New batch of culinary champs hailed during Jolly University Food Congress and Grand Cook Off
An all “fired up” grand finale served as a fitting conclusion for Jolly University Year 3, as the country’s learning program that celebrates future culinary talents and entrepreneurs successfully held its Grand Cook-Off Challenge and first-ever Jolly University Food Congress recently at Le Pavillon in Pasay City.
The epic culinary showdown was attended by hundreds of students, food enthusiasts, media and top officials of the brand owner and exclusive distributor of Jolly food line, Fly Ace Corporation, led by its President, Lucio “Jun” Cochanco, Jr.
This year’s Jolly University competition, the biggest so far since it began inspiring youth participants in 2014, was joined in by 17 universities such as Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), Far Eastern University (FEU), University of Santo Tomas (UST), among others.
“This is the third time that we are having this Jolly University affair, and the first time that we are having a Jolly University Food Congress. As the company behind this advocacy, we are building this event to become better each year. We are thankful as well to our partners in the industry, the media and the academe for making Year 3 a huge success. We are so happy with this year’s turnout, with crowd attendance of over 1,000,” said Ramon Daez, General Manager of Fly Ace Corporation.
Battle of the Bests
La Consolacion’s John Mendoza, who garnered 87.66 %, was declared the ultimate winner in the Individual Cook-Off. He was followed by UST’s Lorenzo Joaquin with 87.43% and John L. Pestin with 86.72% of La Consolacion College. Mendoza bested 23 finalists with his fantastic dish entry “Fish Hardinera” which is composed of Jolly Mushrooms, Jolly Garbanzos and fish meat.
For the Group Challenge, the FEU team composed of Kim B. Mercado, Francis John D. Candido and Jemuel M. Palmares, secured the top spot for their winning main dish, ”Crispy Jolly Mushroom Laing”. Joining them in the winners’ circle are UST’s Erika Michelle J. Aparte, Erine Nicole G. Ramos and Noriyuki B. Hirano with their entry “Jolly Longganisa Infused Chicken Roulade with Luscious Mango Water Chestnuts” (1st runner-up) and PWU’s “Jolly Crab Relleno Rice in Curried Mushroom Sauce” prepared John Elix P. Manuel, Juan Carlo N. Caparas and Jodi Michelle K. Jacinto (2nd runner-up).
For the Dessert Category, adjudged the best is “Jolly Trio Surprise” by PWU, followed by UST’s “Rice Pudding ala Jolly” and PUP’s “Cocktail N Peach de Leche”. For the Mocktail Competition, the “Tomato Summer Cooler” of FEU clinched the grand prize title, followed by “Jolly Mary” also by FEU, and “Nectar” by UST.
“I look forward to the winners’ continued passion and dedication to their studies. As new ambassadors of Jolly, I expect them to continue their engagement with the Jolly brand team, spreading the word that there’s this reliable canned food brand Jolly, which is now 20 years old, that is always supportive of the Philippine culinary industry and students who are willing to learn and aspire to become good at their craft,” said Cochanco.
Amid the excitement, time pressure and energetic cheering of supporters, the Jolly University finalists delivered top caliber kitchen skills as they light up their stoves to come up with the best-tasting Jolly-inspired dish in the Cook-Off Challenge, and a summer-inspired drink in the Mocktail contest. The teams were given 60 minutes to prepare their dishes and mocktails whose ingredients had to include Jolly’s various canned fruits and vegetables and other Fly Ace products.
Winners in the Group Category received trophies and cash prizes and products from sponsors. Winners will also participate in several projects with the Jolly brand including recipe development and will also receive hands-on culinary training under Chef Mitchie Sison, Jolly Food Line team, among others.
Prior to the big announcement, the Jolly University Food Congress, which simultaneously took place with the Cook-Off, unveiled various interactive booths. Guests also gained insights in the informative talks and culinary demonstrations by resource speakers, namely inspirational speaker Francis Kong, Spanky Enriquez, Nana Ozaeta, Emily Monsod, Theo Zaragoza, Karla Reyes, among others.
For those wanting to become next year’s champions, expect exciting announcements to happen soon as Jolly University Year 4 will begin another great edition — this time inviting more young talents from various campuses in the country.