SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2019 10:35 PM | Updated as of Nov 26 2019 11:22 PM

MANILA - Filipino chefs serving at the athlete's village for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games at the New Clark City in Tarlac has assured participants not only of quality food, but also halal dishes for Muslim visitors. 

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

SEA Games: Chefs in Clark, Subic assure athletes of quality, halal food

Bruce Lim, executive chef for the SEA Games, said on Monday that while the task of feeding hundreds of participating athletes is a tough job, he said they will make sure that their stay in the athletes' village will be comfortable.

"This is a totally different monster. Athletes can't leave the complex so we try make sure that they can eat 24 hours a day, they have enough food and variety throughout, and we wanna make sure they are comfortable," Lim said. 

The buffet in Clark is open 24/7 for athletes with a variety of dishes both from Western and Asian cultures. 

"We promise them the best produce that we can sa lahat ng experiences namin for so many years. We are group of chefs now, mga 30 professional chefs," Sau del Rosario of Culinaria Pampanga added. 

Catering coordinator Datu Shaiffudin Kiram said all dishes are halal certified, including appetizers, desserts, soups, and the main courses.

"Actually ang halal na ito napakahalaga para sa mga athletes natin, mga delegates galing Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, tsaka Brunei," Shaiffudin said. 

There's also a food safety team on standby to ensure that all dishes being served is of certain standards. 

Meanwhile, a delegate from Cambodia said he is satisfied with the amenities at the athletes' village.

"We were surprised and happy in the athletes village because the building is in the mountain so we can get the fresh air... The food is very enough," said Sim Chantha of Cambodia. 

In Subic, which is also a venue for some SEA Games events, SBMA chairperson Wilma Eisma shared photos of the food being served for the athletes.

Earlier, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos said organizers of the SEA Games ignored their warning to ensure that delegates from Islamic countries are served halal food during the games. 

The lack of halal food for Muslim athletes in the SEA Games came to the fore after Singapore Chef De Mission Juliana Seow wrote a letter to PHISGOC COO Ramon Suzara about insufficient halal food and very limited food options at Century Park Hotel where Singaporean athletes are staying. 

Several athletes, both local and foreign, who are billeted in Metro Manila complained of the quality of food which were served to them. 

The 2019 SEA Games will run from November 30 to December 11. 

The last time the Philippines hosted the regional games was in 2005. - Reports from Gracie Rutao and Gretchen Fulldio, ABS-CBN News 

2019 SEA Games