On its second year, Ausphin held its annual Cook-Off event last November 3, 2017, from 9 am to 2 pm, at Martin Place Social, The Arya Plaza Residences in BGC, Taguig City. This most-awaited kitchen battle aimed to showcase the skills of Filipino culinary students and to promote culinary opportunities in Australia. Also, to increase their awareness regarding the importance of culinary sustainability and conservation of resources.

Six best bets from different culinary and hospitality schools — Culinary Institute of Cagayan de Oro, Global Academy, La Consolacion College Manila, Malayan Colleges Laguna, SKD Academy, and the University of Makati– accepted the challenge and fought for victory. Six contenders, but only one winner will receive an Australian Qualification Scholarship with the champion title!

Evan Spargo, TV presenter and event host in Australia and Asia, hosted the event. After quick briefing, the main ingredient was only revealed few minutes before the cooking proper. These included three types of fish – a tanigue, a yellowfin tuna, and a red snapper. Altogether, the participants set the kitchen on fire with their fiery passion in cooking. They were only given an hour to prepare their dishes and impress the judges. Joining the esteemed panel was Ausphin’s Director, Ms. Rachelle Yilmaz, along with Chef Tom Hines, a restaurateur and culinary instructor, and Chef Philip John Golding, founder, and principal of the Golding Culinary Group. Spectators had the chance to witness live cooking from Martin Place Social’s glass-walled kitchen. Engaging photo booth and exciting raffle promos were also prepared for them while they were actively showing support to their school representatives. Ausphin also provided real-time online posting via Facebook Live coverage to cater culinary enthusiasts who were not able to attend.

 After an intense deliberation, the panel announced the victors. Out of all six mouth-watering dishes, one dish stood out and tops the heart of the judges. Mary Ann Meñez from SKD Academy was proclaimed as the Ausphin Cook-Off 2017 Grand Champion. She attained an Australian Qualification Scholarship worth more than 2,000 AUD for her “Seafood Surprise” dish. As for 1st runner-up, Francis John Masangcay from the University of Makati won for his “Pa-Nang Gai” dish. Lastly, Chuser Erika Quidlat from Culinary Institute of Cagayan de Oro emerged as 2nd runner-up for her “Miso-Ginger Glazed Fish” dish. All winners were given cash prizes, medals, trophies, and Martin Place Social gift certificates. Other equally talented participants namely Arolf Gene Torres from La Consolacion College Manila, Jessie Louie Singh from Global Academy and Jasmine Pinaroc from Malayan Colleges Laguna received also a treat from Martin Place Social.

The five-hour event was fun-filled and flavorful. We, at Ausphin, are grateful! We are looking forward to more successful culinary events in the future!

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