From the savory sisig to the spicy Bicol Express, Luzon is a trove filled with culinary treasures. Hence, six chefs from the island group were able to explore the gastronomic delights of their hometowns through Solane Kitchen Hero: Chefs' Edition, a nationwide cooking competition which aims to recognize a new generation of local talented chefs.
These chefs simply revisited their roots and took inspiration from their provinces’ staple to create their winning masterpieces. Now, all of them are a step closer to winning the grand prizes at the national round which are P100,000 cash and a culinary trip to Japan.
|Smoked duck and arroz valenciana arancini with sampaloc sauce and spicy apple chutney|
|Dinakdakan with ensalada, roasted shallots, and candied calamansi|
A unique twist on Igado was rustled up by Chef Xavier Mercado during the Ilocos leg. Igado is a famous Ilocano stew made of pork and liver braised in soy sauce-vinegar mixture and Mercado decided to amp up his version of the traditional dish by adding local fruits such as guava and grapes.
Another famous Ilocano dish, Dinakdakan, helped Chef Jan Daryl Doculan from Nueva Vizcaya prevail in his regional competition. A dish traditionally made of pig ears, head, brain, and vegetables, Doculan’s Dinakdakan was served with assorted achara, ensalada, toasted shallot, and candied calamansi.
|Igadobas Ti La Union|
Smoked Duck Arroz Valenciana Arancini was the star of the competition during the regional leg in Central Luzon. Chef Marlon Manuel from Nueva Ecija wowed the judges with his dish which he served with Sampaloc Sauce and Spicy Apple Chutney for added flavor.
Bistek, a Filipino favorite, was prepared by Chef Roberto Roldan Jr. during the fourth leg. Roldan improved Bistek’s salty and savory flavors with herbs and cashews, a puree of squash, green pea coulis, sago and calamansi kropek, and crispy shallots.
A famous Bikolano dish, Laing or spicy taro leaves with creamy coconut sauce, was also highlighted thanks to Chef Rommel Abion. Proving that Bicolanos have a penchant for spicy food, Abion cooked the traditional Laing and enhanced it by adding in steamed sweet potatoes and shrimp.
|Steamed sweet potato stuffed in spicy taro leaves with creamy coconut sauce|
|Herbs and cashew nut-crusted beef tenderloin in Bistek sauce, puree of squash, green pea coulis, sago and kalamansi kropek and crispy shallot|
|Ginataang lamang dagat with Salinas curry sauce, seafood custard and shrimp bisque froth|
Ginataang lamang dagat was prepared by Chef Mcrhyan Rodrigo during the last regional leg in Luzon. He served his winning dish with salinas curry sauce, seafood custard, and shrimp bisque broth.
These chefs from Luzon, together with the regional winners from Visayas and Mindanao, will go head-to-head in the highly anticipated grand finals wherein the next culinary master in the country will finally be named.
Solane Kitchen Hero: Chefs' Edition is sponsored by Midea, Jolly, Jolly Heartmate Canola Oil, Dona Elena Olive Oil, Dona Elena Al Dente Pasta, Masflex Cookware, Ajinomoto, King Sue, Anvil Publishing, Philtranco, Fastcat, and Chef Plus.
To know more about Solane Kitchen Hero: Chefs' Edition, visit Solane’s website www.solane.com.ph and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/solane.ph/. 09/10/2019 (Bits of Rocks)