/ 20 June 2024

THE TECHNICAL Education and Skills Development Authority has announced the winners of the Independence Day “Filipino Kusina Warrior” cooking competition held at the Quirino Grandstand last June 10-12.

The competition brought together amateur cooks from various regions in the Philippines to celebrate and showcase their unique culinary traditions focusing particularly on two iconic Filipino dishes: adobo and pancit.

TESDA Director General Suharto Mangudadatu said the contest aims to recognize the culinary skills and techniques that each cook brings to the table, and highlight the discipline required in perfecting the dishes and the artistry involved in presenting them.

“The Filipino Kusina Warrior competition not only serves as a platform for culinary excellence but also as a cultural exchange that enriches the nation’s gastronomic landscape,” Mangudadatu said.

“By featuring diverse versions of adobo and pancit, the event underscores the richness of Filipino cuisine and the regional diversity that defines it,” the TESDA chief added.

For the Adult-Adobo category, Agee Docaoyso of Cordillera Administrative Region was the Champion while Marc Deniel Dagon of the National Capital Region and Ephraim Laurel of Region IV-B were the first and second runners-up respectively.

Further, for the Adult-Pancit category, Allan Gacweng of CAR emerged as the champion while Bryan Boter of Region IV-A was hailed as the first runner-up, and Bob Christian Ruizo of Region XI and Ma. Francia Rieza of Region V was tied for the second runner-up position.

For the Kids-Adobo category, the winners were Anjanette Cañas of Region V (champion), Hannah Sofia Dejucos of Region XI (first runner-up), and Dominique Larah Estrella of NCR (second runner-up).

For the Kids-Pancit category, the winners were Jericho Castillo of Region III (champion), Jesse Michiko Cotelo of NCR (first runner-up), and Francis Eduard de Cadag of Region V and Trisha Mangaya of Region IV-A (second runners-up).

The cooking competition also featured uniformed service personnel cooking their versions of adobo, and government officials with their takes on pancit.

Winners for the Uniformed Services category were Mirasol Castillo of the Philippine Navy (champion), Alberto Martinez of the Philippine Air Force (first runner-up), and Carlene Bondoc of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (second runner-up).

Meanwhile, Department of Tourism Secretary Maria Cristina Frasco emerged as the champion for the Government Officials category, while TESDA Director General, Secretary Suharto T. Mangudadatu and Deputy Director General Aniceto D. Bertiz III were runners-up. Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Undersecretary Randy Escolando closed the roster as the second runner-up.

The winners were determined based on food hygiene, creativity and menu development, preparation of ingredients, application of cookery methods, and presentation and taste.

The “Filipino Kusina Warrior” competition was mounted by TESDA in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the different local government units.

The competition was among the attractions of the 126th Philippine Independence Day celebrations which also included among others a grand parade, a job fair, and a free concert.