Project image
)}
$6,983
pledged of $30,000pledged of $30,000 goal
89
backers
41days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, August 4 2019 10:57 PM UTC +00:00.

$6,983
pledged of $30,000pledged of $30,000 goal
89
backers
41days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, August 4 2019 10:57 PM UTC +00:00.

About

[Special Note: If you want to support us and you live on Guam, the CNMI, or other U.S. territory, please choose any award with "United States" as the country. If our campaign reaches its goal, we will contact you in early August to obtain your address in Guam, the CNMI, the 50 states, or any U.S. military base where you would like us to send the award prizes.]

We lead out in faith and appreciate your kindness and generosity, and thank you in advance for any support you are able to provide.

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Do you love spicy food, tasty barbecue, homestyle island fare, and cuisine with healthy ingredients like coconut? Do you find cuisine with Latin, Asian, and Western influences intriguing? These elements and more make up Chamoru cuisine in the tropical Pacific.

Back cover of book  | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection
Back cover of book | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection

Who Are We?

Hafa adai!  We are Gerard and Mary Aflague, Pacific Islanders who seek your financial support and help, to fund and share our Kickstarter campaign for a first-ever hardcover Chamoru book of culture and cuisine of the Mariånas (essentially a cultural cookbook of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands). 

Guamanians and Pacific Islander Co-Authors Gerard and Mary Aflague
Guamanians and Pacific Islander Co-Authors Gerard and Mary Aflague

This book aims to preserve Chamoru culture, share our delicious home-style cuisine of the Marianas, and tell stories about the life lessons we've witnessed growing up. To support us, scroll up top and click the "Back This Project" button. When you pledge $35 or more, you'll get a copy of our book if we reach our goal and more. When you support us, you'll get it for a cheaper price than retail. If you want to learn more about our project, read on.

We are entrepenuers and homestyle cooks. We happen to have a passion for designing books and sharing it with the world. 

Where are We From?

We are orginally from the beautiful and exotic tropical Mariana islands, the birthplace of the Chamoru people and heritage. Located in Micronesia, the inhabited islands include Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. Our home (Guam) is located closest to the deepest point on the planet, the Mariana Trench.

Depiction of the Pacific Island Groups: Micronesia and others | Image Credit: 2010 Census Report on Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islands  |  This image is for Kickstarter Marketing and Not Reflected in Our Book Draft
Depiction of the Pacific Island Groups: Micronesia and others | Image Credit: 2010 Census Report on Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islands | This image is for Kickstarter Marketing and Not Reflected in Our Book Draft

 
        Today, there are over 75,000 Chamorus living on these islands, and over 80,000 in the continental United States. The Chamoru people speak English and Chamoru and are patriotic Americans. This is evidenced by the fact that more Guamanians sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam war at the higest rate per-capita than any other state in the union. Additionally, Guamanians have the highest per-capita enlistment in the United States military than any state in the union.

Southern Guam Shore Scene | This image is for Kickstarter Marketing and Not Reflected in Our Book Draft
Southern Guam Shore Scene | This image is for Kickstarter Marketing and Not Reflected in Our Book Draft

Why We Care 

Like many Pacific Island communities in Polynesia and Melanesia, Micronesia needs books that capture Pacific Islander's stories and culture, as told by authors who are Pacific Islanders. Knowing this need, we have committed to write and design an educational resource that is relevant to our people, and to be made available for use in libraries, schools, and bookstores. 

A Legacy of Chamoru Culture and Cuisine is Needed to Perpetuate Our Heritage
We wanted to create a beautiful Chamoru legacy publication, and bring awareness to others about our Chamoru way of life and cuisine, which is often overlooked. It is a book that islanders in the Marianas and Chamorus across the world will appreciate greatly, but currently don't have access to.

New Recipes of Chamoru Cuisine Will be Appreciated by a Worldwide Audience. While we plan to tell our stories of Chamoru culture, others across the world will enjoy learning about, and cooking our time-tested and tasty Chamoru homestyle recipes. With your support, we can create an excellent resource that the Chamoru people and the world can enjoy as they try their hand at making Pacific Island cuisine.

Americans and the World Will Enjoy Learning About an Ancient Culture that is Part of the United States, located in the Western Pacific. Our Chamoru culture hasn't had much worldwide support to elevate it globally. With your support, we hope to achieve this feat in our small way, by sharing our culture and cuisine and raising awareness among new readers.
 

The Co-Authors' Professional Background

I am Gerard Aflague, born to Chamoru parents, and raised on Guam. I am a self-taught graphic designer, amateur photographer, writer, homestyle cook, and entrepreneur. I'm also an information technology (IT) geek auditing government programs that rely on IT systems across the federal sphere. I am a past member with the Denver Mayor's Asian-American Pacific Islander Commission assisting to support the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander issues in Denver.

