Kitchen becomes new arena for this clash of clans version | Inquirer News

Kitchen becomes new arena for this clash of clans version

07:10 PM November 11, 2013

LET THE CLASH BEGIN CCA Cup’s (from left) Culinary Champions, Gastronomic Gurus, Kitchen Kings and Meal Masters pledge to prove that Filipino cuisine is one of the world’s best.

Drums rolled, thumped and rocked the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA) Manila as it kicked off recently what it hopes will be an annual culinary event—the CCA Cup Clash of the Clans.

Four groups of students, representing four culinary “houses”—the Culinary Champions, the Gastronomic Gurus, the Kitchen Kings and the Meal Masters—will battle it out on Nov. 22 at CCA Oceana at SM by the Bay.


UNDER the Meal Masters’ wing, Inquirer representative Bernabe tosses up her first broccoli salad in the CCA Cup quick-fire challenge.

Each guided by two chef instructors, the houses will consist of freshman to senior students. Each house may also adopt and mentor students from selected high schools.


The competing groups will whip up reinvented homegrown dishes that can put Filipino cuisine on the world culinary map, a long-held vision of CCA Manila.

The Champions, Gurus, Kings and Masters are expected to take Filipino staple dishes and local products to a whole new level. They will have to tweak everyone’s beloved sinigang, tokwa’t baboy, chicken inasal, rellenong bangus, pan de sal, tablea and halo-halo.

Cooking up a surprise

As part of the challenge, the houses will have to prepare a Noche Buena spread that no one has thought of yet.

Launched in time for CCA Manila’s 17th anniversary this month, the CCA Cup Clash of the Clans is not just an ordinary competition but will launch a new tradition, according to the school’s program director, chef Melissa Sison.

“Filipino cuisine has a lot of global potential,” chef instructor Raymond Diaz de Rivera, Meal Masters chancellor, told the Inquirer. He said he had seen from experience how the country’s local dishes drew crowds of foreigners.


“When I was still working on cruise ships, we had world cuisine days on board and Filipino food day was always a hit,” he said.

But if the country would take to heart the goal of having one of the world’s best cuisines, the Filipinos’ beloved home food would have to move beyond the kaldero-and-palayok presentation of popular Filipino restaurants, he said.

The CCA Cup is meant to show that Filipino food has a distinctive taste, offering a gastronomic experience worthy of world recognition, and not made unique only because of  the use of

TASTE TEST Judges CCA chancellor Luna, president Guerrero and CEO Trinidad sampling one of the media salads

palayok and dahon ng saging.

As the competition aims to give modern twists to local dishes, CCA served modernized versions of all-time Filipino favorites for lunch, like Laguna cheese-stuffed chicken inasal and lechon wrap, during its launch.

“The winner will be the house with the most number of gold medals from the nine competition categories (including those mentioned earlier) on Nov. 22,” Sison said. A social media competition was also launched.

Food porn in five categories, French, Italian, Asian, American and desserts, have been set up by the four houses for “liking” on Facebook since Nov. 6. The house whose dishes are most “liked” will win the People’s Choice Award.

All four houses appeared psyched to claim victory, chanting “Ahoo! Ahoo!” as they marched into the hall bearing their house flags with their respective house chancellors.

The houses, however, were upstaged by the real star of the show, the CCA Cup trophy.

The latest masterpiece of celebrated sculptor Impy Pilapil, “Aroma” is a breathtaking sculpture of a big metal bowl of favorite home-cooked goodness, its aroma immortalized in steel.

Marked by the Pilapil waves and circles, Aroma embodies in glass and steel the artist’s childhood memories of her lola’s and mother’s cooking.

CCA Manila’s “pursuit of culinary excellence” is reflected in the sculpture’s undulating, upward flow. The trophy’s base will be engraved with the CCA Cup’s winning house. A new name will be added after every staging of the competition.

Each winning team will keep Aroma for a year and its members, called CCA ambassadors, will receive  specially designed chef jackets and join school caravans.

Sison added that each ambassador would receive P10,000 Gourdo’s gift certificates and become stars of  a cooking show on GMA7 scheduled to air in December.

SHOWSTOPPER Impy Pilapil, no less, has wrought her love of her mom and lola’s cooking in glass and steel, creating the CCA Cup trophy called the “Aroma.”

For a feel of what will happen on the 22nd, the media, the Inquirer included, participated in a quick-fire-but-no-cook challenge.

Each house adopted a media representative. The Inquirer joined the Meal Masters. The challenge was to toss the best broccoli vinaigrette salad.

Asked what made a winning salad, Meal Master chancellor De Rivera told the Inquirer that the only secret was freshness. A salad should have only the freshest ingredients and should be freshly prepared.

But with each team using the same tools and ingredients, and  with a 30-minute time limit, the secret must have been in the tossing and mixing, and the balancing of tastes.

CCA Manila executives chancellor Veritas Luna, president Susana “Annie” Guerrero and chief executive officer Marinela “Badjie” Guerrero-Trinidad served as judges.

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