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Home Food & Recipes Big Life Decisions? Chef Baba Benedicto Has This Advice For You!

Big Life Decisions? Chef Baba Benedicto Has This Advice For You!

Like many of us, Chef Baba of Nono's restaurant had her hesitations when she took a big career leap.

Back in 2015, Pope Francis visited the Philippines, he experienced eating food made by Filipino chefs and cooks. One of them is Chef Baba Benedicto, who made a birthday cake for a member of the Pope’s entourage, which was requested by Lolo Kiko himself.

That in itself was already a feat for Chef Baba, but another thing she’s proud of is her restaurant, Nono’s, which was named after her dad. (Read: At Nono’s, there is something for everybody!)

Nono’s serves delectable dishes and mouthwatering desserts that cater to the varying tastes of its customers. It has become a successful venture for the chef as many are giving its food a thumbs up for being delicious and worth its price. But did you know that Chef Baba was actually very nervous when Nono’s was just starting? (Read: Three female astronauts who’ll inspire you to go after your dreams)

We share with you what the popular pastry chef told us in her interview back in 2019 in the hopes of inspiring anyone who wants to try new things—especially now that we are in quarantine and facing a pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Nono’s

After so many years as a pastry chef, why did you decide to open Nono’s?

My business partners gave me a much-needed push to open a restaurant. I actually did take the cooking program in culinary school. I felt that it was time to professionally evolve. (Read: From BPO Agent to Chef: How This Man Successfully Changed Careers)

What did you want the Nono’s experience to be?

I wanted something that was familiar, inviting, and timeless. I think that is really my style. You can see these traits in my cakes, and I wanted the same for my restaurant. I want Nono’s to be a place of comfort. I want people to maybe think of their childhood when they eat mac and cheese. Or I want to bring families together over an enjoyable meal of fried chicken and truffle pasta. I want people to know that they consistently enjoy our food with great service.

Were you hesitant when you started Nono’s?

I was very nervous as I didn’t know how our food would be received. The dishes are very personal to me. My team and I put a lot of hard work into each dish. It was nerve-racking to see how people would respond. (Read: Laid-Off Chefs Team up to Start Online Food Business Amid Pandemic)

But encouragement from my husband, family, partners, and team members is what helped me push through with it. My husband, Raoul, gave me a few pep talks.

Any advice for those who want to make a big shift in their lives?

Always put your heart into everything you do. I think if you are going to do something, give it 100 percent. Don’t be scared to share your talent—whatever it may be—with the world. Lastly, enjoy and love what you do…life is too short!


Text by Tata Mapa with Katie Rojas.

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