Manila, Philippines – Twenty-two mouthwatering dishes, featuring the different flavors of the Philippines, took center stage for the most delectable cook-off hosted by Unilever Food Solutions. Now on its third year, Certified Funlasang Pinoy is the nationwide search that furthers the celebration of Filipino cuisine from classic dishes like Batangas Lomi and Pork Sisig to bold new recipes like Mexican Bulalo and Crispy Sisig Shanghai.
Talented chefs from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao flocked to the Certified Funlasang Pinoy kitchen with recipes to beat, but it was the surprisingly satisfying combination of Mindanaoan ingredient adlai and Kapampangan signature dish buro that earned Chef Victor Barangan’s Burong Salmon Adlai the highly-coveted P100,000 grand prize.
Eastwood Richmonde Hotel Executive Chef and Certified Funlasang Pinoy Champion Chef Victor Barangan unveils his winning creation, the Burong Salmon Adlai.
For his winning dish, Chef Victor used adlai instead of rice and introduced salmon cured in Knorr Rostip Chicken Seasoning Powderfor a bowl of buro with richer umami flavor. Pairing this with pork belly marinated in Knorr Sinigang Sa Sampalok Mix and slices of fresh lettuce and tomatoes, Chef Victor served a harmonious plate of flavors that won the judges’ palate.
“I had to process and cure salmon to elevate the humble buro. The result was amazing,” said Chef Victor. Certified Funlasang Pinoy Panelists – Aracama Filipino Cuisine Managing Partner and Executive Chef Fernando Aracama, Locavore Chef & Owner Mikel Zaguirre, Eatsplorations Blogger Mark Tan, Philippine Daily Inquirer Senior Reporter Vangie Baga-Reyes, and UFS Philippines Senior Sous Chef Carlos Aluning – were all in agreement.
Chef Aracama explained, “It takes belief in one’s self and true knowledge of your ingredients to be able to turn and elevate classic dishes into something innovative and modern without disregarding our own traditions and culture.”
Taste the new flavors of Filipino cuisine
Aside from Chef Victor, four other chefs each won 20,000 pesos in cash for their superb take on Filipino cuisine. Chef Belinda Moldez-Evangelista with her Stuffed Kimchi Fried Rice in Roasted Chicken Inasal; Chef Gerry R. Austria with his Sizzling Bangus Sisig; Chef Striessand Casallo with his Ginataang Tortang Dariway; and Chef Wilson Adriano with his Beef Serkele completed this year’s top five.
The top five dishes were selected from hundreds of recipes submitted by chefs and cooks at the beginning of the search. From there, diners selected a festive spread of 22 dishes that captured the Filipino taste and interest. All 22 winning chefs received plaques and certificates from Unilever Food Solutions for their Certified Funlasang Pinoy entries.
Managing Director of UFS Philippines James Benedict Carreon thanks the participants for helping Filipino cuisine evolve in this age. “We at UFS Philippines recognize that the secret ingredient to our favorite sisig, sinigang, or kare-kare is the passion of the chefs and cooks behind these straight-from-the-heart Filipino dishes. That is why it is a pleasure for us to continue creating more platforms for chefs and cooks to take pride in their creations.”
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