“Acquiring new knowledge is the biggest achievement I have gained”
DUBAI – A Dubai-based Filipino on Wednesday, December 21 displayed his prowess in the kitchen to an international culinary face-off championship at the International Center for Culinary Arts (ICCA) in Dubai. After battling it out with 10 other contenders he won second place.
Hailing from Pampanga, Jonathan Dungo Isip, 26, was tasked to cook “Chicken Breast with Ricotta Cheese, Semi-dried Tomato and Rocket Stuffing.”
Each contestant was given an hour to show off their best in cooking their respective tasks.
Dungo Isip is currently working in a restaurant in Dubai, and according to him, he joined the competition to enhance his cooking skills and meet different people who are into cooking as well.
“I started to love cooking since I was in high school. We used to have a TLE [Technology and Livelihood Education] subject and there, we cook and eventually I started to love cooking,” he said noting that he was 14-year-old or second year high school that time.
Since he was the only Filipino who competed in the international race, he said that he was shocked that he made it to the top 10.
“Masaya [ako] as a Filipino. My friends and my boss supported me all the way,” he added.
More than a hundred UAE-based residents tried their luck at the audition, but only 10 participants were chosen.
“We were more than a hundred, I felt lucky because the judges chose my dish,” he said.
Judging the shortlisted participants during the face-off cooking challenge was the well-renowned Chef Daniel Hiltbrunner. He is a certified Master Chef and a member of the Emirates Culinary Guild, the prestigious Academy Culinaire de France and La Chaine des Rotisseurs (CDR) with extensive judging experience as a jury member for CDR’s annual international young chef championship.
Competing for the first time in UAE, Dungo Isip said that he had competed for a couple of times already when he was still in college.
He had his internship at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel wherein he invested 700 hours.
“After my OJT [on the job training], the company absorbed me,” he added.
His advice to those who are into cooking is just don’t be afraid to explore dishes and try different ingredients because “when you mix different stuff they create a taste.”
“Sabi nga sa movie na Ratatouille, anyone can cook,” he said.
The one-day event was opened to 21-year-old and above participants who also enjoy cooking as a hobby.
The one who brought home the bacon was UAE-resident Navita Hakim.
The event, LG Home Chef Championship 2016, is an initiative across multiple LG subsidiary countries in the Middle East and Africa region.
Through the competition, the firm encourages healthy and simple home cooking while experiencing their home appliances.
Article By: Ryan Thomas Namia
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Source:: Kabayan Weekly