Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Chef Boy Logro Judges the Best Pinoy Street Food 2014 Grand Finals at SM Hypermarket Cubao

Epic cook-offs and exciting carinderia visits … these comprised the journey of ten of the best street food cooks before they moved on to the Best Pinoy Street Food 2014 Grand Finals.  There, they were tested by food critics and Chef Boy Logro as well as a hundred people from the crowd who were present during the event held in SM Hypermarket Cubao last November 28.

the 10 finalists
The ten finalists mustered all their techniques, knowledge, and skills to win the country's first epic street food battle. Up for grabs for the champion is his/her own food stall at SM Hypermarket rent-free for a year plus 100,000 pesos worth of prizes including SM Prestige Card loaded with points, large food packs, ingredients, cooking equipment, etc. perfect for starting a business courtesy of SM Hypermarket's Food Service Center.

Chef Boy Logro
Chef Boy is all for shining the light on street food. "Unang-una, maraming Pilipino ang mahilig sa street food. Mayaman o mahirap mahilig into. Miski ako. Nakalakihan na yan ng masang Pilipino … We have to inspire them kasi maipagmamalaki talaga ang Pinoy street food," he enthused.

food tasting
The first challenge was for 2 contestants to pair up and cook a noodle-based dish for 100 people. It's amazing how they came up with out-of-the-ordinary pandit recipes! After members of the crowd tasted the noodles and voted for their favorite dish, the final four was finally named: Hercules Umali of Star-BAKS Sizzling and Frappe in Quezon City, Jose Nestor Guevara II of Lola Ebeng’s Lugawan & BBQ-han in Las Piñas, Merly Dulay-Co of Merly’s Gotohan in Pasay, and Eloisa Cabrales of Cab’s Burgeria in Batangas.

Chef Boy and the final four
Chef Boy’s ultimate challenge for the final four was to recreate his signature “Crepe Surprise,” an interesting kind of crepe filled with cream and seafood, within 30 minutes. They all displayed great presence of mind, effective multitasking, and mad kitchen skills but only one winner had to be named. In the end, Chef Boy and his fellow judges Chef Paulo Sia of Unilever, Chef Niño Logarta of CDO, Chef John Valley of Purefoods, and Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet chose Jose Nestor Guevara II, a.k.a. Jones as the first grand champion of the country most epic street food battle ever.

Jones' small food business started in their garage and was named after his mom. Their house is in front of a church and his clients were mostly people who came to hear mass or those working in the parish. Customers were only abundant when there is mass which is why his business is only open on weekends. The rest of the week, Lola Ebeng’s is closed and Jones has to find other means to earn. According to Jones, he doesn’t have any other places to open his food business because rent elsewhere is too steep for his trade. But now that he’s won the first ever Best Pinoy Street Food, Jones is looking forward to a yummier future.

Jones the grand champion 
“Maraming salamat sa SM Hypermarket at binigyan niyo kami ng opportunity na ipakita ang aming talent. Marami kayong matutulungan na tulad ko (street food vendor). Promise, babalik-balikan niyo ang signature dishes namin,” he said.

the winning crepe
Part of the grand finals was a food fair and bazaar that featured the Best Pinoy Street Food contestants who won in the elimination rounds held at 30 different SM Hypermarket branches. Each tenant bested hundreds of others to qualify for the semi-finals where they impressed culinary experts from different brands and kitchens.

Guests got to take part in fun games, promos, and freebies arranged by event sponsors. Purefoods Funstuff Nuggets, Tender Juicy Hotdog, Fiesta Ham, Crisp n' Juicy, Star Chickn' Tasty Hotdog, Thick Cut Bacon, Unilever Food Solutions, Nestle All-Purpose Cream, Maggi, Knorr, Bounty Fresh Chicken, Bibbo Hotdog, Bibbo Cheesedog, CDO Ulam Burger, Funtastik Young Pork Tocino, Del Monte, P&G, and Joy.

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