Sunday, December 6, 2020

Keeping it Simple: Chef Myke "Tatung" Sarthou Launches Simpol The Cookbook at Pandan Asian Cafe

"Lesson Number 1: Keep it simpol. Always prep and organize." 

Noted chef, author and TV personality Myke "Tatung" Sarthou starts with a basic fundamental in his fourth cookbook in a manner and style that endeared him to his fans, followers and subscribers on his social media platforms. Like any major endeavor or battle, preparation is key to the success of any venture. It's a universal rule that also applies in the home kitchen. 

Chef Myke "Tatung" Sarthou recently launched his latest cookbook, Simpol The Cookbook, with a sumptuous lunch at Pandan Asian Cafe. In his fourth book, Chef Tatung encourages his readers to be inventive, resourceful and creative making cooking traditions more relevant and fun. With 101 recipes, each with a QR Code that links to a cooking video, Simpol The Cookbook is homestyle cooking that's as simple as A-B-C. 

Aptly named, Simpol is also the title of Chef Tatung's social media platforms for his cooking videos reaching millions of viewers. And just like his videos, Simpol The Cookbook details each of your favorite dishes in a style that personifies Chef Tatung's culinary approach with easy to follow recipes delivering rich and comfortingly familiar flavors. "Simpol is not just about simple recipes," explained Chef Tatung. "It's about embracing a more open mindset so we are able to focus on what's doable in our lives--simpol solutions to everyday cooking challenges." And during the quarantine experience, millions of households rediscovered the home kitchen once more becoming the hub of the family's activities with Chef Tatung's videos. It was, you could say, the perfect time for Simpol The Cookbook. 

I first met Chef Tatung eight years ago (for more on my very first encounter with Chef Tatung, see my post, Chef Tatung's Refreshing New Take on Traditional Flavors from 2012) and ever since I always knew he was a man on a mission of recreating real and comforting local flavors with a fresh and new perspective that's steeped in tradition. This is seen and experienced in all his restaurants, from dishes he grew up with at Talisay The Garden Cafe (step back in time with Chef Tatung's traditional dishes with my earlier post, Nostalgic Cuisine Recreated at Talisay The Garden Cafe by Chef Tatung in Maginhawa Street from late last year) to his vibrant interpretation of Southeast Asian flavors at Pandan Asian Cafe (see my previous post on Chef Tatung's creative take on Asian dishes with my previous post, Southeast Asian Flavors Shine at Pandan Asian Cafe by Chef Tatung from early this year). Like the man himself, flipping through the pages of his latest cookbook is like having a casual conversation with Chef Tatung making his recipes more accessible and doable. 

"Lesson Number 2: We cook to achieve deliciousness."

Chef Tatung's fourth cookbook breaks down the featured recipes into six chapters featuring Chicken, Pork, Beef, Vegetable, Seafood and Rice & Noodle recipes laid out in an easy-to-follow format. Stunning photos of the dishes accompany each recipe to inspire and encourage readers to approach the home kitchen with a fresh and new perspective. 

"Lesson Number 4: Season for a reason."

But unlike the usual recipe book, Chef Tatung goes a step further by breaking each recipe into components with the specific ingredients and instructions for each dish detailed in a simple "A-B-C" format. "The recipes are presented in a way that acts like a road map to get you from Point A to Point B to Point C without losing your way," said Chef Tatung. "A cook, like a driver, has to read through it from start to finish before setting off. The key to cooking a dish properly is to start with the end in mind. After reading the recipe, you would be able to visualize how it is going to turn out," added Chef Tatung. 

Take the Visayan Balbacua, for example, a traditional ox trotter, tail and tendon stew that combines both western and eastern ingredients in one sumptuous and hearty dish. The "A-B-C" format details the necessary ingredients for the dish matched with specific instructions to guide you through this Visayan delicacy like a pro...    

"Lesson Number 7: Know the difference between cooking methods."

...or the Stir-Fried Beef with Broccoli that's easy to prepare anytime following the same easy ingredient and procedure presentation. With 101 recipes detailed in Chef Tatung's easy-to-follow format, your kitchen adventures at home can be a rewarding and memorable experience. With Simpol The Cookbook, you'll be soon on your way to simple and flavorful dishes at home with the family. 

In a casual get-together with friends, Chef Tatung signed copies of his book and served Pandan Asian Cafe's specialty dishes with one of their sampling platters, a sumptuous assortment of tasty bites like Crispy Fried Shrimp Rolls...

...Fresh Shrimp Rolls...

...and Chicken Satay with peanut sauce.

Pandan Asian Cafe's colorful tapestry of Southeast Asian flavors continue with their rich and soothing Seafood Laksa featuring a bountiful harvest of fresh seafood with noodles and vegetables draped in a creamy and spiced coconut broth.

Pandan Asian Cafe takes you to bustling streets of Penang with their specialty Char Kuey Teow, a savory noodle dish with tender strips of chicken, Chinese sausage, fish cakes, eggs, bean sprouts and onions...

...followed by the Nasi Goreng, a complete rice meal in a bowl with chicken, egg and vegetables.

Local flavors take the spotlight with Pandan Asian Cafe's Kare-Kare, the classic ox-tail stew in a thick peanut-based sauce with fresh vegetables...

...while the tender Hainanese Chicken delights the palate with its fresh and clean, mildly sweet and delicate notes followed by a fiery spicy punch from the chili sauce.

The bold, beefy notes of Beef Rendang with its rich blend of spices that calls for another serving of rice caps another hearty meal at Pandan Asian Cafe.

"Lesson Number 5: There are many ways to infuse flavors while cooking."

"Why did I write this book? Well, let me ask you this: how many recipes can you cook from memory? Bookshelves have been squeaking under the weight of cookbooks resting on their backs. The fancier the book or recipe, the more chances it will collect dust in its own quiet place. Thus, I offer no apologies for writing this book that aims to collate and compile our favorite recipes for easy reference--and with a very special feature: a link to a video of me demonstrating how to cook the dishes, from start to finish, with all the tips and hacks you may need to get good results. Sometimes, it only takes adding an ingredient or two, or injecting your own twists to make the recipe your own," said Chef Tatung. 

The book also condenses the wealth of experience of Chef Tatung, translated in a refreshing and engaging style. Clearly, Chef Tatung has the cookbook solution made just for you in this new normal.

"Lesson Number 6: Master the art of par-cooking."

Ready to begin your own culinary adventure? That's easy with Simpol The Cookbook by Chef Tatung. The easy-to-follow cookbook details cooking techniques and tips, like par-cooking or partially cooking components and ingredients ahead of time, explained in a straight-forward manner that doesn't intimidate. Cooking comforting and flavorful meals doesn't have to be complicated. And you'll find out soon enough with the first few pages of Simpol The Cookbook that it's as easy as A-B-C.

Simpol The Cookbook is now available ABS-CBN Books, Lazada and Shopee for only P 350. You can also visit the Simpol Facebook Page at for more information and updates. 

Dude for Food is now on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, check out these social media accounts for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to share? I'd love to hear from you...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...