UFS Team is the Highest Gold Winner
To create Filipino dishes that stand out among hundreds of others in a culinary competition is never an easy feat. At this year’s 2014 Philippine Culinary Cup, one team bested the field of competitors to prove that they are the best of the best in Filipino savory dishes.
Team Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) emerged victorious in the PCC’s Filipino Cuisine Challenge as the top scorer to bring home the Gold, besting more than 30 other competitively-trained culinary teams. Representing the food service arm of Unilever, the team was composed of Executive Chef Joanne Limoanco-Gendrano, Senior Sous Chef Janice Lazaga, and Sous Chef Pipo Aluning.
“It is a great honor for us to be recognized for the talent and skills of our chefs, and this Philippine Culinary Cup win is certainly a milestone for the entire team,” said Colin Butler, Unilever Food Solutions Philippines Managing Director. “Our passion for what we do drives us to keep learning and to try and outdo ourselves every day. This award is testament to that. We derive the greatest satisfaction from knowing that sharing what we learn with our partner restaurateurs, chefs and caterers can only affect them and the industry in the most positive way.”
When asked what they did differently to win the Filipino Cuisine Challenge, Chef Joanne Limoanco-Gendrano said: “We sat down together and thought of classic Filipino dishes that we liked to eat. We then thought about how to present them in a more modern and innovative way without losing the dishes’ identities. Since it was a competition, we wanted to inject some level of difficulty in preparing the dishes to showcase the team’s skills.”
The competition required teams to execute four dishes in a span of 90 minutes. The result? The UFS team gave the judges a good show with interesting new ‘twists’ to some of our well-loved Filipino dishes with their menu:
Buro and Kilaw
A 3-way fish appetizer
A medley of local vegetables cooked in a spicy coconut sauce garnished with crisp squash flowers and morning glory leaves Arroz Con Itik
Short grain rice cooked with local duck, fresh turmeric, duck eggs, fresh herbs and topped with quail eggs
A Spanish influenced dish of braised veal tongue, ox tail and pig trotter stuffed with home style chorizo in a rich tomato pimiento sauce served with grilled eggplant relish
Apart from taste and presentation, the judges also looked closely at how well the teams practiced hygiene and food safety standards in the kitchen.
The team prepared for the competition by putting in rigorous practice hours at the Unilever Chefmanship Center, working on the factors that would impact the competition: their timing, teamwork, synchronicity, and ability to adapt to a different kitchen setup with unfamiliar equipment.
The Philippine Culinary Cup is the only locally-endorsed culinary competition by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) and is considered one of the best among the prestigious culinary competitions in the Philippines. It attracts hundreds of participants all over the Philippines coming from hotels, restaurants, and premiere culinary schools.
“We feel very honored to have competed with the most respectable chefs in the industry, and to be judged by WACS-certified chefs. It’s a great win for the team, and to represent Unilever Food Solutions in such a prestigious competition,” shared Chef Joanne.
“There really were mixed emotions. It was honestly a tiring journey but a very fulfilling one,” added Chef Pipo.
Chef Joanne, Chef Janice, and Chef Pipo are part of the UFS culinary team who provide continuous training programs on kitchen efficiency to food operators all over the Philippines through Chefmanship Academy. Training modules can range from food safety, costing to menu planning. To be a part of the next Chefmanship Academy Culinary Conference on September 30, 2014, simply go to
for registration details.
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