Nora Daza, A Living Tribute

I only “encountered” Nora Daza when Rache and I got married because we only had one cookbook at home — “Let’s Cook with Nora”. Nora Daza is revered by the generations before us, and she’s one of the pioneers in culinary TV shows and Filipino cookbooks here in the Philippines.

Basix is honoring her by doing a week-long special buffet from The BEST RECIPES from Nora Daza’s Culinary Life. It started last November 26 and will end on December 3.

The best time to go is on December 2 (dinner time), which is the 82nd birthday of Nora Daza. If your birthday falls on the same date, you’ll enjoy 50% off on Dinner Buffet and even have the opportunity to cut the birthday cake with Nora Daza herself. 

Appetizer Platter: Kilawing Tanguigue, Lumpiang Ubod and Shrimp Rolls

Nora’s recipes revolve around comfort Filipino food. This is the basic taste of how Filipino food should be. It is an education on how we should really experience our food (minus the fusion elements).

I loved the Kilawing Tanguigue, which tasted like cooked meat without the overpowering taste of vinegar.

Soup: Chicken Binakol

Very simple, hot servings of chicken soup with sweet juice of young coconut. Sarap!

Noodles: Pancit Luglog

If you want to know how good Pancit Luglog should taste like, try Nora Daza’s version.

Main Course
: Chicken Relleno

The Chicken Relleno during the preview lunch was a bit disappointing because it was not faithful to the recipe.

Main Course: Batangas Adobo

I loved the big chunks of meat that already absorbed most of the flavor of the sauce. I think you’ll fall in love with this adobo dish, too.

Main Course: Kare-Kare

Nora Daza’s Kare-Kare was bland, and she said that it should be that way. That is why Kare-Kare usually comes with bagoong to balance the taste. (Notice how the sauce is close to a gelatinous texture?)

Now, I know what classic Kare-Kare should look and taste like.

Dessert: Sans Rival and Reina Blanca

The Reina Blanca was just ok, but the Sans Rival was sinfully good! A lot of people said that Nora Daza is famous for her Sans Rival, and she was acknowledged as the one who popularized this dessert (which originated from France) in Manila.

Overall, the Nora Daza meal was a re-calibration of my taste buds regarding comfort Filipino food. Don’t expect fancy Filipino fare but just really good food based on Nora Daza’s timeless recipes.

I was fortunate to have my three Nora Daza books autographed by the author!

  1. “Let’s Cook with Nora” cookbook;
  2. “Galing Galing Philippine Cuisine” recipe book (co-written with daughter Mariles Daza); and
  3. “Nora V. Daza: A Culinary Life” (written with Michaela Fenix).

Nina Daza Puyat and Nancy Reyes, showing off Nora Daza’s glamourous photos during the peak of her career. They were the brains behind the event celebrating the culinary icon.

Please join us in honoring Nora Daza on her birthday! You can also post a comment below on how Nora Daza has made an impact on your life to honor her lifelong achievements.

All the master chefs at Dusit Thani are finalizing the details of the buffet, which includes correcting the recipe for the Chicken Relleno. Don’t miss the Nora Daza special buffet this week!

The BEST RECIPES from Nora Daza’s Culinary Life
Basix, Dusit Thani Manila

P1,250 net Lunch
P1,399 net Dinner

Call +632 238-8888 for reservations!

Live an Awesome Life,

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Disclosure: I rarely attend press preview events (where you eat for free) and blog about it. I made an exception for this to meet Nora Daza personally and to help promote this buffet, which is a living tribute to her contributions to Filipino cuisine.

P.S. During Nora’s career, she put up a Philippine restaurant in Paris called Aux Iles Philippines, the very first French restaurant in Manila called Au Bon Vivant, and Galing-Galing restaurant, which specialized in native dishes. Sadly, all of them are closed now.

I heard that her son, Sandy Daza, is finally coming back to the Philippines. Hopefully, they set up a restaurant where we can enjoy the Daza family’s dishes.

17 thoughts on “Nora Daza, A Living Tribute

  1. “Let’s Cook with Nora” was the very first Filipino Food cook book I ever owned. I still refer to it today even with all the food blogs around.

  2. She’s an icon for me. It was her who made me appreciate cooking and cooking shows! I wake up every Saturday morning just to watch her show with her daughters.
    Watching her on TV made me love and appreciate cooking & food!! 🙂
    I can still hear the theme song at the back of my head!! 🙂
    Happy Birthday Nora Daza!!

  3. Thanks Anton for this post. Seeing her is also reminiscing my grandmother’s memory when she was still alive where we both watched her show then as our bonding moments..Lola loved to cook as some of her cookbooks were well-kept.

