Pinoy chefs join cook-off in Canada

By Quay Evano, ABS-CBN Canada

Posted at Jul 31 2014 02:40 PM | Updated as of Jul 31 2014 10:40 PM

CALGARY – Filipino chefs showed off their culinary skills in a contest aimed at highlighting the different Pinoy flavors in Canada.

It was an online contest by Canada McCormick challenging Filipino chefs to showcase their best recipes.

In partnership with the Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks, the provinces' bets were chosen in a cook-off focused on highlighting Filipino flavors in international cuisine.

Chef Ramil Paje delighted the judges with his unique poached salmon in wasabi adobo with ginger pickles. Chef Bern Cabarrubias meantime delighted them with his chicken stuffed menudo.

But many loved Chef Tony Balintag Jr's adobo liver pate and deconstructed sinigang. He bagged the first runner-up award.

"Nagiging magaling tayong mga chef kasi mayroon tayong abilidad at marunong tayo. Iniisip natin ang kapakanan ng ating pamilya kaya nagiging magaling tayong mga kusinero," said Balintag.

But the two big awards-- People's Choice and Grand Winner--went to Chef Joel Garcia for his ala-kaldereta pan fried lamb chops with mashed potato in cauldron sauce.

"Siyempre, happy ako. Na-prove ko sa sarili ko na pwede pala akong sumali sa mga competition na kung saan man pwede pala akong mag-create ng mga pagkain, na mayroon pala akong talent na ganoon," Garcia said.

Garcia is a cook at the Austin Bar and Restaurant.

The chef judges were impressed with the creative dishes presented to them and the amazing talents of Filipinos.

"Unang-una, iyung passion nila sa pagluluto makikita mo sa mga plate na inilabas nila ngayon. Talagang makikita mo na talagang pinaghandaan nila, pinag-isipan nila, binigyan nila ng time para makapag create ng mga ganoon klaseng pagkain para sa atin," said Chef Mars Bacani, member of the Canadian Academy of Chefs and Cook.

The dishes were judged according to taste, creativity, presentation and ease of preparation.

The winners were awarded with cash, certificates of recognition and other prizes.

Chefs Balintag and Garcia are now preparing for the Canada-wide cook-off contest.