Today is World Bread Day
From the days of the Bible to this fast-paced existence, bread has remained a constant staple in people’s daily lives. Packed with nutrition and energy, the carbohydrate in its many forms, can be had for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or in between, especially for lifestyles that are always “on the go.”
“Here in the Philippines, people usually make a sandwich for their ‘baon.’ They can eat it while stuck in traffic during the morning rush or as a snack any time of the day,” noted Simplicio Umali Jr., Gardenia Bakeries Philippines Inc. (GBPI) president and general manager. “It is from this grab and go practice that we were inspired to mount the ‘Next Big Sandwich Hit’ contest, where we’ve gathered students to become creative in giving Filipino consumers new ideas in making nutritious sandwiches.
The Manila Times caught up with the contest’s elimination round at Whitespace, Makati where Umali reminded the participants that “a good sandwich always starts with good bread.”
Speaking to 100 students from 10 Philippine colleges and universities that offer Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM), Culinary Arts (CA) and other similar courses, the executive challenged the young minds to come up with “the next big sandwich using innovative and cost-efficient ingredients.”
Gardenia is a Singaporean bread brand, which has been in the Philippines since 1998. This is GBPI’s second year of mounting “Next Big Sandwich Hit” in the lead up to the celebration of World Bread Day today.
In the “Happy Bread Day” activities, which aims to show that bread contains high nutritional value that even rice cannot provide, will culminate with the Next Big Sandwich Hit’s after a final cook-off challenge on October 18 at the SM Mall of Asia Activity Center in Pasay City.
According to Umali, one secret of Gardenia’s success is its high regard for quality assurance. While there is a slight disparity of prices between the brand and breads found in community bakeries, Gardenia justifies the extra pesos spend on its “strict guidelines and world-class food preparation procedures.”
“The secret to success is quality; it has to be the best. None of our breads are handheld. All our workers use protective gear so we are sure that no bacteria or contamination ends up in the product,” Umali told The Manila Times.
Applying the principle even to the contest, Gardenia asked teachers from Admanson University, Far Eastern University, La Concolacion College, National University, Philippine Women’s University, University of the Philippines, St. Paul University, St. Scholastica’s College, University of Sto. Tomas, University of the East to submit the names of 10 of their best students to join the elimination round.
These students then battled it out at the “Sandwich Showdown Kitchen Stadium” via 10 teams each whipping up their version of a “Power Sandwich” and a “Happy Bread Day Sandwich,” using Gardenia’s Classic White Bread, High Fiber Wheat Bread, High Fiber Wheat Raisin Loaf, Wheat Cranberry Loaf, Slim n Fit Wheaten Bread, Wheat Pandesal, and Premium Pandesal.
Besides taste, theme interpretation and food preparation, one important component that the contest looked for in each sandwich was its nutritional value. The use of fresh ingredients that veered away from typical sandwich spreads and fillings therefore gained extra points.
Healthy eating, after all, is the new trend in the market, according to Umali.
The winning teams from the elimination that are set to compete on Saturday are are Samantha Camille Porras and John Morris Garcia from UP, Paolo Gabriel Teodoro and Jay Freedom Gumayan from UST, Micaela Labalan and Jan Ivy Garrovillas from FEU, Jose Mari Tanglao and Roven Jayson Amistad from PWU, Noslen Orate and Norman Jed Royo from AdU, Bianca Mae Cadizal and Vanessa Andrada from NU, Ralph Anthiony Romasanta and Eleazar Amador from St. Paul’s, Karishma Aswani and Maria Milaella Galve from St. Scholastica’s, Marie Beatriz and Sarte Adryx Ivan Royz Rafols from La Concolacion, and John Suijin Crisolo and Danalorah April Lapore from UE.
The grand prize winner for the Next Big Sandwich hit will receive P80,000 cash, as well as P30,000 worth of bread to set up a business, while a P10,000 prize will be awarded as a teacher incentive, and P50,000 worth of bread will also be given to the winning school.
For more information log on to www.gardenia.com.ph.