Jolly University Grand Culinary Challenge 2015: UST’s Team Epicure Wins


   Jolly University Elites are composed of 36 culinary students who have already jump-started their careers by joining the inter-school and intra-school competitions


Jolly University, a learning program that enriches culinary students to become food industry champions, recently held its finale dubbed as Jolly University Grand Culinary Challenge where University of Santo Tomas (UST)’s Team Epicure emerged as winners.

Now on its second year, Jolly University continued to inspire students to LEARN the necessary industry skills, CREATE career milestones, and SHARE valuable lessons with others. Twelve (12) universities which include San Sebastian College, Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), St. Louis College Valenzuela, Perpetual Help College of Manila, Far Eastern University (FEU), Universidad de Manila, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Arellano University, La Consolacion College, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), University of Santo Tomas (UST), and National University (NU) participated in Jolly University’s intra-school and inter-school competitions.

Robinson’s Place Manila’s Midtown Atrium was filled with students and alumni who came to support their classmates, as well as food enthusiasts eager to watch the live cook-off showdown. The program started with the invocation and the national anthem sung by students from Arellano University. Letran University Chorale and Technological University of the Philippines Dance Group entertained everyone with energetic performances. As the teams were introduced, the crowd cheered on and the cook-off began. The teams were given thirty (30) minutes to prepare their dishes whose ingredients had to include Jolly’s various canned fruits and vegetables. As Jolly University Elites, they had to apply key learning from the Jolly University School Tours and Bootcamp – two phases which preceded the finale.

The criteria for judging consisted of Product Output 30%, Leadership and Group Dynamics 20%, Presentation and Delivery 20% and Boot Camp Output 30%. The judges for the Grand Culinary Challenge included renowned chef Sau del Rosario, Food Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Nana Ozaeta and Fly Ace Corporation Marketing Manager Ritchie Conde.



The Jolly University Grand Culinary Challenge held at Robinson’s Place Manila 


The Jolly University School Tours and Bootcamp

Early in the year, the students acquired essential industry lessons from different speakers such as Jolly Sr. Product Manager Marilou Acuna, Jolly University Head Master Chef Mitchie Sison, Appetite Editor-in-Chief Nina Daza-Puyat, among many others. They had to come up with a unique recipe and compete with other students from their school. The winning teams were then called “Jolly University Elites,” thrity-six students who proved to stand out with compelling and marketable dishes.  

The Jolly University Elites were then immersed with a two-day boot camp where they received training from industry leaders including Fly Ace Corporation President Jun Cochanco who talked about Leadership Skills, Allegro Beverage Corporation President Leo de Leon for Business Skills, Chef Sau del Rosario for Culinary Skills, multi-awarded Digital Stategist Sheena Ramos for Digital Marketing Skills, and Etiquette de Manille President Pauli Antoine for Personality Development Skills. At the end of the Boot Camp, the Jolly University Elites were required to submit a comprehensive Business Plan.


UST’s CJ Asiddao explaining their dish, Pastelito de Kaliskis, to the judges


Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s Team ND Knights Ancel Beso, Queen Boliche and CJ Manning received 2nd place. Technological University of the Philippines (TUP)’s Team La Winima Wilnor Bataller Jr., Nieliza Beriso and Marvic Malenab won 1st place and University of Santo Tomas (UST)’s Team Epicure Christopher Asiddao, Rian Cajiles, and Monique Siguenza secured its spot as Grand Champion of Jolly University 2015. The unique taste and flavor of the winning dish, Bulacan Longanisa Pastelito de Kaliskis with Jolly Mixed Mushrooms, Garbanzos, Water Chestnut and Kesong Puti, was a cut above the rest.

The 2nd place winner received Php 5,000, Php 10,000 for the 1st placer winner and Php 15,000 for the Grand Prize winner. The Grand Champion will have the privilege to participate in numerous projects with Jolly Food Line such as recipe development, R&D, among others. They will also be featured in some of the country’s best-selling food magazines. The participating schools and the winners also received special prizes from various brand partners such as Solane, Whirlpool, Uratex, Fujidenzo, Technogas, Chef’s Classics, Allegro Beverage Corporation, and Kenwood.

Jolly carries a wide range of canned fruits and vegetables which are staples in every pantry. Jolly Mushrooms is the leading mushroom brand in the country with its consistent quality and variety of cuts – Whole Mushrooms, Piece and Stems, Premium Sliced Mushrooms, and Shiitake Mushrooms. Jolly Cream of Mushroom Soup can be used as pasta sauce or as hearty soup. There is also Jolly Whole Corn, Jolly Cream Corn, and Jolly Young Corn which locks in the sweetness of high quality corn that Filipinos love.

Opening each Jolly can reveals the choicest vegetables including Jolly Asparagus, Jolly Garbanzos, Jolly Green Peas, Jolly Red Pimiento, Jolly Black Beans, Jolly Straw Mushrooms, Jolly Tomato Paste, and Jolly Water Chestnuts. Favorite fruits are available all year round with Jolly Lychees, Jolly Mandarin Oranges, Jolly Peach Halves, Jolly Grass Jelly, Jolly Maraschino Cherries, Jolly Pineapple, and Jolly Fruit Cocktail.

For these young and promising culinary students, this is just the beginning of an exciting journey to their career in the food industry. Jolly Sr. Product Manager Marilou Acuna shares, “Jolly University aims to develop future industry champions who are jolly, passion-driven and values-oriented. With the variety of Jolly products, we have successfully challenged our culinary students to ignite their creativity in developing new dishes that will cater to the palate of distinctive consumers and be a key player in our thriving food industry.”

Jolly University will soon be opening its doors for yet another edition full of learning, creating and sharing. For updates, visit Jolly’s Facebook Fan Page, Twitter:, and Instagram: