Better At Weddings Than You Blog Tour: Food Inspiration

Mina V. Esguerra is a prolific Filipino romance author and the founder of #romanceclass, a community of Filipino romance authors who publish books independently. I have featured her books and her writing countless times here on my blog, and I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for her latest release: Better At Weddings Than You. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I need to work on a review to share more of my thoughts about it. Aside from romance books, one thing that Mina and I share is our love of food! I noticed that Better At Weddings Than You had references to some restaurants and certain dishes, and I thought it would be a great topic for a guest post. I hope this guest post will make you curious enough to read the book when it comes out, and also to try the food mentioned here! 🙂

Food Inspiration: As featured in Better At Weddings Than You
by Mina V. Esguerra

My books are not about food, but they may as well be. I write contemporary romance but I also love food… and I keep talking about it. Especially when I’m writing anything set in the Philippines. With Better At Weddings Than You, the premise that the main characters Daphne and Aaron worked in the wedding industry formed the “menu” for this book. Here’s a selection and the real-life counterparts!

  • Christmas Eve dinner (Real thing: Spiral Restaurant at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel)

Daphne and Aaron meet over Christmas Eve dinner at a fancy hotel restaurant by the Manila Bay, and if you’re familiar with the area it’s an easy guess that it might actually be Spiral Restaurant at the Sofitel. If you know me at all, then you’d be sure — I adore the large restaurant, the seafood, salads, meats, and the cheese room.

  • Tea shop meeting (Real things: Rustic Mornings and TWG)

So the tea shop I describe in an early chapter of the book doesn’t actually exist (that I know of) but it’s based on the many small restaurants popping up in the city. It would have a look similar to Rustic Mornings by Isabelo in Marikina, but with a tea list that would remind you of a page from the menu of TWG. Just a page, because TWG of Singapore’s full menu would be too much for a quaint neighborhood tea place!

  • Caterer Food Tasting scene (Real thing: K by Cunanan)

How do you choose your caterer for your wedding? You taste their food. While planning my own wedding I (seriously) sampled the menus of three caterers, and one of the visits kind of went like the scene in my book. K by Cunanan is one caterer you’d encounter in the industry, and they did our wedding. We loved the food and their reception venue styling.

  • Chicharon salad (Real thing: Chef Sharwin Tee’s Tempura Bacon Salad)

In one scene, Daphne gets to reveal something about herself and I get to describe a decadent salad. Everything I said about the salad is directly from a food memory – of eating my friend Sharwin’s Tempura Bacon Salad at his restaurant. I replaced the bacon with chicharon though. If you can make this salad happen, let me know! I think it works well with a fruit vinaigrette, by the way.

Believe it or not, I had to edit this list so I don’t go on and on. Thank you, Chachic, for giving me the space on your blog! Better At Weddings Than You comes out April 15 and its Amazon link is here:


Book Description:
Daphne Cardenas is the best wedding planner around, and everyone knows it. That’s why her friend Greg hired her as an emergency replacement one month before his wedding—because he fears his fiancée Helen is falling for the guy they first hired for the job.

Aaron Trinidad is new to the wedding industry but years of conference planning and loads of charm make him good at it. Really good at it. Planning the wedding of his friend Helen should be easy, and it is. To be unceremoniously fired isn’t good for his new career, but the chance to learn from the best might be the silver lining.

Aaron and Daphne have chemistry, but there’s history with Helen that at least one other person considers a threat. Who’s the planner who can fix this impending disaster?

(Part of the Chic Manila series, but can be read as a standalone.)



Foodie Reads

Soup and salad from Poulet

If you browse through my Instagram stream, my photos mostly involve books, food and postcards. I think that’s proof enough that I enjoy eating good food just as much as I enjoy reading a good book. So I’m delighted whenever I come across novels that focus on food, whether the characters are chefs or foodies just like me. I love reading books that make me hungry or crave for a certain dish or pastry while I’m reading – which is not always a good thing because there are times when I don’t have access to the type of food described in the book. Nevertheless, I still enjoy reading mouthwatering descriptions to the point where as a reader, you almost feel like you can taste what the author has imagined.

Here are some of my favorite foodie reads:

The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand and the rest of the Amour et Chocolat books – Chocolate and Paris are the main ingredients for Laura Florand’s delicious romances, I can’t get enough of her books.

Truly by Ruthie Knox – Loved how honey was described in this one and it was also great how the characters went on a food trip around New York. I never knew taco could be sexy until I read this!

Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer – It was lovely how Liza Palmer highlighted the warmth and comfort that a well-cooked, favorite meal brings to any person.

Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer – Seeing Me Naked wasn’t as focused on food as Nowhere But Home was but I thought it was great that the main character is a pastry chef.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen – I loved how food and cooking was combined with magic in this book.

Dessert and coffee from Tiong Bahru Bakery

What about you, what are your favorite reads that have food as one of the main aspects of the story? I would love to get some good recommendations! I’ve made myself hungry while writing this post but since it’s almost midnight, I should go to bed instead.