by RONALYN BANAKEN
The UB team (from left): Jules Abenoja, Alvin Patrick Sabado, Arielle Aquino, and Chef Maricris Agas
The University of Baguio (UB) finished as champion in the National Food Showdown – Northern Luzon, a major culinary competition in the country, held at the Baguio Country Club on Sept. 21. UB edged out all the other 10 participating teams; six of which were restaurants and establishments.
The UB team – composed of Jules Abenoja, Alvin Patrick Sabado and Arielle Aquino – prepared sisig sa sarap na bulaklak ng saging (appetizer), kare-kareng bulaklak ng saging sa pusit na sinamahan ng tinolang kanin (main dish), and bibingkang pudding na bulaklak ng saging (dessert).
The taste (40 points), presentation (25 points), professional preparation (25 points) and hygiene (10 points) comprised the criteria for judging the dishes. Accomplished chef Myrna Segismundo; Raul Ramos, Director for Operations of the multi-awarded Restaurant 9501 (the exclusive executive dining restaurant of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation); and renowned pastry chef Jill Sandique served as judges.
“The feat just inspires us to go further,” said Chef Maricris Agas, head coach of the UB team.
During the finals held at the Maya Kitchen Culinary Arts Center in Makati City last Oct. 3, UB landed as the overall second runner-up. With kalamansi as the main ingredient, the team prepared crispy at kinilaw na bangus sa kalamansi, kalamansi sinigang na lapu-lapu na sinamahan ng ginataang balatinao and kalamansi yema at puto seko.
Winners from Luzon, NCR, Visayas and Mindanao battled it out in the competition, which, according to Chef Agas, was tougher and more intense. “Competing with chefs from some of the most prominent restaurants in the country – it’s surreal. For one, we are not a culinary school, so it’s a worthy feat. I think the training that we provide our students has been a major factor in our win,” said Agas.
The winners underwent a three-day training with Chef See Cheong Yan, culinary head at Enderun Colleges in Taguig, after the competition. “It was more of an evaluation and improvement of the dishes we have prepared in the competition. We sure learned a lot from it,” said Agas.
UB also won the same spot in the same event in 2013.
UB's winning recipes