A total of 19 home cooks and aspiring chefs battled it out in the kitchen at this year’s Global Taste of Korea (GTOK) held at the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Culinary Institute last Saturday, 23 June 2018.
Divided into two categories, namely Bulgogi Battle and Freestyle Cooking, the competition was set to recognize some of the country’s best cooks with a heart for Korean flavors.
GTOK kicked off with the intense Bulgogi Battle in the morning. From bulgogi skewers to bulgogi empanadas, 10 contestants were challenged to put their own spin to the popular Korean meat dish.
With his Bulgogi Rice Burger, student Roie Rendel Calauag placed third in this category, while student Beverly Gail Cua bagged the second prize with her Bulgogi Crepes. Winning the judges’ taste buds, accountant Maria Dolores Narciso trumped the rest of the contestants with her version of the traditional Bulgogi Bibimbap.
The Freestyle Cooking competition tested the contestants’ ability to create original recipes inspired by Korean dishes. The challengers did not hold back from getting creative, as they showcased never-before-heard dishes.
Placing third in the Freestyle Cooking category is Maria Fresa Repomata, who impressed the judges with her hearty pot of Sundubu Jiggae. Amiel Santos’ healthy and picture-perfect Quinoa with Spicy Stir-Fried Octopus took the second prize.
Besting all the contestants in the two categories is businesswoman Maria Angelica Latuno, whose Kimchi Fire Balls emerged as the overall winning dish. As this year’s champ, Latuno also received a roundtrip ticket to Korea courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).
Written by Krew member Andy Flores