Such a pleasure to meet Nigella Lawson, a true Contadina woman

The “Contadina” brand did not ring a bell but Nigella Lawson name did. I was so excited to meet her, and learn more about her joint partnership with Contadina. The Contandina brand the latest addition to Del Monte Philippines portfolio and encompasses a range of products known for its Mediterranean heritage.

contandina sauces

The origin of the Italian word , “Contadina” is “woman of the fields”, discriminating about the quality of ingredients she uses for the home-cooked meals she lovingly prepares. Nigella shares the very ideal through her food philosophy. She is such an inspiration to homemakers. I love her casual approach to cooking that it should be about fun and family. … Part of her approach to cooking is being relaxed and not rigid.

nigella lawson on the stage

I like how she pays tribute to homemakers like myself . She learned her ways in the kitchen through experiencing the world around her. “I am not a chef…I am not even a trained or professional cook. My qualification is an eater”. At 17, “Nigella Lawson fell in love — with Italy. The love affair turned out to be more than a just another teen romance. Decades later, the author of Nigellissima shares her stories about the country and its food.” She got a job as a chambermaid in  a pensione in Florence. She sneaked down to kitchen and watched the old Nonna cook a hearty meal. She actually learned to cook by watching her cook.  Nigella felt she learned the old-school way and it inspired her to cook.

nigella lawson at contadina event

The country awakened and nurtured her love for food. The abundance of fresh and quality produce helped shape her food philosphy of using only the best ingredients because it makes a difference in the taste of the final dish. This is consistent with the Contadina philosphy.  We tested this out at cook fest . I wanted to taste the quality that Contadina brings to the final dish.

Daphne Oseña-Paez was our lead cook and the rest of us helped in cooking the Pollo Alla Cacciatora.

contadina cooking 1

It is interesting to know that the olive oil is made with Hojiblanca olives, hand picked from the groves of Andalucia, Spain. The canned tomatoes is made with sweet, luscious Roma Tomatoes from the fields of California.

cooking with contadina `

The pasta is made with 100% Canadian Durum wheat Semolina known for its fine texture and creamy color straight from the western prairie provinces of Canada. Lastly, the pasta sauces uses authentic Grana Padano cheese and Italian herbs creating a very fresh and flavorful taste that can only be made from a true Italian-made sauce.

busy cooking at contandina

Nigella affirms the home cook.  Like Nigella, I learned to cook without any formal lessons. I learned by taste and reading cooking tips. See,  ‘..being a home cook, you can do whatever you want. You open your fridge, you see what you’ve got there, and you can be as creative as you like. There’s a freedom.’ I like that. Cooking must be  ‘informal’ and ‘spontaneous’.

cooking with Nigella lawson

And this is the final dish.

chicken dish

There were three prizes for the three groups. Our Team Daphne didn’t win the main prize . For me, just hearing Nigella affirm the home cook is a prize in itself.

contadina with Nigella Lawson

She also affirms that Contadina is perfect for culinary enthusiasts who bring passion into their cooking– those who understand that the rich and authentic medley of flavors can only come from the finest ingredients. I can see how it is also evident in Nigella’s passion for food.  Although there are  some rules when it comes to cooking, Nigella says “I think it is important to be able to trust your own instinct, and cook in a way that pleases you, whatever you say!”.

nigella lawson in our cooking demo

It is not the fancy techniques or huge amount of components that make the dish.  Her partnership with Contadina brand is premised on a single proposition : “For my cooking, I have no secret ingredient. I make sure I use the ingredients that are best for me. That is why I’m proud to be partnering with Contadina”

I can’t wait to cook the wide array of Contadina’s Mediterranean cuisine essentials – olive oils, canned tomatoes, pasta and pasta sauces. Contadina will be available in groceries and supermarkets on October.

contadina pasta and sauces

What a day. I am glad Nigella agreed to sign two books for my girls. I know they love to cook and I am sure they can find the recipe book useful. If you are just a new cook, Nigella suggests “Five dishes every home cook should master”. I believe we should cook more at home. Yes, to home cooking.

nigella lawson books

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