MANILA, Philippines – Three Pinoy chefs—Chef Elmar Ruelo of Wangfu and Chef Joel Aroy of King Chef and Chef John Flores of Grand Convention Centre Cebu —won bronze awards at the recently concluded Lee Kum Kee International Young Chef Chinese Culinary Challenge 2018.
Held in Hong Kong on 19 and 20 September 2018, the competition welcomed 42 aspiring young chefs from 17 countries and regions in a contest where each participant was asked to create one dish in 90 minutes using designated ingredients paired with Lee Kum Kee sauces and condiments.
“This year’s contest is based on the theme of ‘Excel on Traditions Converging Global Culinary Talents’, with participants harnessing their creativity and culinary skills to create sumptuous and delectable dishes,” said judge Chef Li Yaoyun, speaking on behalf of the panel of judges composed of some of the regions’ most distinguished Chinese Master Chefs.
Chef Elmar “harnessed his creativity” to create his Stir Fry Chicken with Plum and Oyster Sauce; Chef John impressed judges with his Pan Seared Striploin; and Chef Joel tantalized taste buds with his Crispy Prawn in Char Siu and Scallop Sauce.
Since its inception in 2014, the Lee Kum Kee International Young Chef Chinese Culinary Challenge has been a biennial contest that promotes Chinese cuisines for the robust development of the global Chinese culinary industry. On its third edition, the competition received immense support from Chinese culinary connoisseurs, industry partners and 22 culinary associations across the globe including Le Toque Blanche Chef Association Philippines. In this year’s competition, Chef James Santolin of Ikomai Japanese Restaurant and Chef Fernando Aracama of Aracama Restaurant and Lounge represented Le Toque Blanche Chef Association Philippines.
The grand Award Presentation Dinner was well attended by nearly 350 guests from Chinese culinary associations and industry elites from all over the world. Chef Joung Duck Su from Korea won the “Lee Kum Kee 130th Anniversary Best Heritage Tasting Award” as well as the “Most Creative Award.” Chef Yip Ming Wai from Hong Kong won the “Best Sauce Combination Award,” while Chef Hikita Shoichiro from Japan won the “Best Presentation Award.”
During the dinner, Lee Kum Kee Sauce Group Chairman Mr. Charlie Lee announced that the company was establishing the Lee Kum Kee Hope as Chef Charitable Foundation with the aim of lifting the group’s key corporate social responsibility program “Hope as Chef” to a new stratum. The Hope as Chef CSR program, launched in 2011 in manifestation of the group’s core value of “Si Li Ji Ren” (Considering Others’ Interests), supports youths from less developed regions who wish to become chefsby providing them with professional Chinese culinary training.