Quantcast
Latest Stories

Cover Story

In Good Taste

By

HEIRS TO CULINARY TRADITION: Solenn and Isabelle

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

But why would you want to, when it’s Solenn Heussaff and Isabelle Daza-arguably two of the hottest young models/actresses in the land right now-manning the stove?

“Taste Buddies,” GMA News TV’s new cooking/semi-reality series, gives a new (and totally wholesome) meaning to the phrase “girl-on-girl action.”

On it, Solenn and Isabelle basically play themselves, but in a fictional situation: two single girls living together in one apartment.  Sort of like “Three’s Company,” but without the pretend-gay third wheel.  Instead, weekly guests (also playing themselves) are invited to sample the culinary delights that the duo whip up in their kitchen.

When they’re not cooking, Solenn and Isabelle are usually lounging in their living room in shorts and tank tops, making the show a no-brainer for the male audience.  (Hey, we’d watch these girls play dominoes.)

But apparently, the show also has a considerable female following for whom the hosts seem to be aspirational role models: two genetically-gifted young ladies with wildly successful careers in the glamor trade who are nevertheless not above fixing themselves an omelet when they’re feeling peckish.  (Except for the fact that they’re impossibly gorgeous, and get paid a whole lot more, they’re just like us!)

The kicker is, the show isn’t that far from real life.  Their real lives, anyway.

“Solenn is my friend and when we’re not working we’re hanging out together and cooking,” says Isabelle.  “We live in the same place, one building away from each other, and we’re always

EAT, PLAY, HOST: Solenn and Isabelle horse around the kitchen

in each other’s houses.  We do the groceries together and we eat the same things.  It’s pretty funny because I think they got the idea from when we would Instagram each other pictures of what we cooked.  GMA News saw that we both like doing that, and it’s pretty cool that they made it into a show.”

The daughter of 1969 Miss Universe Gloria Diaz and businessman Bong Daza, Isabelle has the culinary pedigree, with chefs, gourmands and food writers on both her mother’s and father’s side of the family.  Her grandmother is none other than chef and restaurateur Nora Daza, the doyenne of Filipino cuisine, whose classic “Let’s Cook With Nora” has remained a steady seller since it was first published in 1969.  (Adobo grease-stained copies can still be found in many a Filipino kitchen.)  She also had a cooking show on television, “Cooking It Up with Nora” in the late ’70s and a restaurant in Paris called Aux Iles Philippines.

“The first thing people tell me, apart from me being the daughter of my mom, is ‘I have your lola’s cookbook,’” says Isabelle.  “I’m as proud of my lola’s achievements as I am of my mom’s, because she really made her mark.  Hopefully we can have her as a guest on the show.”

Solenn, for her part, is half-French, which makes her heir to two deep culinary traditions, continental and Asian, although she confesses she’s more partial to Filipino food, counting kilawin, bopis and dinuguan among her favorite dishes.

COMFY PAIRING: Solenn and Belle are childhood friends

The two have actually known each other since childhood.

“Our dads used to be best friends,” says Solenn, whose father, a French navy man from Brittany, met her mother, a Bayanihan dancer, in Cairo, Egypt.  After a year of correspondence, they married and moved back to the Philippines, where Mr. Heussaff became friendly with Mr. Daza.

“Isabelle and I used to have painting lessons together,” she recalls.  “She was a tomboy then and I was shy and also a bit of a tomboy.   We met again only four or five years ago.  My dad said, ‘Don’t you remember Isabelle?’ and I said ‘Parang hindi siya maganda noon, bakit maganda na siya ngayon (She didn’t seem to be this pretty then)?’”

“I went to visit her in Paris, and she was teaching me how to do make-up,” adds Isabelle.  “After that we became really close.  I introduced her to my friends, Georgina [Wilson] and Raymond [Gutierrez], and now we’re all like a barkada (clique)—the Blackberry barkada.”

