Food and TravelA feast to make people happy

A feast to make people happy


- JAGUAR F-TYPE -spot_img

There’s always something new and dramatic each time one is invited for a meal at the home of entrepreneur Baby Cruz-Vazquez. There’s all that attention to detail, from the table setting and centerpiece, menu cards, name cards, and an appetizer bar, to a well-stocked pantry of china, stemware, silverware, table linens, choice wines, and a waiter at one’s beck and call.

Before the rush of holiday parties, she and her husband, real estate developer Dr. Daniel Vazquez, hosted an intimate dinner for friends at their condominium. The table centerpiece was a gem-encrusted tray that sparkled with crystals and ceramic angels. The black-and-gold menu card picked up the colors of baroque-patterned plates.

The salad bar set on a glass aquarium is laden with clams, prawns, couscous, fresh green arugula, romaine, and condiments

The main appetizer station and salad bar were arranged inside a glass aquarium filled with corn crackers, smoked salmon, and jamon Serrano flown in from Hong Kong for the dinner. The salad bar served the simplest but finest ingredients of clams, prawns, couscous, fresh green arugula and romaine lettuce, and condiments of pickled artichokes, caper berries in vinegar, kalamata olives, roasted peppers, white asparagus, green cerignola olives, marinated kesong puti, and pickled anchovies.

“That glass aquarium is a conversation piece. I’ve used it to serve dessert and cold cuts—anything on ice,” said Vazquez.

The dinner began with zucchini soup with coconut milk, followed by salmon with pomegranate-balsamic glaze, roasted leg of lamb with aubergine and red cabbage slaw, and roast chicken stuffed with chestnuts. The dessert was homemade cranberry sorbet in sugar-laced pancakes.

(L-R) Salmon with pomegranate-balsamic glaze and ‘Jamon’ Serrano

For a dinner of six guests, Vazquez prepares two days in advance. Her assistant will ask the dietary restrictions of guests and if the companions prefer chicken, fish, steak, or lamb.

Last summer, the same group of guests had assorted cheeses and aubergine, truffle cream of mushroom soup, linguini with caviar, calamansi sorbet with orange essence to cleanse the palate, and a main course of baked sole fish fillet with butter caper sauce and Wagyu porterhouse steak with foie gras and artichokes.

Roast leg of lamb with various toppings

“Every time you eat here, you must remember something different,” said Vazquez. “The most challenging part is preparing the quantity of food without knowing how much the guests can eat. I always make an excess so they can take the food home,” she said.

Vazquez prefers cocktail parties where guests are free to mix. “In a sit-down dinner, it can be awkward to be seated beside someone you’re not familiar with,” she said.

(L-R) Cranberry sorbet with sugar-laced pancakes and Smoked salmon on corn crackers

She learned to prepare some foods in advance. In London, her husband would invite his colleagues for cocktails at home. At the spur of the moment, he’d request them to stay for dinner.

“I only had one maid and I was raising two children,” she said. “It was a learning experience for me. But I always do everything with a passion.”

Today, Vazquez has a staff and a catering service called Nana’s Kitchen. The latter is more of a hobby rather than an income-earner.  She teaches her recipes to the staff so that they can also make it their livelihood.  They are often reminded that everything must be a work of love.

Baby and Danny Vasquez; Baby loves lavish spreads while Danny eats simply

Vazquez said she always felt a sense of accomplishment after cooking, entertaining, and styling the table and the food stations.

“I feel complete when I know people are happy. When I become a memory, I want to leave the legacy of serving good food and the love that went into it,” she said.

Photographs courtesy of Nelson Matawaran

 Discover Vasquez’s most important ingredient for an unforgettable meal inside the magazine, available in all leading bookstores nationwide or downloadable from Magzter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

The joys of coming home to Okada Manila

Renowned five-star hotel property launches ‘Come Home to Harmony’ campaign

A new mall, hotel, gardens, and more: Araneta City completes Gateway

The Araneta Group completes the Gateway Square complex with the launch of its final two components: the New Gateway Mall 2 and ibis Styles Manila Araneta City.

Maria Clara Sangria goes ‘virgin’

When it comes to trends for beverages in 2023, alcohol-free options for existing product lines are an emerging product segment. It’s not just about not drinking, however, but about having a choice.

Marvelous mooncakes for the 2023 Mid-Autumn Festival

Conrad Manila’s Mid-Autumn Marvels Conrad Manila invites you to experience a delightful assortment of flavors with their exquisite mooncake collection,...
- Advertisement -spot_img

Diamonds and Cocktails at Tiffany & Co.’s Greenbelt 3 Flagship Store

Glamour exuded as ladies in their elegant garbs and glimmering jewelry graced the exclusive event. Greeting them was a newly renovated interior with a gorgeous accent wall in Tiffany Blue® featuring an art installation of Jean Schlumberger’s iconic Bird on a Rock.

An evening with Audrey

SEEING the exhibit “Intimate Audrey” was truly a treat for me, an avid fan of actress and icon Miss...

Must read

Color theory

It’s all about hue! Bright colors and monochromatic tones...

Consumed by good food

“My name is always a conversation starter,” says Eric...

Overcoming my cell phone addiction

I must confess: I had become a cell phone...

A rebel to clean up Customs

If former rebel general and subsequent political prisoner Danilo...

The economies of scale

There was a time when a supermarket was a...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_imgspot_img