Before global culinary rock stars even arrived in Philippine shores for the much-awaited Madrid Fusion Manila 2016, future culinary talents from 17 local universities have already taken center stage in a showdown that tested their skills and creativity.
Named after the canned food brand, the annual Jolly University returns for its third installment with the largest number of competitors to date.
Students from Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), Far Eastern University (FEU), University of Santo Tomas (UST), and the Polytechnic Universtiy of the Philippines, among others, accepted the challenge of creating Jolly-inspired dishes (individual and group category) in the Cook-Off Challenge and a summer-inspired drink in the Mocktail contest.
La Consolacion’s John Mendoza, who garnered 87.66 %, was declared the ultimate winner in the Individual Cook-Off. He was followed by UST’s Lorenzo Joaquin with 87.43% and John L. Pestin with 86.72% of La Consolacion College. Mendoza bested 23 finalists with his fantastic dish entry “Fish Hardinera” which is composed of mushroom, garbanzos and fish meat.
For the Group Challenge, the FEU team composed of Kim Mercado, Francis John Candido and Jemuel Palmares, secured the top spot for their winning main dish, “Crispy Mushroom Laing”. Joining them in the winners’ circle were the groups from UST with their entry “Longganisa Infused Chicken Roulade with Luscious Mango Water Chestnuts” and Philippine Women’s University and their “Crab Relleno Rice in Curried Mushroom Sauce.”
For the Dessert Category, adjudged the best is “Jolly Trio Surprise” by PWU, followed by UST’s “Rice Pudding ala Jolly” and PUP’s “Cocktail N Peach de Leche”. For the Mocktail Competition, the “Tomato Summer Cooler” of FEU clinched the grand prize title, followed by “Jolly Mary” also by FEU, and “Nectar” by UST.
“I look forward to the winners’ continued passion and dedication to their studies. As new ambassador, I expect them to continue their engagement with the brand, spreading the word that there’s this reliable canned food brand Jolly, which is now 20 years old, that is always supportive of the Philippine culinary industry and students who are willing to learn and aspire to become good at their craft,” said Lucio Cochanco, Fly Ace Corporation—Jolly’s distributor—noted.
Winners in the Group Category received trophies and cash prizes and products from sponsors. Winners will also participate in several projects with the Jolly brand including recipe development and will also receive hands-on culinary training under Jolly’s chef Mitchie Sison.