Victorias City is perhaps the sweetest city in the province of Negros Occidental, literally at least, because it is the home of the world-famous Victorias Milling Company (VMC). They had been making quality sugar since 1919.
To make the experience in the city even sweeter, Victorias launched the Kalamayan Festival last December 2014, coined from the Hiligaynon word “kalamay”, which means “sugar” in English. This event is purely for the celebration of sugar and how it has supported the local economy of the city. And for the last two Kalamayan Festivals, the city government of Victorias, along with VMC and its sister company, Victorias Foods Corporation, made the Kalamayan Festival more exciting with the holding of the Sabor Victorias Cook-Off event.
Sabor Victorias Cook-Off 2015 Mechanics
The Sabor Victorias event is open to all the residents of Victorias City and the highlight of the competition is to use at least one Victorias Foods product as an ingredient in their recipe entries. These include their canned specialties like the Victorias Spanish Sardines, Victorias Bangus in oil, and Victorias Luncheon Meat, as well as their frozen food products like ham and bacon.
The Elimination Round was held last December 14, 2015 and the entries were narrowed down to five. The distinguished judges during the elimination round were Chef Joeri Arro, Chef Mari Stelle Estrella, and Chef Stone Ang.
The five worthy finalists were Anita Singuay, Annie Ibardolaza, Jade Peñaflorida, Annabelle Pedrola, and Sheila Mae Hernaez. They vied for the championship round last December 17, with the event being held in front of the Victorias City Hall, while heavy rains poured on top of tremendous pressure. The judges for the Final Round were Chef Nico Millanes, Chef Kokoy Evaristo, and Chief Judge Chef Anton Abad, the Corporate Executive Chef of Vikings Luxury Buffet in Bacolod City.
The contestants should whip up their masterpieces using Victorias Foods products within 60 minutes. Anita labored with her Stuffed Cucumber, Sheila Mae prepared her Japanese specialty Bacon Kakaige Tempura with Black & White Sauce, Jade masterfully showed off his Salmon with Victorias Ham and Bacon Crust and Creamy Dill Sauce, Annie artfully presented her Malunggay VMC Pork Tocino sa Buko, while Annabelle deep fried her Victorias Spanish Rolls.
In the end, it was Annie who won the top prize with her delectable and beautifully presented Malunggay VMC Pork Tocino sa Buko. And mind you, she had to crack open the coconut by herself on site. She received P15,000 in cash as Grand Prize winner, which was awarded by Victorias Mayor Francis Frederick ‘Wantan’ Palanca, VMC CFO Tess Ilagan, and VMC Pres & CEO Eduardo V. Concepcion. Jade won first runner-up with his salmon recipe while Anita went home as 2nd runner up winner with her stuffed cucumbers.
All in all it was a wonderful event, with the contestants braving the rain and cold to come up with their creations. Everyone went home a winner, as all the contestants received cash prizes and gift packs from Victorias Foods. Congratulations winners and to Victorias Foods Corporation for holding this annual cook off. Onwards to more exciting events in the future! 😀