August 30, 2011

The Great Dole Cook-Off with Chef Jeremy and Bloggers

During events and product launches, PR companies always come up with exciting activities for the audience, that made me always "positively RSPV-d" the invitation. A good example is the recently concluded Great Dole Cook Off held last August 26th in the Magsaysay Institute for Hospitality and Culinary Arts.

After a little introduction about Dole and its products, it is time to heat up the event with a cooking demo with Chef Jeremy Favia. If you are not always tuned in on TV, you might mistake him as a Starstruck star with his boyish look, but he is a certified chef and a celebrity chef (as what they call chefs who had appeared on TV). He has appeared in cooking show Ka-Toque Lutong Barkada and Healthy Cravings with Izza Calzado. Chef Jeremy has earned his degree from University of Santo Tomas.

His looks would give Aljur a run for his money.. Agree?
He prepared two dishes for us that night. The first one was Cherry Tomato and Egg Plant Ragu Penne (with the star product from Dole - the Dole Tomato Sauce) - it sounds delish? Yes, it is! Before the event started we were treated with a vegan buffet - with a cold soup to start the meal. No kidding.

Red Gazpacho
To be honest we have never tried the Dole Tomato Sauce at home (or maybe we have, I am just not aware - my mom should know!). So it is nice to have the recipe with me so I can cook and check if I could come up with the same delicious pasta dish as what Chef Jeremy has prepared. Dole is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K and it is five times more lycopene than fresh tomatoes. Chef Jeremy memorized those benefits - talking to us, and discussing more about Dole with occasional stirring, chopping, and slicing - add the cooking tips that he shared with us as we clicked the camera shutter with his every move.

One great tip - to prevent onions from making you cry, don't bruise it as much so it won't emit gas.

The highlight of the event was the Great Cook-Off! Five bloggers volunteered (there were actually 7 or 8!) for the game and the challenge to come up with the same exact dish for only 10 minutes (or maybe 20 minutes).

5 Volunteers only!

Bloggers ditched their cameras and recorders and started slicing, sauteing, and preparing for the pasta complete with garnishing and plating.

Let the battle begins..

Judgement "hour". as if they would announce the winner for a beauty pageant..

Juan Manila was declared the winner as judged by Chef Jeremy and Dole Representative. They said that all entries were good and delicious, but they considered the presentation and the "al-dente" factor of the pasta to come to a decision!

It was such a fun night with good food and healthy competition.

Congratulations again to Juan Manila Express!

For all the readers out there, here's the recipe so you can try the pasta at home (don't forget to use the Dole Tomato Sauce!)

See more of the event pictures here.