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Culinary competition aims to become platform for innovating Filipino cuisine

Unilever Food Solutions Philippines’ culinary program Knorr Funlasang Pinoy serves as a platform for Filipino chefs to showcase classic Pinoy dishes in new ways

At the recently concluded Knorr® Funlasang Pinoy Twist Fest Year 2, chefs and cooks from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao showcased their culinary flair as they sought new ways to reinterpret and reintroduce classic Filipino dishes crispy pata, adobo, kare-kare, bulalo, and sisig to the modern palate.

“Funlasang Pinoy started with the mission of putting the limelight back to Filipino cuisine and re-igniting the love for our own local dishes,” says UFS Philippines managing director James Benedict Carreon. “With the help of a community of like-minded culinarians who share the same desire to elevate the Philippine culinary scene, Funlasang Pinoy did not become just any culinary competition. It became a platform where chefs and cooks across different regions can showcase their ingenuity in serving Pinoy classics differently.” 

Luzon chef Nikko Roa won with his toasted quinoa vegan sisig

From Luzon grand winner Nikko Roa’s toasted quinoa vegan sisig and Visayas champion Nico Joson’s adobeque to Mindanao standout Benje Gaviola’s lechon sisig kilawin in puff pastry shell, the important lesson learned is that food innovation is not something that should be rejected but rather embraced and given support.

“Food innovation is not about betraying one’s own tradition and heritage, it’s about transforming a familiar experience into one that can be distinct and unforgettable,” says LTB Philippines Chefs Association former president Fernando Aracama. 

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