Wednesday, August 31, 2011

National Food Showdown 2011

Hi, so I'm off to Baguio as one of the judges for the Luzon Chef Wars. These culinary competitions are held once a year in the different regions of the Philippines. A few weeks ago, I was in Cagayan de Oro for the Mindanao Chef Wars Regional Food Showdown Elimination Rounds (KUMBIRA 2011). That's where I tasted over a hundred dishes. It was most "full-filling" as it was exciting for all of us. The competitors/chefs were highly qualified and creative even the judges learned a thing or two. It was mutually beneficial to all who were there. I'm happily looking forward to the Luzon competition in Baguio. I've got my spoon in my right hand, my fork in my left, and my napkin tucked under my chin, bring on the 100 dishes! 200 even!!!

I hope I'll see you at the Final Food Showdown on September 17 and 18 at the World Trade Center, Metro Manila. Till then, Happy Eating!

"The National Food Showdown was started in 2007, spearheaded by Chef Myrna Segismundo, Managing Director of RESTAURANT 9501/TV FOOD CHEFS, INC., ABS-CBN Corporation. It was originally organized to fill the void in culinary skills competitions. In 2008, it partnered with organizations in the regions outside of the National Capital Region (NCR), with Chef Wars emerging as the center of the National Food Showdown. Bringing theregions to participate in the Manila finals succeeded in making the showdown truly national in scope. - National Food Showdown 2011"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sautéed Tofu and Eggplant

This is one of the recipes I demonstrated at Lee Kum Kee's Cooking With The Masters. Sautéed Tofu and Eggplant (Tokwa't Talong). If it's not to your liking, hey, at least it's healthy. Well, the people at the demo loved it. Sarap na sarap sila.

Sautéed Tofu and Eggplant 

*** You can view this recipe in the RECIPES tab above. ***

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Today's the Date, August 28! See you at EDSA Shangrila Plaza

I'll be demonstrating the 3 dishes I made for Lee Kum Kee: Asian Meat Loaf, Sautéd Tokwa't Talong (Stir-fried Tofu and Eggplant), Chicken in Oyster Sauce. My demo is at 1:00pm and then another one at 5:00pm. They get 2 volunteers from the audience to cook alongside me. It'll be fun!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cookbook update...

I was just informed by National Book Store that asides from my cookbook being available in all National Book Store branches nationwide, the cookbook can also be purchased via their National Book Store Online Store. Anyone outside the Philippines can purchase the books there.

You can also click on this link:

Cooking With Sandy Daza - The cookbook

My new cookbook is out. You'll find it at National Book Store and it's only P185.00! This first volume is comprised of simple easy to follow recipes. Like my own mother, I always believed that kitchen confidence starts with a good recipe.

"...Many people tell me they are clueless, not made for the kitchen or can't cook. My philosophy: Kitchen confidence comes with a delicious, simple and good recipe. That's what this book is about. A book for both novice and experienced cooks... - NORA DAZA"

Thanks mom. Well, there it is, straight from the... Happy cooking and happy eating!

I have my brother-in-law Joey Mendoza, who is a freelance graphic artist in New York, to thank for the cover design. Very first world don't you think? And Bengy Toda of Studio58 Lab10 for my extremely handsome photo.

*** You can view details about this book in the BOOKS tab above. ***

Friday, August 26, 2011


I was at a restaurant called XO46 Bistro Filipino (XO for "Extra Ordinary" and "46" for the year of our beloved Philippines' independence).

For starters, I wanted to relax with an ice cold drink. The ice cold Tanglad at Salabat (lemongrass and ginger) refresher sounded well, refreshing. Lo and behold! You can't find a better and more refreshing drink than that one! Aah..

Refreshed, I started with the Sopas de Mariscos with a flaked pastry blanket. It reminded me of a French Bouillabaise I had in Saint-Tropez. It had a nice rich broth.

Next I had the Kare-Kareng Crispy Tadyang (beef ribs). The Tadyang was boiled tender then deep-fried. The meat and sauce were served separately so that the meat stayed crispy. This was good too but I feel that if a different cut of meat was used, like Oxtail or Beef Shank, then the dish would be even better.

