A Cafe Juanita Christmas at The Maya Kitchen

Dr. Efren 'Boy' Vazquez

On December 8, Saturday, meet the man behind one of Manila’s in-demand restaurants, Cafe Juanita as he shares his cooking secrets in a class at The Maya Kitchen from 9am to 1pm. Dr. Efren ‘Boy’ Vazquez will share his one-of-a-kind recipes for traditional Filipino Christmas dishes such as Rellenong Manok, Lengua Estofado, Baked Fresh Salmon with Mayo-Sigang Dressing, Bringhe, Pinoy Ratatoy, Halayang Mangga Tart and Pinsec. Knowing how to prepare these dishes is sure to make your family’s Noche Buena memorable this year.

More on Dr. Vasquez:

“The retired doctor has singlehandedly created a culinary sensation with his Café Juanita franchise located at West Capitol Drive, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig. His penchant and passion for cooking he got from his family which hails from San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. Recipes passed on from his mother and grandmother are either served in their original glory or are updated to the modern times.

He is not keen, though, on super fancy plating. He does not want his diners feeling guilty for ‘destroying’ a perfect plate. For the good doctor-chef, food, especially Filipino food, should look and taste so appetizing you would want to grab and taste it. Deconstruction and fusion are not exactly his style. He believes that the essence of the food should always be maintained. A little dressing up is allowed, though. You would find the sitaw in his kare-kare tied into a knot. His dinuguan would have thin green mango strips on top with the requisite puto on the side.

Aside from the excellent food that Café Juanita serves, the place is so well known for its décor which is actually a hodge podge of antique furniture, light fixtures, china, statues, altar pieces and endless knick-knacks.

While some describe the look as eclectic, Dr. Vazquez unabashedly brands it as his take on the Moulin Rouge style ‘bordello.’

His culinary foray does not stop at Café Juanita. A few steps away from the original resto in Pasig is another intricately decorated place, the carinderia/turo-turo Kainan Au Gusto serving affordable and well-loved Filipino dishes. He also opened a Japanese restaurant called Haru located next door to the café. All three have consistently gotten praise among critics and the general public.”

For more information on other course offerings, log on to www.themayakitchen.com or e-mail contactus@themayakitchen.com or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City or call 8921185 / 892-5011 local 108 / Mobile No. +63947 835 2290.

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