My wife, Mary Aflague, is a co-author of this book. She is a Guamanian, born and raised on Guam. She is a wonderful teacher and educator. Mary understands the value that a cultural resource like this can offer our islanders. Her love of the Marianas, its people, and its pristine ocean waters inspire her even more.  

We are parents to three beautiful children and a spankin' new grandbaby. We relocated from Guam to the continental United States over a decade ago. In spite of this, we continue to keep in touch with islanders and involve ourselves in many cultural events and projects across the United States. We were educated on Guam as children into adulthood and completed advanced degrees both on Guam and in the continental United States. 

About Our Publishing Experience 

Sample of hundreds of books self-published. | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Sample of hundreds of books self-published. | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection

Over the years, we self-published 140+ children's softcover titles in many languages (e.g. Samoan, Tongan, Hawaiian, Tagalog, etc.), with over 20 children's books that aim to perpetuate the Chamoru culture and language. Over 10,000 of our books have been sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and in bookstores across the islands. 

Sample of posters published. | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Sample of posters published. | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection

We also publish dozens of educational classroom resources distributed to thousands of customers in various countries through companies that we license our products with including Art.com, AllPosters.com, and Walmart.com.
 

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About Our Book

3D rendition: Chamoru-themed book of culture and cuisine
3D rendition: Chamoru-themed book of culture and cuisine
3D rendition: Chamoru-themed book of culture and cuisine
3D rendition: Chamoru-themed book of culture and cuisine

Our goal is to publish a beautiful and artistic hardcover book with 350+ pages about the Chamoru culture and our tasty culinary fare. The book will measure abou 7.5 x 9.5 inches and include a variety of features found in professionally designed cookbook titles.

How Is This Book Different?

Our book will include about 75 pages of narratives and imagery of the Chamoru culture, and the remaining 200+ pages will include recipes and imagery of finished island-themed dishes. Note: Respondents from focus group sessions expressed the frustration of owning cookbooks without photos to reference. Therefore, we have committed to having a photo for each recipe in our book.

We also include a variety of Chamoru words in our book that compliment culinary English terms and recipe titles to offer a cultural experience. These words are being edited and vetted by an academic linguist familiar with the Chamoru language and is standardizing the use of Chamoru words in our book.

Our book will include inspirational stories and a variety of illustrated culinary practices of our people, with breathtaking landscapes and vistas across the Marianas chain. In addition, it will offer recipes that are not only well-known across the islands, but it will include a few new Chamoru recipes we have created. 

Below are two-page spreads of samples from our book, and they represent about 5% of our book's content.

  Above: Concept design of inside front and back cover | Credit: G. Aflague & C. Simms
Above: Concept design of inside front and back cover | Credit: G. Aflague & C. Simms
Unedited Draft of Inside Starting Page | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Inside Starting Page | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of About Our Mariåna Islands | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of About Our Mariåna Islands | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited draft of cultural narrative | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited draft of cultural narrative | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Mariånas imagery in Book | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Mariånas imagery in Book | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft book narrative and image | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft book narrative and image | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection
Draft Introduction to a Variety of Chamoru Culinary Practices with Old Photos | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Draft Introduction to a Variety of Chamoru Culinary Practices with Old Photos | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of The Art of Outdoor Baking Page | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of The Art of Outdoor Baking Page | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection

How is the Recipe Section Structured?

Our cuisine will  offer 100+ savory and sweet Chamoru recipes that are photographed from artistic perspectives and reflect our Pacific Islander and Marianas heritage. Each recipe will be partnered with an artistic photograph of the final dish to help reference the way it should look. We will also provide random pages that offer up discussions of culinary implements or ingredients for interest.
 

Unedited Draft of Glossary of Recipes | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Glossary of Recipes | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection

Recipes we are tentatively including  as of this Kickstarter launch:

Breakfast - Bitter melon, Eggs and Bell Peppers  |  Chorizos Chamoru Fried Rice  |  Traditional Chamoru Fried Rice  |  Tropical Mariånas Pancakes  | Sausage, Eggs and Rice

Condiments and Marinades - Spicy-Vinegar Dipping Sauce  |  Eggplant Hot Pepper Mash  |  Spicy-Soy Mariånas Dipping Sauce  |  Perfect Hot Pepper Mash  |  Mariånas Soy-Lemon Marinade  |  Soy-Vinegar Marinade

Appetizers - Shrimp Patties | Steamed Minced Chicken and Vegetables | Fresh Turmeric Chicken and Coconut Milk  |  Sweet Fried Plantains  |  Chicken Spring Rolls  |  Lemon Chopped Venison |  Lemon Chopped Beef  |  Spicy Sesame Tuna Crunch  | Pickled Papaya  

