Filipino student-chef Valery Jane Rodriguez Anthony ranked fifth out of over 50 competitors from around the world in the recent Young Chef Olympiad held in India.
The YCO 2019, organized by India’s International Institute of Hotel Management, in association with United Kingdom’s International Hospitality Council, tested not just the “cheftestants” mastery of skills, but also their expertise, creativity, techniques, and innovation in two-pre-qualifying rounds held across various key cities in India.
Anthony, who placed second in the eliminations, joined nine other top-notchers from Singapore, England, United Kingdom, United States of America, Romania, Scotland, France, New Zealand, Jordan, and Sweden to the grand finals where she finished in the top five.
The young aspirant shared that working with all participating chefs broadened her knowledge and skills, and honed her to become a better cook. “It was a great training ground. It also taught me how to handle pressure and criticism and I’m pretty certain that it will be helpful for my future career.”
“Being able to represent the country in this competition was such an incredible learning experience and I couldn’t be more grateful for it,” Anthony beamed.
Anthony, a culinary student from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management was trained at the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners in d’Asti, Italy and at Michelin-starred restaurant Il Picolo Principe in Luca, Tuscany, Italy.
She was guided for this particular tournament by Chef Mentor Thomas Edward Fung Chua, an industry practitioner, restaurateur, and SHRIM faculty member.
While in India, Anthony and Chua showcased Warm Halo-Halo, the duo’s take on the Philippines’ classic, during the United World of Young Chefs, which allowed the apprentices and mentors to share a particular dish with fellow participants, judges, organizers, and special guests.
They reinvented the traditional dessert into a soup quite similar to ginataang bilo-bilo made from coconut milk broth mixed with sweetened monggo (mung beans), kaong (sugar palm fruit), and nata de coco (coconut gels) topped with jackfruit, small sago (tapioca pearls), saging na saba, caramelized sweet potatoes, macapuno, and a mixture of desiccated coconut, muscovado sugar, and pinipig (rice flakes).
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