When In Manila, expect to meet a lot of talented cooks not only in notable restos but even in the simplest eateries humbly operating around the metro!
FACT: Filipinos LOVE to EAT… and with this love for eating comes a passion for cooking as well!
And so, to give honor and recognize our very own local cooking heroes, SM Hypermarket brings us once again the exciting search for SM Hypermarket’s Master Chefs: Barangay Cooking Idol, now on its’ 7th year!
THE COOKING CHALLENGE
You might say that this is just another cooking competition that is trying to make it big. I say, you got it all wrong! On its 7th installment, the Master Chefs Barangay Cooking Challenge aims to tap the best cooks of every barangay to show their talent in the kitchen. It’s about time that our great unsung cooks who work and/or own local eateries, canteens, food stalls be recognized for their innate cooking talents even without formal culinary training. It’s all about talent in its purest form!
I was luckily invited to grace the elimination round recently held at SM Hypermarket Cubao, where 29 barangay representatives battled the kitchen arena as the cooked the best Kare-kare. I’m not an expert nor even a cook, but I know how hard it is to prepare that popular Filipino fiesta dish.
The event was like a little fiesta, with contestants revealing their hidden talents – separate from cooking – in singing and dancing – one of the contestants even recited a poem – while the three judges critiqued their Kare-kare. Three professional chefs, Chefs Dang Adrias, Emzo Ramos and Hasset Go, judged each dish in search for the 10 best cooks from that barangay. Just by watching the judges that afternoon, I felt they really had difficulty in selecting the top cooks!
I was amazed on how great the participants were, not just with their cooking techniques but also their creativity! Remember, these cooks were from a local barangay and some of them – well, maybe all of them – didn’t receive any formal training. I was impressed on how they plated their creations! They all looked good and tasted even better!
Not only that, their ideas were remarkable! A number of participants gave the usual Kare-kare a twist! One used fish as her main ingredient and two used shrimps. “It’s something new! Who would have thought na pwedeng gamitin sa Kare-kare ang isda?” said Chef Emzo Ramos of Unilever Food Solutions. He added that these cooks were not afraid to go beyond the norm and that’s what made them equally talented than those who own restaurant chains.