Of the 22 mouth-watering dishes presented at the recently concluded Certified Funlasang Pinoy, it was Chef Victor Barangan’s Burong Salmon Adlai that stood out and was named this year’s grand prize winner. Certified Funlasang Pinoy is the nationwide search that promotes the celebration of Filipino cuisine. This delectable cook-off hosted by Unilever Food Solutions is now on its third year.
FILIPINO CUISINE AT ITS FINEST. Unilever Food Solutions names Chef Victor Barangan (third from left) as the champion of the Certified Funlasang Pinoy. This year’s winner receives the P100,000 prize from the distinguished panel which includes (from left) UFS Philippines Senior Sous Chef Carlos Aluning, Aracama Filipino Cuisine Managing Partner and Executive Chef Fernando Aracama, Locavore Chef & Owner Kel Zaguirre, Eastplorations Blogger Mark Tan, Philippine Daily Inquirer Senior Reporter Vangie Baga-Reyes, and UFS Philippines Executive Chef Kenneth Cacho.
Talented chefs from all over the country competed in this year’s Certified Funlasang Pinoy, but it was the surprisingly, satisfying combination of Mindanaoan ingredient adlai and Kampapangan signature dish buro that earned Chef Victor’s Burong Salmon Adlai the highly-coveted P100,000 grand prize.
Chef Victor’s winning dish used adlai instead of rice and introduced salmon cured in Knorr® Rostip Chicken Seasoning Powder for a bowl of buro with richer, umami flavor. He paired this with pork belly marinated in Knorr® Sinigang Sa Sampalok Mix and slices of fresh lettuce and tomatoes. His harmonious plate of flavors won the judges’ hearts and palate.
“I had to process and cure salmon to elevate the humble buro. The result was amazing,” said Chef Victor. Certified Funlasang Pinoy Panelists—Aracama Filipino Cuisine Managing Partner and Executive Chef Fernando Aracama, Locavore Chef & Owner Kel Zaguirre, Eastplorations Blogger Mark Tan, Philippine Daily Inquirer Senior Reporter Vangie Baga-Reyes, and UFS Philippines Senior Sous Chef Carlos Aluning—are all in agreement.
Chef Aracama said, “it takes belief in one’s self and true knowledge of your ingredients to be able to turn and elevate classic dishes into something innovative and modern without disregarding our own traditions and culture.”
Aside from Chef Victor, four other chefs each took home 20,000 pesos in cash to complete this year’s top five. These chefs and their winning dishes are as follows: Chef Belinda Moldez-Evangelista (Stuffed Kimchi Fried Rice in Roasted Chicken Inasal), Chef Gerry R. Austria (Sizzling Bangus Sisig), Chef Striessand Casallo (Ginataang Tortang Dariway), and Chef Wilson Adriano (Beef Serkele).
The top five dishes were selected from the hundreds of recipes submitted by chefs and cooks at the beginning of the search. From there, 22 dishes were shortlisted. All 22 winning chefs received plaques and certificates from Unilever Food Solutions for their “Certified Funalsang Pinoy” entries.
Managing Director of UFS Philippines James Benedict Carreon thanked the participants for helping Filipino cuisine evolve in this age. “We at UFS Philippines recognize that the secret ingredients to our favorite sisig, sinigang, or kare-kare are the passionate chefs and cooks behind these straight-from-the-heart Filipino dishes. That is why it is a pleasure for us to continue creating more platforms for chefs and cooks to take pride in their creations.”
For more inspiring dishes and recipes from Certified Funalsang Pinoy, visit www.UFS.com.