It was November 2015 when Maya launched it’s newest cookbook in an event at The National Bookstore in Glorietta. Titled “Simply Delicious: 50 Years of Good Food from Maya.”, the launch was a stellar gathering of culinary icons, esteemed chefs, dedicated foodies, media and friends of the Maya brand of products.
‘Simply Delicious’ celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Maya brand in 2012 and the subsequent golden anniversary of The Maya Kitchen Culinary Arts Center in 2014. The 208-page book offers a distinct collection of over 150 recipes both classic and modern, kitchen tested and approved for homemakers, casual cooks and professional chefs.
‘Simply Delicious’ is not just a cookbook; it is also something of a history book as it shares with the reader how the Maya brand and The Maya Kitchen has become so entwined with the legacy of baking in the country.
The book then touches on how Maya started, and the journey it has gone through and the path that it continues to tread with young bakers and food enthusiasts. One section features well-known chefs who have graciously lent their time to The Maya Kitchen Culinary Elite Series.
The book’s foreword is written by respected author and food historian Felice Prudente Sta. Maria traces the origins, growth and advances of the art of baking in the Philippines. She made mention personalities of centuries past and of recent times who had contributed immensely to make home and commercial baking what it is today. Broadcast personality and activist Lourd H. De Veyra wrote the witty ‘Afterword: The Undying Magic of Food, The Future of Food in the Philippines.
The launch was a gathering of the who’s who in the culinary world.
Present were some of the chefs who participated in the book, such as Jessie Sincioco of Chef Jessie Restaurants, Vicky Pacheco of the Chateau 1771 Group, Martin Kaspar of l’entrecote, Seiji Kamura, Dr. Efren “Boy” Vasquez of Café Juanita, Miguel de Alba of Alba Restaurante Español and Patrice Freuslon.
The recipes of the following chefs and restaurateurs are also featured in the book: Aracama Filipino Cuisine’s Chef Fern Aracama, Via Mare’s Glenda Barretto, Wooden Spoon’s Sandy Daza, El Cirkulo’s Chef J Gamboa, Cyma’s Chef Robby Goco, VASK’s Chef J. Luis Gonzalez, Junior MasterChef Kyle Imao, Ilustrado’s Boni Pimentel, Restaurant 9501’s Chef Myrna Segismundo, Purple Yam’s Amy Besa, Lolo Dad’s Café’s Chef Ariel Manuel and ‘Adobo Queen’ Nancy Reyes-Lumen.
Some of the special guests were beauty queen turned cultural guardian Gemma Cruz Araneta, grand dame of Philippine fashion Patis Tesoro, stage director Nonon Padilla, journalists Vergel and Chit Santos, restaurateur Conrad Calalang, TV personality Chef Sharwin Tee, Appetite Magazine editor Nina Daza, Food Magazine editor Nana Ozaeta, Good Housekeeping editor Roselle Miranda, PR icon Lydia Castillo, columnist and food writer Norma Chikiamco, Ethel Timbol, Dee Dee Sytangco, Tetta Tirona, Linda Keng, Beth Romualdez, Pia Castillo and a number of winners of The Great Maya Cookfest.
A special mention was also made of the people behind the biggest bakeshops in the country who honed their baking skills at The Maya Kitchen like the Go sisters of Goldilocks, Luningning Go of Jonis, Gloria Nichols of Rolling Pin, Inocencia Hizon Zamora of Hizon’s, Nieves de Leon Cruz and Nena Cruz Jacinto of D’Swan and Josefina Ruff of Ruff’s Inn Baguio.
In full force was the creative group behind the book led by book designer Ige Ramos, writer Joy Mañalac, recipe editor Rory Subida, food stylist Sandee Masigan and photographer Stanley Ong.
A Pancake Art live presentation by four groundbreaking artists – sculptor and visual artist Jinggoy Buencuceso; theater, film and fashion designer Leeroy New; Philippine based Japanese designer Wataru Sakuma and visual artist Raphael David entertained the guests.
‘Simply Delicious’ with its cover photo of a mango chiffon cake topped with bright mango slices and cream frosting is a welcome addition to anyone’s cook book collection. “Simply Delicious” is published by Anvil Publishing and is now available for P 595 at National Book Store and Powerbooks.