My first exposure on TV was on my mom’s cooking show “Let’s Cook with Nora.” I was about 10 years old when I first accompanied her to ABS-CBN, which was then along Roxas Boulevard, to do her live cooking show.
She had a guest, but she also called me to join her on live TV. Fearing that I would have to open my mouth, expose my tonsils and make a fool of myself before the entire nation (or maybe just Luzon at the time), I refused. I swore that I would never, ever do television.
But you know what they say, “Never say never!” Two decades later, my mom’s show was still airing. One day, my mom’s secretary frantically informed my sister Nina and I that my mom had just left for Paris and that we were needed to take her place as hosts for her cooking show.
Fear. I remember fear was the first feeling that washed over me as Nina and I were left with no choice but to concede. After the taping, amazingly and surprisingly, we both had fun. We discussed our fears in this first episode, but reasoned that we knew what we were talking about, anyway.
To make a long story short, we became regulars on the show, until life’s circumstances pulled us in different directions and I was left to host the show solo.
Expectedly, I ended up with my own show, called “Cooking With Sandy.” I had to come up with new recipes for each episode. Everywhere I ate, I was always looking for new ideas I could turn into recipes of my own.
This went on for years. I had a mental bank of recipe ideas that I could access when needed.
My wife Tessa encouraged me to share the recipes in a cookbook. This led to my cookbook, “Cooking With Sandy Daza,” launched last August, and quickly became a bestseller at NBS’ Philippine Publications category.
My recipes are simple and encouraging to the novice cook, just like my show. I tell people, if you know how to read, you will be able to cook the dishes. I made sure my ingredients are easy to find, affordable and, of course, tasty.
These are “everyday ulam” ideas. In my experience, no matter how good a dish tastes, if it is served too often, people will get tired of it. That is true especially for children. That’s why your neighbor’s food always tastes better to your kids, and your neighbor’s kids just love to eat your food.
After a few years of staying in Canada, I have also gone back to doing what I love the most—sharing recipes with people. My new cooking show, “Kitchen Confidence with Sandy Daza,” starts airing this Sunday at 9 a.m. on the lifestyle channel of TV5, Cignal. I still use my old formula of simple, doable and delicious recipes and affordable ingredients.
I don’t believe anyone who tells me, “I’m not made for the kitchen.” Very likely, that person started with a recipe he or she cooked, got negative comments about it, and basically discouraged the person from trying again.
Cooking, like everything else, is confidence-building. I suggest you start with a good, simple and easy-to-follow recipe. Then keep doing it until you yourself believe it to be perfect.
That’s why I call my new show “Kitchen Confidence.” I will provide the televiewer with confidence-building recipes. For an amateur cook, the trick is to prepare your ingredients before you do the actual cooking. Make sure each ingredient is cut according to proportion or size and is arranged in sequence of use.
For an experienced cook, my recipes will provide new ideas.
There is nothing more satisfying to me as a cook than to get positive comments from people who have tried my recipes.
I share all my recipes except for a few I use in my new restaurant. I just opened a new restaurant called Wooden Spoon, across Ateneo gate 3 in Katipunan, Quezon City. Hopefully, the dishes I share will inspire you to come up with your own ideas as well.
Check out my blog at sandydaza.blogspot.com or tweet me @sandydaza