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Cook’s Golden Dory Cook-Off 2015

When cooking with fish, treat it like a piece of paper. The writings and colors you add, gives it the life that you want it to have. –TRC

Never been one to talk anecdotes and similes but as far as food is concern, I can come up with the most unexpected of anecdotes that even I cannot believe to have come from my mouth.

September 12 2015 marked a very special day. Not only for me but to the individuals who have taken part in the recently concluded Vitarich Cook-Off Challenge held at AISAT. September 12 was when 4 schools, out of the 7, were judged to take part in the finals.

The atmosphere was full of positivity and aroma that you’d end up wanting to taste the dishes in an instant. It was as if we were in the set of a culinary show. The only difference? I was one to seat on the other side of the table…as a judge.

I admit, I am not a culinary connoisseur nor someone who has culinary prowess like my culinary superheroes, Chef Gene Gonzales and Jamie Oliver, to name a few. However, I love food. In general. I love the rich story behind every food – from the raw ingredients, concoctions, preparations and cooking, I love how each dish has a story to tell.

The contest was sponsored by Vitarich – one of the country’s leading poultry company. With them providing high quality dory fillets, everyone was in a festive mood to cook and present a masterpiece. With seven of the most respected schools in Davao, each team came in prepared and ready to make it happen inside the kitchen. May I add, AISAT’s kitchen was so tempting – it’s like calling you to whip up a favorite in a snap.

Participants were briefed and given pre and during event instructions. They were to bring the ingredients – but nothing pre-cooked – except for the main ingredient to be provided by Vitarich. They were given 1 hour and 30 minutes to prepare, cook and serve their dishes. Of course, there were criteria’s to which the qualifiers were chosen.

At the end, plated dishes were judged by yours truly, Chef Llerma Javier of Green Rocks Pasty and Sir Dei Endaya, Business/Product Development Manager of Vitarich. The winners were judged based on sanitation, cooking style, creativity and of course, overall taste.

Admittedly, the dishes were all good. However, it was a matter of who made the flavors work and highlighted the dory in all of its glory. It was not an easy task, having to eat all dishes non-stop and judge at the same time, that is. Still, it was a privilege to have tasted their masterpieces. #TheRoyalChef will forever remember this experience. Thank you to AISAT and the organizers for the opportunity.

Cook’s Golden Dory Cook-Off 2015 Grand Finals took place last September 27, 2015 at the SMX Convention Centre. To the winners, Congratulations!

Make #TheRoyalChef your Thursday habit. I’m on instagram @theroyalchefleebai

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