Latest Stories

3rd Kulinarya Showdown semi-finals


The Third Annual Kulinarya participants, judges and organizers pose for posterity after the day-long cookfest. PHOTO/RAYMOND VIRATA

SAN FRANCISCO, California- Fusion and traditional Filipino food were dished out at the 3rd Kulinarya Showdown held recently at the Social Hall of the Philippine Center in downtown San Francisco. And the winning entries were Chicken Afritada, Sisig, Escabeche, and Kare-Kare not only great tasting but were feasts for the eyes. They were presented not the usual simply-put-together Pinoy fare but one that can attract a non-Filipino with the ingenious use of everyday bright colored leaves, tubers and what not. Tightly kept secret family heirloom recipes were pitted against studied and time tested recipes by outstanding chefs. Other recipes were simply prepared as their children’s taste buds like it.  Four winners moved on to the final round after their morning long cookfest.

Joycelyn Vergara, a mother of two and a group billing coordinator at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, along with Justin Hulog, a food blogger and a student at the San Francisco State University currently completing his MFA in creative Writing, bested the other contestants in the Amateur Division. It was Julog’s Sisig, and Vergara’s Kare-Kare that moved them forward to the finals.

Jerrick Figueroa, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and currently a chef at the Plant Café and Cat Cora, and Thomas Weibull, Executive Chef at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco were the winners in the Professional Division. Figueroa, with his fusion style Escabeche, and Weibull with his delicious and healthy-dish, Chicken Afritada. The winning “simple” afritada was a product of long culinary experience. Weibull, a European-Filipino, has worked in numerous San Francisco restaurants. He was Executive Soul Chef for Rubicon and Plouf before he was promplty promoted to Executive Chef shortly after, earning it three-star and Top 100 Restaurant billing three years in a row. He opened Les Amis in 2005, and in 2007, received Three Forks from the Michelin Guide.

Judges for the Semi-final showdown were Angie Louie of HanaZen Japanese Yakitori Restaurant, Ben Acorda, owner of Heavenly Ice Cream, Jackie Lingad-Ricci, journalist and foodie, Mike Ignacio, Philippine Trade Commissioner for Northwestern USA; and Joanne Boston-Hull, food blogger and travel writer/

Filipino culinary specialists who participated in the Semi-Final round but did not place include Rennel Atienza and Edna Murray, in the Amateur Division; and Julsunthie Calalo, Larry Lontoc, and RJ Quiambao, in the Professional Division.

The championship round scheduled for December will pit the San Francisco division finalists and one other competitor per division from Southern California Kulinarya who held their own competition this year.

Winner of the Professional Division will receive $1000 in cash, a round-trip ticket to the Philippines via Philippine Airlines with two nights’ stay at a deluxe hotel in Metro Manila; a Kulinarya tour to selected culinary destinations in the Philippines, and an all-expenses paid trip to the annual EAT Vancouver World Culinary Travel Expo with the Philippine Department of Tourism, where he will have an opportunity to showcase Philippine culinary delicacies before an international audience.

The Amateur Division winner will receive $500 in cash; a round-trip ticket to the Philippines via Philippine Airlines and two nights’ stay at a deluxe hotel in Metro Manilaa ,and a Kulinarya tour to selected culinary destinations in the Philippines.

Now on its 3rd year, the Filipino cook fest invites professional chefs and novices alike. The annual Filipino Culinary Showdown is held to elevate the consciousness and appreciation of Philippine cuisine, further improve the quality of taste and presentation of Philippine dishes, and, most importantly, highlight the culinary skill and talent of Filipino-American culinary hobbyists and specialists in the Bay Area and the Northern American Region. It is organized by the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco together with its attached agencies, the Department of Tourism, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine National Police, and the Philippine Center Management Board and supported by Filipino American Arts Expositions (FAAE) and community leaders in the Bay Area. For more information on the upcoming Kulinarya Finals in December and learn more about the rich and colorful history and heritage of Philippine Cuisine, log on to www.itsmorefuninthephilippines.us.com

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Features , Global Nation

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Lacson eyes P106-B ‘Yolanda’ rehab masterplan
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace