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Chef Spotlight: Chef Nuhma Tuazon of NUHMA NYC

Chef Nuhma Tuazon of NUHMA NYC

Chef Spotlight: Chef Nuhma Tuazon of NUHMA NYC

Nuhma NYC includes a full team of talented chefs led by chef & owner Nuhma Tuazon in addition to expert wait staff to bring new dimensions of taste and flavor to your door. Her company's mission is better food, better you, better for all since food is life and food should be as varied and precious as life itself. Nuhma NYC knows what good food means, a better life. A better life for you, a better life for all.

Nuhma Tuazon immigrated to the United States from the Philippines with her family at a young age. The sounds and smells of her childhood-freshly caught fish, newly picked vegetables, bustling markets-anchored Nuhma's sense of home and inspired her lifelong passion for cooking. Nuhma moved to France when she was 20 years old to intern under Pierre Hermé at Fauchon, the iconic French gourmet food company, before returning to New York to complete the Pastry and Baking Arts program at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). From there, she went to work at the Michelin starred Bouley for two years. In 2003, she launched a private catering company for Manhattan's social fixtures and philanthropists. Thanks to her exquisite, yet approachable cuisine, unparalleled service and famous fried chicken, Nuhma's business has continued to grow ever since.

Broadwayworld.com had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Nuhma about her career and Nuhma NYC.

What was your earliest interest in cooking?

I was taken by my aunt and grandmother to some of the local markets in the Philippines where I had my first glimpse of abundant fresh vegetables, fresh fish, many different types and cuts of meats with live poultry. The markets were fragrant although not without stench and were loud and crowded and exciting. I was fascinated by the markets and rarely missed an opportunity to visit them.

Who were some of your career mentors?

The greatest mentors for me, in order, were my grandmother followed by my aunt who were both fantastic cooks. There was always an abundance of fresh delicious foods spiced and seasoned perfectly at home. I remember the dishes they prepared as if it were yesterday.

I have always marveled at Martha Stewart for her genius, creativity, commitment to hard work and for her fortitude. The endless layering of David Kinch's dishes is utterly fascinating to me and I consider him sheer genius.

What culinary styles have influenced your career?

Southeast Asian, French, Italian, Mediterranean are the primary influences. Modern interpretations of classic cuisines both in preparations and presentation are of particular interest to me.

What do you consider the most distinguishing features of your work as a chef?

The most distinguishing feature of my work as a chef is simple: sourcing the freshest, local, organic ingredients and working with local markets I know and farmers I trust. In my kitchen we don't cut corners and there are no shortcuts. With the finest ingredients on hand, we create beautiful dishes with bright, clean presentations.

What is your favorite meal or meals?

It is difficult for me to say what my favorite dishes are as there are many and it all depends on what season we are approaching. For all seasons I like Vietnamese raviolis with mushroom and jicama with Vietnamese herbs which is gluten-free and appeals to almost everyone. In spring lamb and ramps and asparagus come to mind. Grilled peach salad and gazpacho in summer. Winter spice roast duckling with clementine orange in fall. In winter an Asian seafood bouillabaisse with kaffir and lemongrass and five spice braised short ribs come to mind.

Tell me a little bit about your catering business for our readers.

I opened my catering business in 2014. I had worked for many years in Michelin star restaurants in New York but also as a private chef for some of New York's first families. After the birth of my son Elijah, I began cooking for small events in my kitchen at home, but as business increased it became clear to me that I needed a well-equipped commercial kitchen and my son needed pre-school. My business had grown and expanded steadily since opening with weddings, film openings, corporate events, holiday events and private aviation. With COVID-19 my business has completely changed as it has for my competitors and for the hospitality business at large. I realized early on that with the disappearance of weddings and every type of event and gathering that I had to rethink how to move forward and really think out of the box. As a result, we are focusing on small family holiday gatherings, working in partnerships with farmers in the green markets for whom we are preparing pickles and jams, and expanding our fare to include holiday pies and cookies. We have shifted to deliveries and have created Nuhma's Kitchen Express which is a Southeast Asian menu as well as a comfort food menu, a staples menu and a Seasonal specials menu for each season. We are selling some of our holiday menus and desserts to local distributors and we approach each and every day with fresh eyes on how to keep moving forward.

You can learn more about Nuhma NYC, view menus, and learn about events by visiting https://nuhmanyc.com/. Contact them at info@nuhmanyc.com or by calling 212.673.1806.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chef Nuhma Tuazon


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