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Story & Recipe Guidelines

We welcome your stories with recipes!

My Food Beginnings Stories

We are looking for heart-warming, spirit-kindling or laughter-inducing true stories centered on food. The stories are personal narratives written in the first-person. They are written in a way that pulls readers to the scene using the five senses. By showing rather than telling, readers experience your story with you.

My Food Beginnings stories begin with a hook, followed by a middle and finishes with a punch in no more than 1,350 words. Keep in mind that we aim to make Filipino dishes memorable by attaching unforgettable stories – stories that really happened to you.

Possible topic ideas: (but don’t limit yourself to these – we’re sure you can think of many others that are centered on food):

  • Mothers, grandmothers, nannies, carers remembered
  • Special celebrations and what they meant to you
  • Culture and traditions passed down
  • Coping with tragedies
  • Overcoming challenges
  • Lessons learned
  • Memorable stage in life (i.e. Childhood, school age, coming of age, leaving home, engagement, marriage)
  • Life/Career turning points
  • Taking a journey
  • Sacrifices made for family
  • Funny experiences
  • Painful experiences
  • Discovering your love for food
  • Differences resolved
  • Immigrant experience
  • Unforgettable events (i.e. fiestas, Good Friday, a catering event, cooking for a special guest, etc.)
  • Things that went wrong
  • Weird tastes
  • Shame
  • Anything else you’d like to share 

If you'd like to read a sample My Food Beginnings story, sign-up on the right-hand side of the page. You will receive the sample for free.

My Food Beginnings Recipes

 Your piece should include a recipe you developed inspired by the Filipino dish in your story. Your fresh spin of the dish should meet the following:

  • easy to follow even by a beginner home cook
  • the ingredients available anywhere in the world.
  • can be prepared in less than 90 minutes

 If your work is selected, we will ask you for a mouth-watering photo of the final dish.

Your Filipino dish recipes can be one of the following types of food :

  • Canapes or  hors d'oeuvres
  • Appetizer
  • Soup
  • Salad
  • Main course
  • Side Dish
  • Dessert

Recipe Outline:

 I. Title (simple, descriptive and inviting)

II. Headnote

  • a few introductory words to draw readers into your recipe, like a brief story or any interesting information about the dish
  • if the recipe came from someone else, include an attribution to give credit to the origin of the recipe (ex. this is adapted from a recipe given to me by my neighbor in 1991 on a handwritten card)

III. Yield and preparation time

IV. Ingredients list

  • list in the order they will be used in the directions
  • include measurements in number of pieces, size, cups, tablespoon, teaspoon and/or approximate weight. (ex. 1 cup diced potatoes(about 1 large potato)

V. Directions

  • write like you’re helping a friend to cook
  • specify the size of pots and pans to be used
  • avoid using equipment not commonly found in regular home kitchens and terms unknown to novice cooks
  • group relevant actions for a task in a  paragraph
  • start each direction with a verb

Thank you.