Vegetables and Salads - Roasted Eggplant in Coconut Milk | Sweet and Savory Mariånas Salsas  | Taro Leaves in Coconut Milk  |  Broccoli Crab Salad  |  Chamoru Macaroni Salad  | Chamoru Potato Salad  |  Tropical Mariånas Salad  |  Pickled Bitter melon  |  Cucumber and Daigo Salad  |  Sesame Crusted Seared Tuna

Starches - Savory Striped Spicy Tamales  |  Breadfruit in Coconut Milk  |  Chamoru Red Rice  |  Corn Tortillas | Dinner Rolls |  Island Sweet Potatoes in Coconut Milk  | Deep-Fried Wrapped Red Rice Chicken  |  Flour Tortillas  | Plantains in Coconut Milk  |  Roasted Purple Sweet Potato  |  Roasted Yellow Sweet Potato  |  White Rice  | Young Coconut Tortillas

Soups - Beef and Pumpkin Tips in Coconut Milk | Beef Shank and Young Papaya in Coconut Milk | Beef Bok Choy Coconut Soup | Fish in Coconut Milk  | Chicken with Fresh Turmeric  | Chicken in Coconut Milk  | Sweet Corn Soup with Coconut Milk  | White Rice Soup with Coconut Milk  |  Rice Soup with Minced Chicken or Beef  | Glass Noodles, Beef, and Vegetables | Mung Beans with Chicken | Venison, Pumpkin Tips, and Taro

Meats and Seafood - Chamoru Potato Stuffing | Lemon-Coconut Chopped-Chicken | Hearty Beef Stew | Pan-Fried Egg Noodles and Vegetables | Toasted Red Rice Chicken | Stir-Fried Chicken, Rice-Noodles and Vegetables | Tenderized Beef in Coconut Milk | Barbecued Pork Spare-Ribs | Barbecued Short Ribs  | Garlic-Soy Chicken  | Mariånas Barbecue Chicken  | Soy-Vinegar Beef Sauté | Spicy-Stewed Soy-Chicken | Fish in Coconut Milk | Crab in Coconut Milk | Fried Fish and Vegetables in Turmeric Sauce | Spicy-Lemon Chopped Shrimp | Salmon Croquette  |  Shrimp in Coconut Milk | Sweet and Sour Fish  | Deep Fried Parrot Fish 

Desserts - Baked Pumpkin Turnover | Fried Pumpkin Turnover | Banana Doughnuts  |  Caramelized Coconut Candy |  Chocolate Rice Porridge  |  Cinnamon Custard Cake  | Coconut Cassava Cake  | Crumbly Cookies |  Custard Pie |  Custard Pudding  |  Chamoru Air Doughnuts | Chamoru Sugar Doughnuts  | Crispy Rosettes |  Flaky Young Coconut Pie | Fresh Mariånas Fruit Salad | Fried Bananas | Glazed Twirly Cookies |  Lemon Meringue Pie  | Mariånas Sweet Potato Pie | Pink Corn Pudding | Coconut Pumpkin Pie | Roasted Cassava and Coconut | Rota Sweet Potato Pie | Sweet Rice Puff | Chamoru Bread Pudding  |  Tropical Energy Mix | Carmalized Papaya | Tropical Fruits Acai Bowl | Yellow Sponge Cake | Tapioca in Tinfoil | Young Coconut Soup

 Sample Breakfast Recipe

Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe Page | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe Page | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection

 Sample Condiment Recipe

Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection

  Sample Side Recipe 

Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection

 Sample Salad Recipe

Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection

 Sample Soup Recipe

Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection

 Sample Entree Recipe

Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection

 Sample Dessert Recipes

Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Chamoru Recipe | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection

Sample Culinary Narratives

Unedited Draft of Culinary Narrative | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Culinary Narrative | Courtesy: Gerard Aflague Collection

Marianas Harvesting Calendar

Unedited Draft of Seasonal Harvesting Chart | Courtesy: University of Guam
Unedited Draft of Seasonal Harvesting Chart | Courtesy: University of Guam

Index Pages

Unedited Draft of Index | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Index | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection

 Culinary Notes Pages

Unedited Draft of Culinary Notes Page | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection
Unedited Draft of Culinary Notes Page | Credit: Gerard Aflague Collection

How We Got this Idea

My wife and I have always had a passion for promoting the Chamoru culture in a variety of ways. As part of sharing our Pacific island cooking stateside, we frequently create delicious Chamoru dishes in our home, and share it with friends and family in Colorado who always rave about how delicious and tasty our recipes are. 