The Kare Kare, sauce was rich and good because it was made from freshly ground peanuts not just peanut butter. A lot of love went into making that sauce for sure. It was accompanied by a mouthwatering bagoong (fermented fish or shrimps) on the side.

Pollo A la Plancha was simply prepared but yummy! These were crispy morsels of chicken with loads of toasted garlic and olive oil. Now tell me, who doesn't love garlic?

The photo below was actually an ambush photo, I stopped a waiter on his way to a neighboring table and took a sneak photo of their Lechon Kawali. Pretty much after that, I was hungry enough and forgot to take more pictures, sorry. I remember there was the Bangus Salpicao which I highly recommend though.

Ó, kain na!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

LEE KUM KEE Live Cooking Demo - August 28, 2011

I have a Lee Kum Kee live cooking demo in Shang Edsa Plaza Mall at 1:00 pm and another at 5:00 pm this Sunday, August 28, 2011. There will be two people from the audience that will be invited to cook alongside me. There will also be a food tasting portion. I've done this demo at Glorietta 5 in Makati and we all had a great time. See you there!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bacolod's Cafe Uma and the trattoria next door

Recently I was in Bacolod City in Negros Occidental. I was asked by a fellow chef to drop by his restaurant....

The menu was very interesting. Chef Jomi Gaston sure knows how to tickle one's appetite. I wanted to try everything. I ended up with the crabcake and chorizo croquettes with mango and spring onion salad, garlic mayo, balsamic vinegar glaze. Mouthwatering...

...Eggs benedict on toasted brioche, grilled ham, poached egg topped with béarnaise. Iba!...

...Wagyu burger with fried egg. Mmmm...

...Cansi, an Ilongo specialty, their version of the Batangas Bulalo or Cebu puchero. It has a delicious eggplant puree that you mix into the soup. Yummy!...

The whole experience was satisfying. I wanted to try more dishes but my tummy was so full! So many dishes but only one tummy! If you find yourself in Bacolod City, go try Cafe Uma of Chef Jomi. Go try his pizza in the Trattoria next door. Chef Jomi runs that place too. The crust is crisp and light. I like Pizza Bianca.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kangen Alkaline Water Demonstration in Bacolod City

This Saturday August 20, 2011, I'll be giving a demonstration for the Kangen Alkaline Water Systems by Enagic. The demo will be in L'Fisher Hotel on Lacson Street, Bacolod City at 2:00pm. I am inviting anyone who is curious about the health benefits of Alkaline Water for the body. I will be in Bacolod City until Sunday, the 21st. I leave for Manila in the evening. Drop by and check it out! You can also text me at 0917.815.2452.

*** You can learn more about Enagic's Kangen machines in the ALKALINE WATER tab above. ***

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Appetite Magazine's Nina Daza

Jogging or brisk walking to me is one of the most boring exercises. Swimming is another. I prefer to keep my mind focused on something else while perspiring, like tennis, badminton, and basketball. However, using an Ipod totally changes my dislike for tedious regiments. Finding something to keep my mind off the workout is necessary in order to help the time go by quickly.

On a treadmill, I have to be in front of a television. Time flies when watching either a sports show like the NBA or just recently, Wimbledon. The downside to this type of program is that I get so involved that many times I almost fall of the machine due to involuntary reactions on my part to avoid a charge call or jumping for a drop shot, talk about getting involved!

Many have advised me to read an interesting book instead. A popular book was once suggested to me. Giving the title will give away my age so I won’t. Basta, it’s popular. I was told “You won’t be able to let go of it once you start.” I finished the paperback in 2 months. Since then, I keep my book preferences to myself to avoid being made fun of. In the last few years, there have been many magazines with various themes that have come out. I, of course gravitate towards magazines that are related to food. There are few I find interesting. Among them, one stands out above the rest. I know many of the editors so, like my books, I won’t mention names. For a quick one-hour workout on the treadmill, this is perfect. I have been observing this one for a few months now.

Appetite magazine has been available for a while now. I never really read it before until just recently, my sister Nina Daza Puyat was asked to become editor in chief of the magazine. I know my sister. As the youngest of 5, she was and still is the sweetest. Thoughtful too. Whenever she traveled, she would return with "pasalubongs" for everyone from my parents to the houseboy. I would sometimes tease her that she had a crush on the driver because of those gifts.

