CONTADINA is a high-quality line of Mediterranean cuisine essentials by Del Monte Foods, which include olive oils made from the fine olives of Andalusia, Spain, canned tomatoes made from Roma Tomatoes in California, pasta made from 100% Canadian Drum Wheat Semolina, and pasta sauces made in Italy.
The name is Italian for “woman of the fields” and symbolizes the care Italian women have in cooking home-cooked meals using only the finest and freshest ingredients available.
Nigella Lawson, known as the Domestic Goddess, embodies these Contadina qualities that align with her philosophy of cooking with Simplicity and Instinct. According to Nigella, there are no secret ingredients to delicious food, only good quality ingredients and maximizing flavor with minimal effort.
The Manila Food Community was so happy to meet Nigella in person, the face of Contadina products in the Philippines.
Here’s a photo essay of the awesome launch experience for Contadina x Nigella…
Nigella is so beautiful in person. Everyone fell in love with her approachable personality and British accent!
Contadina is a brand started in 1914 by three Italian immigrant families and was owned by Del Monte Foods in the US. When Del Monte Philippines bought the Del Monte US business in 2014, the owners fell in love with Contadina, which was only distributed in the US and Latin America as a high-quality, authentic Italian brand.
With the leveling up of our palate in Manila and the millennial trend of cooking more at home and recreate the food we discover on our travels, Contadina is the answer for those moments when you need that authentic Italian pasta flavor or that extra virgin olive oil quality of Spain.
The Contadina x Nigella launch began with lunch, showcasing the Contadina products in each meal.
Starting with a Mediterranean dish of Hummus & Pita Chips and…
…a simple vegetable starter of Salad Nicoise.
We met our long time friend, Joey of 80 Breakfasts, also known as the local Domestic Goddess or the “Nigella” of Manila. Check out her simple yet flavorful recipes in her blog.
Penne ala Vodka
I love pasta sauce that isn’t too sweet. Here, you can still taste the balanced sourness of the Roma Tomatoes, just like the ones you’ll have in Italy.
Chicken with Greek Herb Sauce
The chicken was simple, juicy, and didn’t need extra sauce.
It was nice to see the Kain Tulog Gang (KTG) who were all excited for this chic meet & greet launch event with Nigella.
Seared Mahi-Mahi with Tomato & Mushroom Ragout
I can have this healthy meal every day! The taste is clean and the flavor of the fish speaks for itself.
Assorted Garden Vegetables with Fresh Tomatoes
The vegetables were served with olive oil. A simple dish to accompany the meat.
Flash Fried Steak with White Bean Mash
Best of all, there were generous cuts of steak, which was the highlight of the lunch meal.
After lunch, we had a cooking competition with three masters–Chef JP Anglo, Chef Stephanie Zubiri, and home cook Daphne Oseña-Paez.
Steph was beautiful and calm preparing her…
…Mediterranean-inspired pasta dish.
Daphne was full-on for the competition and proud to be the best home cook to her daughters.
I was part of Team JP Anglo, cooking an Italian Pasta dish with a Filipino twist.
The Contadina products were easy to use, and the tomatoes smelled really good coming out of the can. You can add flavors to tailor fit your dish to the Filipino palate.
I don’t cook, but I was game to help out in any way I could.
I love being with Mickey because she is down to earth and always having fun with food.
Nigella visited each group to see how the competition was going and this is the closest I’ve been to the Domestic Goddess herself, who is really beautiful up close.
Team JP’s spaghetti in Contadina tomatoes and squid marinated in lemon and cooked in Tanduay White.
I love this kind of event where the food community comes together over food and in friendly competition.
The pasta sauce is so good with diced tomato chunks. You can put this on top of melba toast and enjoy it all day long.
Each group was awarded a prize but Team JP was the overall winner of the best dish as judged by Nigella herself.
She loves Calamansi and the flavors of the Philippines, and maybe that’s why our team’s Pinoy tasting twist won Nigella’s vote.
Thanks to products like Contadina, you’ll have good quality Italian flavors you can use to impress your family and friends at home. Congrats to Del Monte Philippines for bringing Nigella and Contadina to Manila. I do hope we can see more of her again soon.
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: We attended the launch of Contadina in Manila. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Great hosting, Sam Oh!