Culinary Advice from Nora Daza
Source:  philstar

• Best advice for people just starting to cook: “Study the basic things first. Start with what is simple, and don’t be afraid to move on to more complex dishes as you acquire the skills. Remember that recipes are just guides. The final decision — saltiness, sweetness and so on — is yours. It is your individual palate that should guide you.”

• Best advice to successfully cook a dish you’ve never tried before: “Do your research. Get the recipe and proportions. Exercise moderation if you aren’t sure. In the matter of adding salt, for example, you can add salt but can never subtract it from a dish. If you put it in, it is there and you have to eat it. Like with other things, anything that too much is not good.”

• How to salvage a dish that didn’t turn out quite perfectly:  “Remember that it is okay to make mistakes and anything that is edible, you can eat. As long as you don’t exaggerate. You know, I once made the mistake of adding a whole teaspoon of salt to a chocolate cake when the recipe called for half a teaspoon. It turned out all right.”

• On how to make an ordinary dish stand out: “The basic ingredients are important. For instance, if you want to have good stock for soup, you have to start with good bones. Then you just add the other ingredients. Starting with the best basic ingredients is important.”

• Best advice to stay on top in a culinary career: “The thing to do is to taste food and find which one you like. Then study it until you get the taste just right. Taste all kinds of food. Widen your palate and continuously learn.”

• Best attitude that a chef should have to achieve success: “He should not mind staying in the kitchen to do the hard work. But when he is tired, he should sit down and rest.”

• Best advice for those who are jaded and tired of cooking: “When I was like that, I usually would take a trip to Hong Kong and stay for three or four days. No cooking. I would eat and would come back ready for work again.”

• On how chefs can best share what they know: “Someone who is good with a certain kind of dish should specialize in it, define it and promote it.”

• On how to make Filipino cuisine stand out: “Fresh is best. Get your ingredients fresh from the garden and come up with fresh new ideas on how to cook more good food.”

• On how to achieve longevity and staying power in a cooking career: “Moderation. Pace yourself. Rest when you are tired and put it in your mind that you will soon cook something good again.”


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