Thursday, December 12, 2019

Nina Daza levels up a Classic

How can you improve a classic? How can you better something that has been tried and tested through the ages? Most people can't do it but Nina Daza did just that by improving the classic cookbook created by her Mom Nora Daza.

When one mentions Nora Daza, great food comes to mind. A true champion of Filipino cuisine, Nora’s culinary contributions have made a huge impact in the local food culture. Now, the legacy continues in the Daza family as Nora’s youngest daughter and renowned food writer Nina Daza Puyat recently launched a new edition of the iconic Let’s Cook with Nora cookbook to fit today’s kitchens. 

In honor of the launch of the cookbook’s new edition, The Maya Kitchen pays tribute to the culinary legend by hosting To Mom with Love: Nina Daza Puyat’s Loving Tribune to Nora Daza’s Iconic Cookbook, a special cooking demo with Nina who dishes out how she restyled her mom’s timeless recipes to make it more relatable to modern-day cooks and foodies.

At the demo, Nina features some Noche Buena-ready dishes such as Daza Chicken Relleno, the Daza family’s signature dish, Orange Tart, a must-try at Nora’s Au Bon Vivant restaurant, Kaleslaw, a healthier version of coleslaw, and Parmesan Fish Sticks, an updated version of her mom’s Fish Sticks Italian Style.

“It took me over a year to kitchen-test all the recipes in my mom’s cookbook Let’s Cook with Nora. The new edition remained true to the easy-to-follow recipes, but I tweaked some instructions, updated the ingredients list, and added variations, so it reflects how we cook today,” Nina explains. “My mom’s cookbook was launched over 50 years ago, so it was about time we upgrade the recipes.”

Dubbed as the Philippines’ first culinary ambassador, Maya and Nora hosted the pioneering cooking and baking competition The Great Maya Cookfest with Nora Daza that ran from 1976 to 1990 and helped launch careers of a new generation of chefs and cooks. She also joined the show winners as they traveled to the United States, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, among others, to promote Filipino cuisine and learn about the host country’s food.

Nora and Maya’s connection goes beyond the cookfest, as the culinary legend actively promoted The Maya Kitchen, formerly known as Maya Bakeshop, and Maya products by holding cooking demos all over the country. Most of the episodes of her show, Cooking It Up with Nora, were also shot at The Maya Kitchen. 

“Hosting Nina’s demo of recipes off the new edition of Let’s Cook with Nora brings Maya’s bond with her family full circle,” says Eric Fajardo, Business Development Manager of Liberty Commodities Corporation. “The Maya Kitchen has always been proud that we’ve been a part of the impact of the Daza family—from Nora to Nina—to the Filipino culinary scene.”

As Nina takes on the mantle to ensure her mom’s well-cherished dishes remain relevant in today’s homes, the legacy of Let’s Cook with Nora remains 50 years on to inspire and delight a new breed of culinary enthusiasts.

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Learn great recipes at If you want to take your baking and cooking skills up a notch check out Maya Kitchen’s course offerings at the website, e-mail, or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City or call 8921185 or 892-5011 local 108 or +63929 679 6102.

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