It was a celebration of great food and friendship during the recent launch of Yasmin Newman’s book, Under Coconut Skies: Feasts and Stories from the Philippines, at SM Aura Premier. Yasmin Newman is an Australian-Filipino food and travel writer, photographer, and cookbook author.
The event, organized by the Australian Embassy and the Australia Global Alumni in the Philippines, brought together members of the Filipino-Australian community, alumni, and corporate executives.
Notable attendees included Australian Embassy Second Secretary Alex O’Hara, Vice President of the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Bradley Norman, and Qantas Airways Philippines General Manager Honeybee Hubabib.
The afternoon reception at SM Aura Premier’s Skypark featured a cooking demonstration where Yasmin and Filipino-Australian John Michael Hilton, the founder and CEO of Visum Ventures, prepared kinilaw na isda using kalamansi and Australian finger lime. The program was hosted by broadcast personality and Australian alumnus Martin Andanar, with a warm welcome from SM’s Millie Dizon.
Under Coconut Skies is Yasmin’s second Filipino cookbook, celebrating the Philippines and its food. Through stunning photographs and engaging storytelling, the book takes readers on a culinary journey, showcasing classic Filipino dishes and their unique culinary traditions, folklore, and personal stories.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu PSM expressed, “One of the things that Filipinos and Australians share is our love for food—we love bringing people together to enjoy great food and have great conversations. We are delighted to have Filipino-Australian Yasmin Newman here in the Philippines to celebrate Philippine culinary heritage with the best of Australian products—a culinary fusion of the best of both countries.”
In this vibrant cookbook, Newman invites readers into her kitchen and the homes of friends and locals, sharing traditional dishes, vegetarian options, and modern interpretations of Filipino classics. From sizzling wild mushroom sisig and golden turmeric and cassia bark rice from the Muslim south to pork belly adobo and glistening candied kalamansi cake, Filipino food entices and satisfies all the senses.
Guests at the launch were seen enjoying an afternoon tea curated by Yasmin, featuring beloved Filipino dishes from her cookbook prepared using fresh Australian ingredients. Some highlights included Tasmanian salmon with turmeric rice and ube pavlova.
As a proud ambassador of Filipino cuisine and Australian food products, Yasmin also shares her passion for food and her Australian and Filipino influences in a series of cooking videos called A Taste of the Philippines, produced by the Australia Philippines Business Council (APBC) in partnership with the Australian Government. In 2013, she also wrote and published her debut cookbook, 7000 Islands: A Food Portrait of the Philippines.
Under Coconut Skies – Feasts and Stories from the Philippines is available on https://www.amazon.com/Under-Coconut-Skies-Stories-Philippines/dp/1925811689