My parents, Lorenzo and Julia, also lived this passion beautifully. For decades, they highlighted the importance of embracing the Chamoru culture and language, and taught others to cook and enjoy our Chamoru cuisine. I even saw how my mother used homestyle cooking to reach out and visit friends and family. In Guam, this hospitality is called in'Ayuda - helping another unselfishly. Through her practice of in'Ayuda, my mom's acts of sharing her Chamoru dishes fed the bodies, and more importantly, fed the souls of her loved ones. 

This same beautiful and contagious practice continues through the next generation, through my sister-in-law, and my nephews and nieces. Today, I even find myself making Chamoru dishes and sharing them with my neighbors in Colorado where I now live.

As I realized how beautiful my Chamoru culture is and how our culinary fare has been embraced by many and touched others’ lives, I was convinced we needed to tell our story and share Chamoru recipes in this book.
 

What We've Done and Next Steps

We have completed our initial design and concept of this book. We began writing our cultural content, and have started drafting over 100 recipes that have been tested and photographed. The draft mock images you see above are just a sampling of material we are working to finalize. Much of what you see can and will change, and all for the better.

We still need to edit our material, complete all 100+ recipes and refine them, retake photos, and license necessary images. We also need to coordinate the printing of this book and manage the logistics of launching it.
 

How Funds Will Be Used

Your contributions will go toward the book's production, including paying for associated material to develop content, paying for services provided by editors, fees for licensing of images, and costs for printing of books with freight handling charges from Asia to the United States, amog other things. We also will use the funds to purchase gifts that accompany different levels of funding tiers on Kickstarter.


How This Book Will Be Distributed

This book is to be offered to schools, libraries, and other educational institutions across the Pacific Islands within Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. It will also be available online and eventually, it will be made available for sale in select bookstores, in specialty gift shops, and other retail locations across the United States, among other places.


Are We Offering an E-Book?

Yes. We plan to make our book available electronically via Kindle and Apple platforms in the future. But for the near-term, we will only offer it as a physical book.


Where is this Book Being Designed and Edited

This book is being designed in Highlands Ranch, Colorado (where we currently live) and in Sinajana, Guam (where we visit from time to time). It is being edited in both Highlands Ranch, Colorado and Guam.


How You Can Support Us

Help us make this project a reality by choosing to donate to our Kickstarter effort.


Acknowledging Our Contributors

  •      Lorenzo and Julia Aflague | Guam: Nurtured us over the decades about our Pacific island Chamoru culture, heritage, language, and culinary fare.
  •      Bertha F. Aflague | Guam: Shared her homestyle Chamoru cooking insight and techniques, and collaborated on a number of recipes.
  •     Eva Ong | Florida: Championed our cause to test recipes ensuring the tastiest outcomes. 
  •      Victoria Leon Guerrero | Guam: Offered her editing skills to make our book clear and concise.
  •      Joey Franquez | Guam: Offered his Chamoru cultural and linguistic services to ensure Chamoru language standards, usage, and spelling are accurate.
  •      Candice Sims, Sims Photography | Chicago: Offered to capture beautiful shots of our Chamoru culinary fare and to take lifestyle photos of our family. 

Community funded

Your effort to assist us to launch this book will not go unnoticed. We will acknowledge your help in support of our inaugural version of this book by featuring your name in the pages of our inaugural and subsequent book editions. 

Thank you

We leave you with these three words Si Yu'os ma'ase, which means thank you in the Chamoru language.


Planned Milestones (Will Be Updated as Dates Change)

Launch Kickstarter campaign for 60 days on June 6

Inform supporters that goal was "met" or "not met" by Aug 7

Complete all activities above by Aug 7  

____________________________________

Test and finalize recipes and photograph through August 15

Address final editing comments and incorporate changes by August 30

Complete lifestyle photography and selection by August 30

Incorporate final book draft edits by August 30

Complete all activities above by August 30 

____________________________________

Send final book file to printer by September 7

Complete all activities by September 7

____________________________________

Await notification from printer that books are shipped and bill of lading has been prepared by October 10

Await notification from freight forwarder that books have arrived to Denver, Colorado by November 15

Complete all activities by November 15

____________________________________

Stock books in warehouse

Package books for shipping to Kickstarter supporters

Ship books

Complete all activities by November 17 

Risks and challenges

Identified risks and realities
The risks involved with this project may include:

1. Changing timelines

While notional timelines have been established, we expect to make adjustments to activities as a result of unforeseen emergencies or unexpected challenges that may occur. These emergencies and challenges may extend the planned publishing date of our book. However, we will do our best to keep an updated timeline, which you can see below, with associated target dates and actual dates relative to each activity area. Additionally, where individual activities may be affected, we will also reflect any delays to significant milestones and our final publishing date.

2. Unsuccessful Kickstarter Campaign

If we do not raise the funds for which we budgeted, then we will not receive any of the funds collected. The next steps will be for us to reconstitute this campaign under different funding goals, and possibly change our incentives and offers.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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