EASTWOOD Richmonde Hotel believes in the Filipino talent—especially when it comes to cooking. So, to kick off its 10th anniversary celebration last November (2020), the hotel launched its first ever Kitchen Masters: Home Edition cooking competition to honor outstanding home cooks.
“We wanted to provide budding amateur chefs who are passionate about elevating Filipino home cooking to a higher level with a platform to showcase their specialties and the rare opportunity of serving these to some of the country’s top chefs,” says Executive Chef Victor Barangan, the brains behind the competition.
Kitchen Masters: Home Edition called for home cooks to submit an original recipe of theirs or one of their family’s heirloom dishes. A total of 58 recipe entries were sent in, from which Chef Vic chose the Top 5 based on taste, creativity and the stories behind their respective dishes. The five finalists—Ryan Christopher Cayabyab, Ricel Decano Gabi, Walt Aaron Lazarte, Dick See, and Karl Kenneth Watson—then faced each other in a live cook-off and presentation to a distinguished panel of judges.
During the cook-off, Cayabyab prepared his Chicken Sinnog, Gabi made Pork Tapang Taal Roulade, Lazarte cooked Pork Higadillo, See presented his Zharina’s Roast Chicken, and Watson wowed everyone with his Braised Pork Adobo with Fondant Potato and Pineapple Foam. After observing the budding chefs prepare their dishes, looking at their food presentation, and tasting their dishes, the judges—Chefs Bruce Lim, Myke ‘Tatung’ Sarthou, Sau del Rosario, Rob Pengson and Mikel Zaguirre—handpicked Watson as Eastwood Richmonde Hotel’s first ever Kitchen Masters grand winner.
Inspired by memories of his mother’s cooking, his father’s favorite food, and his interest in molecular gastronomy, Watson created a dish that incorporated an adobo recipe from home, his personal interpretation of mashed potatoes, and pineapple foam. For this, he won a cash prize plus hotel gift certificates, and his winning dish shall be featured at Eastwood Café+Bar this holiday season.
Placing second was Cayabyab, and Lazarte took third place.
The winners were announced and presented to the public during Eastwood Richmonde Hotel’s recent online anniversary celebration.
Making the first ever Kitchen Masters cooking competition possible were sponsors Luntian Farms, San Miguel Foods Inc.-Great Food Solutions, Sysu International, Elle & Vire, Hershey’s Chocolate, Leiro Chocolate, Masflex Cookware and Kitchenware, and Nationale Bladeworks.