The La Cocina Story
By Suzette Montinola
La Cocina de Tita Moning began, as appropriately named, in the kitchen.
When my grandmother passed away in 1999, my aunts encouraged me to come up with a shortlist of food items she was especially known for. Being unemployed, and “searching for myself”, I said “why not?”
To my own amazement, people ordered.
With the invaluable help of my grandmother’s staff, La Cocina de Tita Moning delivered more food orders in that first Christmas than I ever imagined possible.
Turning the old house into a restaurant was never really an idea, but for some reason, the dinners began. Our first guests were just friends of friends. Before I knew it, the phone was ringing with inquiries and the press was knocking on our door writing wonderful things.
One party became one hundred parties.
New Guests became new friends.
Today, I look in amazement at what a shortlist of my grandmother’s specialities has grown into. An ancestral home with a personal family museum where a guest can experience first hand how those at the turn of the century dined in Metro Manila. We are one of a kind in Metro Manila. It is a small as a business but it is done in a very big way.
What stands today is the result of a lot of work by a faithful and hardworking staff. It is born of a great deal of confidence my family has placed in me. And it exists because of luck, and of course, the love that surrounds me everyday.