Thursday, June 21, 2012


June 21, 2012--MasterChef  Pinoy (Philippine) Edition Screening
Venue: Oceana Restaurant, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Call Time: 8:00 AM-3:00PM

The minute we arrived at Oceana, we were surprised to see more than 1,000 people waiting for their turn to be interviewed. My friend Abby, whom I’ve accompanied to the MasterChef Pinoy Edition screening/audition was the 1,834th applicant! She had butterflies on her stomach that she wanted to back out at the last minute upon seeing her number. It was my job to encourage her and so I told her that we'll get pass this soon. We just need to be patient enough and persevere. You see, I believe so much in my friend's skills, talents and potentials. And I am not saying this just because she is my friend, I am such a foodie so I know whereof I speak. My friend Abby does not have any culinary background yet she has traveled the world as part of her work. She used to be an international cruise photographer for five years. And in doing so, it had given her the privileged to taste almost all the cuisine there could possibly be. Add her passion and zest for cooking and anything culinary, well, she's a perfect candidate for MasterChef Philippine edition. 

The tarpaulin says:

The qualifications of the Masterchef Pinoy Edition:
You must be 18-50 years old
No culinary degree or diploma
No cooking experience in a restaurant (casual and fine dining)
No teaching experience in a cooking class or demo
And bring your specialty dish (any dish will do!)

The more than 2000++ crowd of hopefuls for the MasterChef Philippine Edition

There were lots of hopefuls (around 2000++) all waiting for their turn to meet the chef judges at the holding area. Some were doing their finishing touches on the plating or food presentation before they line up in preparation to the actual food taste screening. Viands of different kinds were all wafting in the air. There were Filipino cuisines such as Chicken Pork Adobo, Afritada, Steak, BonChon style Fried chicken, Desserts, Pasta dishes in all kinds of noodles, plus other international cuisines.

Aspirants look for their specialty dishes and making sure everything is in order before they present to the judges. 

There were two microwave ovens for the applicants' use if they opt to reheat the food before they serve it to the food tasting chef judges. But my friend Abby chose to have a cold pasta instead. 

Mrs. Dulce Agrabioso of Fairview had traveled all the way to SM MOA for this event.

It felt like fiesta because there were different viands, dishes and cuisines to choose from. Only you're not allowed to eat them right away. But after the judges had shortlisted the participants, some of them would just give away the food to the crowd. That's why I've said it looked and felt like a fiesta--because some foods were given for FREE! 

Applicants lining up with their specialty dishes.
I somehow pity those who did not make it because they had probably exerted too much effort by preparing the dish and going to SM Mall of Asia so early in the morning. Some were probably up by 2AM just to get the dish done and in time. Actually, my friend Abby herself only had an hour of sleep. And we had to wait for long hours, we've been there for almost 9 hours before she had her dish presented to the judges. 
One-on-one interviews during the screening process.
Abby's Sophia Loren Al Torno

It was a good thing that Abby made it. My friend Abby brought along with her an Italian-inspired specialty dish called Sophia Loren Al Torno pasta. It is a fusilli pasta dish infused with the refreshing zest of lemon, chunky tuna with Italian parsley, thyme, garlic and drizzled with olive oil. Abby named it before her favorite Italian actress named Sophia Loren. It looks pretty simple yet when you taste the said dish, it’s really refreshing but never overpowering. It had the perfect balance of flavor, texture and taste. It actually cleanses the palate. And I am not saying this just because Abby is my BFF. I am praising her recipe and specialty dish because it really was delicious and quoting what the judge chef said, “This dish is very refreshing!”
Participants go crazy as they rush and cram for the final touches of their food presentation.
The Oceana was still jampacked even during sunset.

 Abby did passed the said grueling screening and audition. She said she did not expect that although we both hoped and prayed for God’s will. But that’s not the end of her journey though, but it’s only the beginning. For in the next few weeks or months, she will again undergo other screening, and hopefully, she could make it until the last where she had to allot 6 to 15 weeks of taping for the Masterchef Pinoy Edition on ABS-CBN to be hosted by Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo.

To my good friend, Abby, here’s hoping you could make it to the top finalists. I’m with you all the way, dear. Good luck and my prayers are with you! Keep it up and congratulations! I am so happy and proud of you! J


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