  4. Anton,
    Thank you for posting this, I always wondered how Ms. Nora Daza is now. When i was young our family would always follow the show “Cooking it up with Nora” as the years progressed when her son and daughter took over the show we still watched and enjoyed the family banter and cooking tips of the Daza family… it is good to see them now here in your post. Thanks to them all of my siblings including me have developed a love for good food and cooking which we now share with our family and friends.
    Happy Birthday Ms. Nora Daza!!

  5. Thanks Anton for this post (sorry, I did not immediately see your instructions and posted on FB!)
    I have always admired Ms. Nora Daza. Aside from my parents, from whom I probably inherited my love for cooking (and unfortunately, eating, as well!) I learned the basics of cooking from my very first cookbook, Let’s Cook with Nora. Among other cookbooks I have accumulated over the years, this is my most treasured one.
    I love Nora Daza’s recipes because they are all made from scratch – homemade in the real sense. I guess that is what good Pinoy comfort food is all about – no shortcuts.
    Happy Birthday Ms. Nora Daza!!

  6. Happy Birthday to a true pioneer in the Philippines!
    I remember watching her TV shows when I was a child.
    And of course, Au Bon Vivant introduced me to appreciate fine food.

  7. How I wish a restaurant would open to pay homage to her and their family recipes. I hope to see her in person too.. I watched her shows when I was a kid.. ahhh the memories come crashing back to me… my birthday will be on Monday though =)

    1. I have all three of her cookbooks. The very first one I owned (yellow book) has served me more than 20 yrs. When I went to the philippine in 2016 , I bought 6 books. I’m proud to say I have cooked all her dishes and served it on all birthdays and holidays and my family and friends have all complemented me on all foods served. I have always given credit to my favorite chef Ms.Nora Daza. I also follow Mr. Sandy Daza. I also love his dishes. His bagoong of his kare kare is to die for. Even my american friends love it when served with singkamas. Love the family’s iconic dishes.

  8. I started using Let’s Cook with Nora when I was in high school. That was my mom’s copy. I still have that super dog-eared, falling-off pages copy in my kitchen to this day and I am almost 50 yrs old!I made her mocha cake when I was in 2nd yr high school for a class party and it was a hit! For no-fail recipes, I always go back to this cookbook. I LOVED Cooking It Up with Nora! I waited for this show every Saturday morning. Happy,Happy Birthday to a wonderful icon!

  9. I’m not a cookbook person but her name does ring a bell. Can’t believe she’s 82. She doesn’t look like 82. That’s what living in your passion does 🙂

  10. omigosh! THE nora daza! while other kids were playing bahay-bahayan, i was playing luto-lutuan- nora daza style! bonding moments namin ng mama ko was watching cooking with nora and cooking with the dazas. 😀 kung nasa manila lang ang mama ko, i will bring her to the tribute buffet!

  11. Tita Nora is a true bon vivant. Not only is she a culinary icon, but to me, she is one of the Philippines’ national treasures and brightest gems.
    Cooking is her passion, and through her books, she has inculcated that passion in all of us. Her books are my go-to recipes for Filipino (and international) cuisines. But I find myself also reading through the pages when not cooking because it’s like seeing an old friend.
    On a personal note, she is the most loving and caring person I know. I love how she always greets me with open arms. She always sets me aside a special stash of goodies whenever we would meet at parties. I know these are ‘wow’ moments and it never fails to dawn on me that I am truly very lucky indeed.
    To Tita Nora, a Happy, Happy birthday. We love you!

  12. Wow, Nora Villanueva Daza is really a pioneer culinary authority in Philippines for many years already. I am glad that she’s still in the public at her age of 82. When I was a child, we used to watch her cooking show, “Let’s Cook With Nora” with my family especially my mother. My mother likes to cook also especially during occasions.
    Right now, her son, Sandy Daza, is now a well-known culinary expert and I am watching his cooking show. I am glad that he has a restaurant as well so that everyone can taste their dishes. Definitely, I will visit their restaurant later in Philippines. Thanks God that there’s Nora Daza and her family to share their talent in cooking Philippine dishes.
    By the way, there are three books of Nora Daza that we can buy in San Francisco Bay Area especially at Filipino stores like Seafood City, Tatak Pilipino, Seafood Market, and some Filipino restaurants. These books must have a genuine signature of Nora Daza to make sure that these books are real from Nora Daza. Each books costs $15.00.
    Thank you very much Anton for introducing Nora Daza to us.

  13. I watched Nora’s TV show in the 70″s. I was a teenager then but I loved to cook and bake. She was my idol. I think the reason my boyfriend then, my husband now, continued visiting me was Nora’s sans rival recipe, which I made for him on his visits. 50 years later, people say I am a great cook and a fabulous baker..thanks to Nora. I have all of your cook books Nora, my girls have them too. We use it all the time. We live in North America, but your books are our cookbook bible. THANK YOU!! May you rest in peace.

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