Anyway, when she started with Appetite, I was delighted because Nina would surely come up with the most appealing ideas and topics. Even meals at her home are exciting; you don’t know what kind of surprise dish she will serve at the table. A few months after she started as editor in chief, she has brought that same culinary enthusiasm into the variety of topics the magazine has to offer. Some of which I read were the different buffet spreads all over the city, a lot of doable recipes, Japanese Pinoy sushi created by high school students, favorite Pinoy dishes of Foreign Chefs living in Manila, new kitchen gadgets on the market, what to do with leftover food, feeding street children with nutritious meals for community service, favorite breakfasts of personalities, and many others. Galing! Sarap!I recently browsed a copy of another food magazine, one that Nina says she would like Appetite to come at par with in terms of circulation. It is also an interesting magazine for foodies, full of delicious recipes and colorful pictures but I find Appetite to have a wider assortment of food related topics as well as interesting and yummy looking recipes.

Appetite magazine is a glossy magazine full of mouthwatering pictures and recipes of dishes that will make one swallow with anticipation. It’s a monthly publication by Mega publishing house. Am I biased? You be the judge of that.Now that I think about it, is reading this appetizing magazine while doing the treadmill a great idea? Maybe not!

APPETITE MAGAZINE is available in most Magazine stands.
****Philippine Daily Inquirer Lifestyle Section****

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An article from the ZAMBOANGA TIMES



The 14th Kumbira 2011 opens on Wednesday, August 18, 2011 as it has done in August every year since 1996. Like the city fiesta, Kumbira has become an event eagerly awaited not only by city residents but by people from neighboring cities as well, especially HRM students and hotel and restaurant staff, as evidenced by the busloads of students from all over who make their annual pilgrimage to Cagayan de Oro to see, quite literally, what’s cooking.

This year’s guests will form a bee line to Limketkai, where, for three days, professional chefs from the city’s hotels and restaurants, and aspiring chefs from schools all over will showcase the finest of their craft, the event brightened by a constellation of stars of the Philippine culinary scene who will act as judges: Norbert Gandler (International School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management/ multi-awarded chef); international awardee cake stylist Penk Tan; Myrna Segismundo (restaurateur, cookbook author, TV chef); Ed Tuazon (Executive Chef - Marco Polo Davao); Dietmar Dietrich (Belcris Foods); Jill Sandique (Senior Trainor - USDA); Carsten Radke (La Vetta Restaurant); Colin Mackay (People’s Palace); Michaela Makabenta (FOOD Magazine); Glenda Baretto (Via Mare Group of Restaurants); Jessie Sincioco (Le Soufflé / Rockwell Club); and Sandy Daza (Chef and Food Writer/Columnist), among others.

The professional live competition will have the following: Watermelon and Squash Carving; Bamboo Floral Buffet Centerpiece; Kagay-an Ham Sandwich and Salad; Kumbira Team Challenge; and the climax Chef Wars. The display competition includes the following: Gourmet Cold Buffet Challenge; Artistic Bread Showpiece; Piña Pie; Plated Appetizer; Bridal Cake Decorating. The service competition will have Flair Bartending.

The student live competition will feature the following: Watermelon and Squash Carving; Banana Floral Buffet Centerpiece; Cashew Dessert; Kagay-an Ham Sandwich and Salad; and Kumbira Team Challenge. The display competition will include: Fiesta Buffet Table setting; Artistic Bread Showpiece; Set Menu; Baptismal Cake Decorating. The service competition includes Flair Bartending-Tandem; and On-The-Spot-Bedsetting. The students will also have their Chef Wars.

Seminars, cooking demonstrations, and food sampling will also be held. As always, a trade exhibit featuring hotel and restaurant equipment, supplies, services, food and beverage items will also be held.

Lee Kum Kee's Cooking With The Masters

I will be having another live cooking demo at Shangrila Edsa Plaza Mall in Pasig, Manila on August 28'2011 at 1:00 pm and another at 5:00 pm. I hope to see you there! It's gonna be yummy!