BAGUIO CITY -— Three young chefs of Baguio’s only five-star resort won a national food showdown, and will compete in an international competition this year, Baguio Country Club general manager Anthony de Leon said on Monday evening.
The three chefs — Crispian Dave Pettoco, Phobe Pocais and Jayson Cacheco will represent the Philippines in the international tilt in Singapore, competing against the best of the best in the world in the culinary industry. The three won the professional category of the national food showdown representing Luzon.
De Leon said the competitors will vie against the best chef competitors from Japan, China, Singapore, France and other European countries.
Pettoco said that in the Singapore competition, the three Filipino contenders will highlight Filipino dishes. “We want to lift-up the Filipino dishes,” but they have to wait for the advice of the organizers on what ingredients to capitalize on, as that would determine what dishes they will be showcasing in the international tilt, he noted.
Cacheco added, “one thing is for sure, Filipino dishes gusto natin ilabas.”
During the national competition from July 20 to 21 at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City where they vied against representatives from the Visayas and Mindanao, the three worked hand-in-hand on an appetizer, main course and desert using egg as the primary ingredient.
For the appetizer, Phobe Pocais said she prepared a foam with egg yoke. She did this by sucking the content of the egg and changed it into chocolate which came as a surprise when cracked.
For the main course, Cachero said he did an herbed dish with egg, a “champorado crocket” accompanied by chocolate. He topped it with Mexico’s national sauce “Mole” to add to the flavor.
Pettoco, who did the desert, gave the “palitaw” a twist by using a “yema” as filling, noting that “palitaw” is no longer appreciated so much anymore. “I made use of glutinous rice, mixed with egg white and placed yema as filling. I also assembled an egg shape and used the egg white as merengue which is french in nature and I used the chocolate to make a nest with sabayon sauce using egg and ‘latic’ and topped with local fruits like strawberry and mango.”
He said, “I wanted to lift the Filipino dessert. When it comes to egg and chocolate, one can make a variety of desserts including egg-base custard, leche flan, braso de Mercedes, but decided on making ‘yema’”.
Pocais said that while they did not have the chance to practice well before they competition, their experience at Baguio Country Club came handy. “We had the dedication and the passion to do whatever it takes. We had teamwork and mostly prayers as the team representing Luzon to be able to get the bacon home.”
She said that their coaches Carlito Sagun, Richard Edison Soriano and Gemma Milagros Padsico also did a good job helping them win the competition.
Pettoco, who is 23 years old, has been with the Country Club for two years – his first job after graduating at the University of Baguio.
Pocais, 22, joined the resort in 2013 after graduating also from the University of Baguio while Cachero, who finished his studies from the University of the Cordilleras, joined Country Club in 2012. Liza Agoot/PNA-northboundasia.com