Best Pinoy Street Food Semi-Finalists Gets Up Close and Personal with Chef Boy Logro

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Top culinary experts from Del Monte, Knorr, CDO, Nestle, Purefoods and Bounty Fresh chose the best 28 street food cooks for the semi-finals of SM Hypermarket’s Best Pinoy Street Food. The top 28 semi-finalists were then given a chance to have a special encounter with the Kusina Master himself, Chef Boy Logro.

28 hopefuls ready to give it all they've got to be the Best Pinoy Street Food cook.
28 hopefuls ready to give it all they’ve got to be the Best Pinoy Street Food cook.

Chef Rene Ruz of Purefoods San Miguel Culinary Center, Chef Paulo Sia of Unilever Food Solutions and Chef Boy Logro shared tips and techniques to the champions in creating the best lugaw, tokwa’t baboy, pansit, mami, inihaw, silog and sisig.

All hands on deck! It takes everyone's effort to win Chef Boy's favor.
All hands on deck! It takes everyone’s effort to win Chef Boy’s favor.

Chef Boy having a blast at SM Hypermarket MOA
Chef Boy having a blast at SM Hypermarket SM Mall of Asia

Jose Guevara II of Lola Ebeng’s Lugawan and BBQ-han said, “Madami kaming natutunan sa mga chef lalo na kay Chef Boy. Ang maganda pa dito, hindi na namin kailangan mag enroll o bumili ng mga libro par matuto… nandito na sila para magturo sa amin.”

Chef Boy strikes a pose with the first batch of winners.
Chef Boy strikes a pose with the first batch of winners.

The contestants were also very lucky to have learned new dishes, which they could serve in their respective businesses like Chef Boy’s stir-fry chicken with vegetables in crystal noodle basket and his unique menudo with cheese, as well as Chef Paulo’s signature sisig salpicao and Chef Rene’s “dirty” fries.

Hercules Umali and Pacita Limjoco check if they've got all the ingredients they need for the challenge.
Hercules Umali and Pacita Limjoco check if they’ve got all the ingredients they need for the challenge.

They were also taught by Chef Boy of some useful kitchens tips on knife sharpening, food carvings, healthy extenders as well as some kitchen shortcuts to help in maximizing cooking time, which in turn will allow them to be more creative and efficient.

Mark and James, second generation cooks, testing their luck in the food business.
Mark and James, second generation cooks, testing their luck in the food business.

Aside from secret recipes and useful techniques shared by the most sought-after chefs in the industry, the street food top 28 semi-finalists got inspired by the Philippines’ most popular culinary “Cinderella” story.

Chef Boy Logro’s Story

As soon as Chef Boy Logro arrived at Oceana during the event, everyone was on their feet. The popular chef was excited to personally meet each of the top 28 semi-finalists and to help in determining who among them will move on to the next round. It was apparent that the humble chef was well-prepared with his lecture. He shared a few of his techniques, including attracting more customers through proper garnishing, taking care of knives and adding a few recipes to the menu. More than that, the street food cooks learned about Chef Boy’s humility, hard work and enthusiasm. He made sure all participants will get the most of their encounter, while everyone grabbed the opportunity to take pictures with the number Kusina Master.

The Kusina Master, Chef Boy Logro, taught the street cooks how important presentation is
The Kusina Master, Chef Boy Logro, taught the street cooks how important presentation is

Chef Boy came from humble beginnings himself. He was a former kitchen helper in Quiapo and become an internationally acclaimed chef who had the privilege to cook for no less than Queen Elizabeth, the late Princess Diana as well as the King of Oman. Although he has the longest running culinary show on national television, Chef Boy remained to be a humble and grounded man.

“Malaking tulong itong ginawa ng SM Hypermarket lalo na sa mga small and budding business tulad namin. Naaassociate kami sa SM pati sa mga magagaling na chef ng Unilever and San Miguel. Maganda rin para sa business namin yung may picture kami kasama si Chef Boy,” said Kenneth Nadela, owner of Badboy’s Kitchen.

Wendel Melo, Madel Lopez, Mark Loresca, and James Flores were the last four to make it to the next round of the semi-finals after getting creative with their menudo.
Wendel Melo, Madel Lopez, Mark Loresca, and James Flores were the last four to make it to the next round of the semi-finals after getting creative with their menudo.

SM Hypermarket takes it to the streets

Eighteen street food cooks were able to move on to the next level after two cook-offs judged by Chef Boy himself. For the round of challenges, they will be tested at the comforts of their own stalls. Food experts, foodies, bloggers and famous personalities were invited to the finalists’ stalls get first-hand experience with how each of them handle customers. This means that it’s not only their culinary skills that will be judged, but also their service, hygiene, presentation — the whole customer experience. The 18 finalists will then be judged, and the top 10 will be chosen.

On the grand finals, only one will the country’s first epic street food battle. The grand winner will have his/her very own food stall at SM Hypermarket free of rent for a whole year. Aside from that, he or she will get large packs of food and ingredients courtesy of SM Hypermarket’s Food Service Center — the perfect solution for all your HORECA needs — to help the grand winner start his or her business.

Yolanda Baldos and Wirma Pasion quickly gets fresh ingredients for their challenge.
Yolanda Baldos and Wirma Pasion quickly gets fresh ingredients for their challenge.

Chef Boy Logro said, “Maganda itong ginawa ng SM dahil dapat talaga mabigyang pansin and street food. Unang una, maraming Pilipino ang mahilig sa street food. Mayaman (o) mahirap mahilig nito. Miski ako. Nakalakihan na yan ng masang Pilipino…. We have to inspire them kasi mapagmamalaki talaga ang Pinoy street food.”

Watch out for The Best Pinoy Street Food Grand Finals at SM Hypermarket Cubao on November 28, 2014. This event will bring in food business owners, street cooks and food fans where everyone can enjoy a day filled with freebies, prizes and an array of great Pinoy street food.

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