A Taste of the Ajinomoto® Umami Culinary Challenge Experience

Thursday, February 11, 2016


The Ajinomoto Umami Culinary Challenge (UCC) was attended by thousands of HRM and Nutrition students last January 30, 2015 at the Philippine Trade Training Center. Over 300 students-competitors dished out hundreds of culinary masterpieces with each one striving to depict the importance of “umami deliciousness” in healthy cooking.


UCC Student-Competitors in Action during My Own Umami Creation Competition.

The panel of judges is a great mix of technical experts from the culinary and nutrition fields like Celebrity Chefs Gene Gonzales, Sau del Rosario, Eugene Raymundo, Philippine Association of Nutrition (PAN) Board Member Dr. Imelda Agdeppa, Nutritionist-Dietician Association of the Philippines (NDAP) President Dr. Adela Jamorabo-Ruiz and Food and Nutrition Research Institute Scientist Maria Jovina Sandoval to name a few. Food entries that landed the top spots showcased the creative use of fresh ingredients to make nutritious and delicious meals.


Best of both worlds – Culinary and Nutrition Experts mentor UCC Student-Competitors

The UCC Experience

Year after year, Ajinomoto thoughtfully put together a great program to tickle the minds and taste buds of culinarians and food lovers. The whole UCC experience can be described as a full-day event punctuated with fun and exciting learning activities. Aside from the culinary competitions, Umami Coaches from 23 schools and their students presented actual executions of the My Eat Well, Live Well.® Plate to promote the proper balance of healthy carbohydrates, good quality protein and vibrant-colored vegetables and fresh fruits in a food plating contest. 11 schools teams also prepared healthy beverage concoctions to the tune of danceable mash ups songs during the Aminomazing Showdown, which features the beneficial amino acid content of the new “amino Fres-C” Instant Juice Drink Mix.

My Umami Coach and I prepared My Eat Well, Live Well® Plate to promote proper balance of healthy carbohydrates, good quality protein and vibrant-colored vegetables and fresh fruits in a food plating contest.

Dr. Kumiko Ninomiya, Director of Umami Information Center in Japan and Dr. Celeste Tanchoco, NDAP Board Member were invited to explain the science behind umami and the amino acid - glutamate. These food science presentations proved to be helpful in understanding the role of umami in food and nutrition and its relevance to the culinary professionals around the world.

A Spread of Umami Ingredients and well-loved Ajinomoto Products at the Ajinomoto Tablescape.

Kathryn Bernardo, Teen Queen and AJI-NO-MOTO® Brand Endorser, personally congratulated the event participants for their drive and passion in trying to fulfill their dreams of becoming future chefs. Kathryn shared her fascination in each team’s potential to make it big in the culinary industry.

Kathryn Bernardo with her new kitchen Best Friend – AjiPanda™.

The UCC Winners

Visayas’ contingent Hercor College won big after landing first place for 2 National Cooking Showdown competition categories - Best Filipino Umami Dish and My Own Umami Creation.

In the end, the following school teams were named and given cash prizes, medals and other gifts from event partners for winning the competition categories:

NATIONAL COOKING SHOWDOWN
BEST FILIPINO UMAMI DISH
MY OWN UMAMI CREATION
Hercor College (Visayas)
Hercor College (Visayas)


UMAMI BOWL CHAMPION (LUZON)
Highest Accumulated Score
National College of Business and Arts Fairview

CULINARY COMPETITION CATEGORIES (LUZON)
RANK
BEST FILIPINO UMAMI DISH
MY OWN UMAMI CREATION
2016 UMAMI MASTER LUZON
1st
Colegio de San Lorenzo
Saint Michael's College of Laguna
St. Dominic College of Asia
2nd
Miriam College
National College Of Business and Arts Fairview
National College Of Business and Arts Fairview
3rd
Asian College
Olivarez College
University of Santo Tomas

NON-CULINARY COMPETITION CATEGORIES (LUZON, TOP 3)
AMINOMAZING SHOWDOWN
(BEVERAGE CONCOCTION CONTEST )
MY UMAMI COACH AND I
(FOOD-STYLING CONTEST)
Manila Tytana
University of Santo Tomas
STI Alabang
Manila Tytana
University of Santo Tomas
Southville International School

Ajinomoto Umami Culinary Challenge (UCC) is presented by AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION in partnership with La Germania, Solane, Fujidenzo and Masflex.

Congratulations to the winners!

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Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC) is an affiliate of Tokyo-based Ajinomoto Co., Inc. Established in 1958, APC lives by its promise to provide consumers products that will always give the delicious taste to healthy and nutritious meals as embodied in APC’s slogan Ajinomoto® “Eat Well, Live Well.®” APC’s complete line of quality food and seasoning products are produced by international affiliates and local toll manufacturers using Ajinomoto’s license, quality standards and technological expertise. APC’s products include AJINO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning, Ajinomoto® Brand Ginisa Flavor Seasoning Mix, Ajinomoto® Brand Chicken Powder, PORKSAVOR® All-in-One Seasoning Mix, CRISPY FRY® Breading Mix, CRISPY FRY® Seasoned Crumbs, TASTY BOY® All Purpose Breading Mix, AJI-SHIO® Seasoning Mix, Ajinomoto® Brand Sinigang Cube and “amino Fres-C” Instant Drink Mix.