The fourth year and fifth implementation of the AJINOMOTO® Umami Culinary Challenge welcomes thousands of visitors and 450 student-competitors at the SMX Convention Center last February 02, 2013. 43 universities and colleges in Metro Manila and nearby provinces showcased their mastery of achieving umami taste in their culinary creations to vie for the coveted Umami Bowl Award.
In each of the five (5) competition categories, HRM and Nutrition students were given an hour to prepare and cook their dishes. These dishes are then presented to an esteemed panel of judges, which includes, among others, professional chefs – Eugene Raymundo, Seiji Kamura, Rosebud Benitez, James Antolin, Sau del Rosario, food editors – Nana Ozaeta and Dolly Dy and other food experts. Judges decided based on intensity of umami taste, culinary technique and creativity, dish preparation and plate presentation.
One of the major criteria of this competition is Eat Well, Live Well.® Cooking. This is judged by the UCC Nutrition Panel composed of Dr. Celeste Tanchoco, President of the Nutritionist-Dietitian Association of the Philippines and Dr. Josefa Eusebio, President of the Glutamate Association of the Philippines. This criterion refers to the integration of culinary skills and nutrition knowledge to create a delicious and nourishing umami dish. Chef Russell Bautista, Project Head of the event explains, “The AJINOMOTO® Umami Culinary Challenge has always been about providing opportunities for aspiring chefs to learn how to develop healthy and tasty dishes. We go beyond satisfying the taste buds. We want all of our participants to appreciate the importance of improving of the quality of life of the people that we serve.”
Apart from the culinary competitions, foodies and other guests enjoy exhibit booths from sponsors and witness the Caterers’ Forum hosted by Food Caterer’s Association of the Philippines (FCAP) and AJINOMOTO® CaterServe and a meat processing seminar facilitated by Mrs. Lourdes Rivera of Ultima Entrepinoy Center. Ms. Kathryn Bernardo, the new AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning endorser and one of the hottest stars of the Kapamilya Network also made a special appearance to congratulate all the participants for a job well done.
The event finale is the awarding of winners, which names Arellano University – Jose Abad Santos as the Umami Bowl Champion for garnering the highest average score and excelling in competition categories including Umami Bento Meal, My Own Umami Creation and Umami Potter. The UCC 2013 gold medalists, as follows:
|Umami Bento Meal||Colegio de San Lorenzo||Pouched Salmon with Shoyu Glazed with Rice Pilaf||
|Healthy Asian Umami Dish||Central Luzon College of Science and Technology||Grilled Fish Fillet in Lemon and Chives||
|Best Filipino Umami Dish||Delos Santos STI College||Liver Rice Adobo and Chicken Coconut Pandan with Crunchy Kangkong||
|My Own Umami Creation||Arellano University – Jose Abad Santos||Gabi Roll in Bagoong Coconut Sauce||
|Umami Potter||Rogationist College||Hot and Sour Coco Clam Soup with Saluyot, Vermicelli and Shredded Coconut Meat Served in Fresh Buko Shells||
Overall, the Umami Bowl Champion brings home a kitchen showcase on top of other prizes. 15 more schools receive medals, cash prizes, cooking equipment, gift certificates and culinary books courtesy of Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation and its sponsors.
The AJINOMOTO® Umami Culinary Challenge 2013 is presented by Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation, in partnership with the Food Caterer’s Association of the Philippines and sponsored by La Germania, Solane, Whirlpool/Fujidenzo, Sweetlink, Masflex and Anvil Publishing.