LOOK: These Chefs Reinvented Your Classic Pinoy Favorites
From sinigang to sisig and pancit!
Over 100 chefs from all over the country submitted the recipes of their very own versions of classic Pinoy dishes like sinigang, sisig, and pancit, to win Unilever's first ever Funlasang Pinoy Twist Fest.
10 finalists were chosen to compete at a cook-off held at Eastwood Central Plaza, but only nine were able to make it to the event. Twenty concessionaires hand-picked by Unilever Food Solutions were there, too. The booths offered a mix of savory and sweet dishes with a twist—from the traditional tapa, to crowd favorites like xiao long bao and salted egg potato chips.
Known expert cooks like Chef Fern Aracama talked about the importance of food innovation. "Pinoys are naturally adventurous. We come up with all sorts of excuses just to come together and eat. That's why whenever our culture evolves, so does our food. A chef always has to innovate to give his customers something new all the time."
Chef Fern also shared some tips on how to make sure you continue to update your recipes. "Improve on your cooking technique. Choose your ingredients wisely. More and more ingredients are now available, which will allow you to broaden how you present your dishes. It's also all a matter of creativity."
Meanwhile, Senior Sous Chef Paulo Sia encouraged the chefs to keep cooking and continue learning new techniques.
Each participating chef was allowed to bring one assistant to help them come up with the most delicious innovation they can think of featuring Pinoy favorites like sisig, sinigang, caldereta, and pancit.
The chefs came up with unique recipes like Chef Mel Tobias' Sinigang na Sisig and Chef Jun Rey's Calderetang Tinali sa Pancit.
The rest of the participants had equally innovative dishes like Chef Miguel Valdez' Sisig Mashed Bombs, Chef John Jugo's Grilled Sinigang Rice Topped with Kangkong, and Chef Rosanna Rosal's Shrimp Sinigang Fried Rice.
All three judges went around the venue to check on the participants' progress, giving them tips and plating techniques. They admitted to finding it incredibly hard to decide which dish is best, especially that every dish offered a unique twist to our classic recipes.
The participants had to make sure their dishes incorporated Unilever Food Solutions products, as it would be 40% of their scores. Thirty percent to the twist they would come up with and 30% goes to how they presented the dish.
Ultimately, Chef Danny Puga's Octopus Sisig won him the title as the very first Funlasang Pinoy Twist Fest Champion.
Watch out for his feature video as he talks about how he came up with the dish, the importance of innovating, and the secrets to reinventing great classics.