UL to join 2014 Ajinomoto Culinary Tilt

Posted on 2nd of Dec 2014 by

UL to join 2014 Ajinomoto Culinary Tilt


DAGUPAN CITY – For the first time, the University of Luzon (UL) will join this year’s 5th Ajinomoto Umami Culinary Challenge (UCC), an inter-school national competition, which will be held on January 28 at SMX Convention Center in Manila.

“The UL registered tried and tested twelve (12) Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) students who will be competing with the finest universities and colleges in the country, mostly from Metro Manila,” said Dr. Mac Arthur M. Samson, Sr., UL president, during his meeting last Wednesday with Dr. Aurora Samson-Reyna, UL vice president and Dr. Amalia G. Dela Cruz, HRM-Tourism dean.

Samson, immediate past president of the Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities (APSCU) Region I, said the participants are “highly competitive”, citing the school’s modern approach in teaching and the recently renovated commercial and demo kitchen laboratory that help them in pursuing their dreams as the future “top chefs in the Asian cuisine industry”.

“Considering the trend today in the food industry which signals big opportunities for businessmen and job hunters here and abroad, our HRM students are now being prepared to take the higher level of training,” he pointed out.

Samson-Reyna, on her part, opined, “That’s why we have confidence at what we’re doing, because we’ve been preparing for this,” adding “but more importantly, this competition will bring greater honor to our school in the national stage, particularly on the lives of our students as they go through their own careers after college”.

“The prize or trophies will just be a bonus,” she said.


The Teams of Chefs

Recently, Dave Pasaoa, a third-year UL HRM student, bagged the championship prize of the 101 Ways to Cook Puto – an inter-barangay puto-making contest participated in by all 24 barangays of Calasiao held in the town’s Robinson’s Place.

Pasaoa, whose puto sushi is overwhelmingly received by food lovers in the local level, will present his “forte” – the Miyagino Bento Box Japanese Filipino Fusion to the UCC with much hope, energy and support from his Professors Danica Paragas, Donna Mangada and Geri Domingo, also a food consultant.

Explaining that a puto serves as a replacement of Japanese rice and that a puto sushi is a famous Japanese food with a crabstick, Pasaoa said his “equally-skilled and gifted” eleven partners in the UCC will practice the same level of excellence that the UL has been providing them.

The teams of chefs are composed of John Paul Lumiguen, Earl Gabatino and Karl Lauren for the Best Filipino Umami Dish; Erika Dale, Danna Dulnuan and Ruvielyn De Vera for My Own Umami Creation; Marlon Brando Castro, Jellica Pasco and Czarina Ramos for My Eat Well, Live Well Plate and Pasaoa, Neil Bautista and Jomar Cruz for Umami Bento Meal.

The Challenge


According to the website of the Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation, the competition started in 2010 as an umami experiential event wherein students will not only compete, but they will also learn knowledge and skills from  experts in  the food industry. The challenge is to showcase Pinoy’s culinary masterpiece in bringing out the best umami taste in Filipino dishes. Umami, a savory taste, is one of the five basic tastes (together with sweet, sour, bitter and salty).


The competition’s four (4) categories are Best Filipino Umami Dish (Luzon), My Eat Well, Live Well Plate, Umami Bento Meal and My Own Umami Creation. Participating schools can only field one team composed of three students in each category.

Under the contest’s rules, the participating team composed of three members should answer the umami knowledge test first. Team members should signal completion of the umami test by raising hands. Test papers will be collected before the cooking phase of the competition

The use of Ajinomoto umami seasoning is a must. Recipe yield should be good for two servings. Plating should be one for display/photography purposes and one for the Judges to taste. Cost of the dish should not exceed PhP 150 per serving and all dishes including garnishes must be entirely made and crafted on-the-spot;

Team should do mise-en-place and cooking of the dish following the recipe and should bring their own cooking utensils. Judges’ decision is final and all team members should attend the Umami Talk at 1 PM in the Stage Area. Failure to attend will merit five (5) points deduction from the team score.

The first prize winner will receive a gold medal and PhP 10,000 cash; the second placer will get a silver medal and PhP 8,000 cash; the third placer will get a bronze medal and PhP 5,000 cash prize and other consolation prizes.