“The show is so similar to our real lives,” she says.  “In the show we argue but we don’t fight, and we’re like that in real life.  We’ll argue and make fun of each other, but we don’t get into heavy fights.  I’ll cook for myself and she’ll cook for herself, and we compromise.  I guess that’s why it’s so easy for us to come to work, because we’re mimicking our real lives.”

One other thing their fans can take a cue from is the pair’s work ethic.

Solenn studied fashion design and make-up in Paris, and was on track to make her mark in the local fashion industry, working for Lulu Tan Gan’s label, when she was sidetracked into showbiz.

Just a little over two years ago, she was doing Ruffa Gutierrez’s make-up when the actress convinced her to sign up for “Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Showdown.”  Although she didn’t make it to the end, Solenn’s Eurasian good looks made her one of the most popular cast members. Her modeling and showbiz career took off like a rocket after the show ended, with contracts from GMA, Regal Entertainment and even a recording deal with MCA Universal, as well as lucrative commercial modeling and endorsement deals flying her way.

Since then it’s been an endless run of 18-hour days, seven days a week and brutal taping schedules.

Apart from “Taste Buddies,” she also hosts “Fashbook,” a fashion/lifestyle magazine show for the same network, and “Party Pilipinas,” also with Isabelle.  She is also in the middle of shooting “Indio,” a historical-epic series, with Bong Revilla, and two movies: “Sosi Problems,” a comedy, and “Seduction,” a dark thriller, with Peque Gallaga helming.

“I’m a Cancer, so I’m the type who will try anything that comes my way,” she says.  “I always want to learn something new, and I always try to prove people wrong.”

How does she do it and still look fresh from her beauty sleep?

“I’m always taking vitamins, and ’pag may five-minute break natutulog ako (I take catnaps),” says Solenn, who has obviously also been honing her Tagalog language skills.  “Pag may time ako I also try to exercise a little bit.  The waiting hours are lengthy, so I bring my workout clothes to work.”

She says she still has her fashion career to fall back on, although it’s obviously on the back burner for now.

“I hope this continues,” she says.  “You just have to remember to keep doing what you’re doing right, and to treat people right.  Whatever I try that’s new, I always try to do my best.  You have to feel real as a person.”

For her part, Isabelle is also dipping her toe in showbiz waters.  Apart from “Taste Buddies,” she is a regular host on “Eat Bulaga!”  She is also in the middle of shooting her first film with John Lloyd Cruz for Star Cinema.

“It’s my first movie,” she says.  “We’ll see how it turns out.  I still have to get used to acting, because I’m playing a character and it’s a bit more difficult for me.  Working with John Lloyd is different because he’s so magaling (good), and you really have to do your best.”

She continues:  “Hosting’s really what I like to do most because I play myself, and I’m the type of person who likes asking questions and learning about other people’s lives.  I like to make other people happy.” •

photos by Andrew Tadalan


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cooking , Food , Isabelle Daza , Solenn Heussaff , Sunday Inquirer Magazine , Taste Buddies , Television

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/U5XZ7DG3V4IM5BX3ZX5GTPDTU4 cane-juice

    Advise to the general public :
    Throw away those non-stick, Teflon, etc…, pots & pans. Those non-stick materials could cause cancer and other health hazards. Check it out, yourself, in the net.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  2. Lover’s quarrel linked to hunger – study
  3. Encounter with a ‘Mangkukulam’
  4. ‘Kamias’ for fever, ‘siling labuyo’ for headache–first aid in the kitchen
  5. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  6. Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. ‘Heaven is for Real’: Nonfiction book on life after death reaches screen
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  8. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

News

  • More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
  • DOH issues official statement on confirmed case of MERS-CoV
  • Aquino to stay at home during Lenten holidays
  • Man charged with hoax near marathon finish line
  • Sports

  • Tenacious Iran frustrates Qatar to retain Asian Club volleyball crown
  • Floyd Mayweather is ESPN’s top-paid athlete
  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Filipino rock icons to hold silent concert
  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • Business

  • Russian economy hit by Ukraine turmoil
  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Visa-free travel by Filipinos to Japan still a proposal
  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
    Marketplace