found in the Vegetable chapter. You won’t be disappointed and it comes with a killer dipping sauce that you will want to drink when all the fries are consumed! Great appetizer when you have guests over. Cheers!

    Nov 11, 2009 | 1:13 am

  28. fried-neurons says:

    Thanks for the info, MM! I’ve emailed them. Am anxiously awaiting a response. :)

    Nov 11, 2009 | 9:07 am

  29. sha says:

    I will be back in the US next week will gladly buy this book.

    Nov 11, 2009 | 9:37 am

  30. ted says:

    @kit, please try to convince the M&A team about foreign orders. I want to order at least 5 copies for my siblings and myself.

    Nov 12, 2009 | 1:03 am

  31. SHARM says:


    Nov 13, 2009 | 12:19 pm

  32. michelle o says:

    I saw the book at Fully Booked yesterday. I browsed through it and liked it. I wish it
    had more pictures though.

    Nov 14, 2009 | 9:21 pm


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