Isabelle Daza helps introduce culinary icon Nora Daza to millennials, Gen Zs


Posted at Mar 22 2022 01:31 PM

Isabelle Daza. Handout
Isabelle Daza. Handout

MANILA -- Isabelle Daza is continuing the legacy of her grandmother, culinary icon Nora Daza, by helping introduce her recipes to the younger generation. 

The actress joined her aunt, food editor Nina Daza-Puyat, in a recent cooking demo where they recreated two of their matriarch's recipes: Sweet and Sour Pork and Choc-Nut Brownies with Peanut Glaze.

In the online event organized by Maya Kitchen, Daza said many of her friends grew up enjoying dishes based on her grandmother's cookbook.

"A lot of people, when I was posting about Lola Nora's book, said, 'Oh, this is my mom's cookbook from bagong kasal,'" she shared. "And some people have used it so much -- I've met them -- and they tell me, 'Alam mo, kabisadong-kabisado ko 'yang ganyan. Because they read the cookbook so many times, it's become like a basic."

"And that's why with Maya, we're trying to encourage the younger generation -- my generation, millennials and Gen Zs -- to try this out because these are great recipes just to have at the back of your hand," added Daza, who also stars in the online series "Cooking with My Lola" where she showcases more of her grandmother's recipes. 

After enjoying bestseller status for 50 years, the "Let's Cook with Nora" cookbook has been updated by Daza-Puyat to include more ingredients and make it more relatable to today's generation. 

"I taste-tested everything and added ingredients that are available to the regular home cook today... Kasi there are some ingredients that weren't available then, like now we have different kinds of fresh herbs, different kinds of dairy," she said. 

"I did this to introduce Nora Daza to the next generation through Belle's help."

The old and new versions of
The old and new versions of "Let's Cook with Nora" are shown with the dishes prepared during the cooking demo. Handout

Daza-Puyat went on to remind home cooks and those who are looking to try their hand in the kitchen that it is okay to use "convenience products" such as cake mixes and bottled and canned items. 

"There's really nothing wrong with using a convenience product because you can upgrade it a little bit. It tastes good on its own, but you can [also] upgrade it a little," she said. "And it's already pre-portioned and all."


During the cooking demo, Daza also mentioned two of her grandmother's recipes that are regularly enjoyed by her husband and kids.

One of these is the Lumpiang Shanghai, with the actress saying it's a favorite of her firstborn Baltie. 

"Because Baltie loves anything crunchy. And I can hide the vegetables," she said. "What I do is I use the processor para hindi talaga kita 'yung green, and then I mix it with pork or sometimes shrimp. And they love the sauce. That's one recipe i learned from this book," she said.

Another recipe that her kids love is the Pochero, but she admitted that she has yet to cook this dish on her own. 

"I just kind of help out and tell my yaya [to cook it for us]. Every Daza reunion, when we'd go to Lola Nora's house, she'd cook pochero. It was so comforting," she said.

Nina Daza-Puyat (left) and Isabelle Daza. Handout
Nina Daza-Puyat (left) and Isabelle Daza. Handout

When asked about her mother's cooking philosophies, Daza-Puyat spoke of learning through practice. 

"It's really just knowing your ingredients and just getting into cooking yourself, so that you'll learn through practice. It's just really constant practice so you'll get more and more adept at what you're doing," she said. 

"It's okay to make mistakes because even my mom made mistakes," she added. "You have to learn from your mistakes and keep trying."