Photo from the Facebook page of Doreen Gamboa Fernandez
MANILA, Philippines - Culinary icon Nora Villanueva Daza passed away quietly in her sleep on Friday, September 13.
A formally trained chef and restaurateur, Daza is not only an institution in her field but also a predominant figure in Philippine culture and society, wherein the culinary arts enjoy the same distinction as the other conventional genres.
Daza was born and raised in the province of Pampanga where her love of food began.
She finished her home economics course at the University of the Philippines where she had also worked in its karinderya, further refining her skills, before moving on to studies abroad at Cornell University in New York, and in France, under the mentorship of some of the leading cooks there.
Daza's commitment to her discipline became a vocation in her long career, as she promoted quality and efficiency in kitchen technology, alongside her passion for cooking and sharing her craft in cooking classes and food festivals.
She was an innovator, opening a French restaurant in Manila during the headstrong Sixties, introducing Filipino cuisine in Europe, widening the interaction in global cuisine for the benefit of her primary patron, the Filipino diner, and promoting the art of cooking through her TV shows, which made her something of a pop icon.
It is through her endeavors as cook, entrepreneur, teacher, and writer - among many other directions in her multifaceted career- that Daza embodied the character and energy of postwar Philippines - a distinct milieu, in hindsight, wherein she counted among its leading personalities.
Daza is survived by her sons, Sandy, himself a renowned chef and restaurateur, and food entrepreneur Bong, and daughters Mariles, Stella, and Nina.
Her remains are at the Loyola Memorial Chapel on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. She will be cremated Sunday, September 15. - Rappler.com