Calbayog cook fest picks ‘tinapa humba’ as best

CALBAYOG CITY – A group of students won the tinapa (smoked fish) cooking festival in this city for preparing “tinapa humba” with taco chips.

The hotel and restaurant services students from the STI College transformed the smoked fish into humba, a sweet pork dish that resembles the famous pork adobo in appearance but students used the tinapa as substitute to pork.

“They also mixed it with taco chips since the theme was Mexican cuisine,” said the group’s coach Jasmine Villa. The group received PHP5,000 cash prize. Last year, the STI contenders landed 2nd place in the cook fest.

Other winners (2nd to 4th place) were Macgil Bayog, Nilo De Paz and Shindler Guinte.

Showcasing various tinapa dishes in a festival is part of the city’s 68th Charter Day celebration on Wednesday. Tinapa is the city’s major product with processing concentrated in Matobato village.

For this year’s contest, 13 groups from various secondary and tertiary schools in Calbayog competed in the one hour challenge.

Among the judges were restaurateur and Via Mare owner Glenda Barreto, a native of Calbayog City.

The city government provided the tinapa to all groups during the cooking contest.

Before the announcement of winners, Barreto suggested to the participants to present their dishes well when joining cooking competition.

“Tinapa needs something that cuts if not enhance its flavor, so you need to look for vegetables that will enhance or compliment it. Before you enter a competition you also need to try your dish several times to get the right texture,” Baretto told contestants.

Ronald Ricafort, city tourism officer said that the conduct of annual cooking festival encourages producers to looks for ways to add value to tinapa.

Calbayog’s tinapa is popular but it is usually consumed for breakfast.

Ricafort added that in the future, they are aiming to promote other local cuisines aside from tinapa.

Samar 1st district Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento has called tinapa producers to improve their product and find ways to extend tinapa’s shelf life.

“Since this is a perishable food, we need to ensure its quality,” Sarmiento said.

The solon added that he already asked the Department of Agriculture to provide equipment to prolong tinapa’s shelf life. Roel Amazona/