Laurie Colwin, who is an American author and cookbook writer, once said “No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.” This is true for the employees who participated in the KSearch Masterchef: Adobo Edition contest held on August 11. Seven contestants slaved over their hot stoves to present their own rendition of the Philippines’ popular dish, guided either by a secret family recipe passed onto them by a relative or by a cookbook containing the writer’s techniques.
Each participant brought to the table his own version of the Adobo dish that showcased his creativity and flair for cooking. Mr. Manuel Guillermo and Ms. Karmeli Kintanar, two of the contest’s judges, even joined in on the fun (but not the actual contest) and shared with the whole group their own adaptations! There were contestants who retained the traditional taste of Adobo, but noticeably used additional ingredients to make their entry more savory. There were also those who exhibited their resourcefulness and deviated from the typical flavor, scent, texture and color of the Adobo that the Filipinos have gotten used to.
Dish A, which was called Adobo sa Dilaw, was quite noticeable because, unlike the conventional soy sauce-based Adobo, its distinct yellow colour was brought about by Tumeric and was accentuated with flecks of red peppers. The epitome of the traditional Adobo was Dish B which had fork-tender pork cubes immersed in its salty and sour sauce. Dish C was a pasta dish topped with bite-sized chicken that was cooked into a slightly sweet Adobo cream sauce. Dish D was also a take on the conventional Adobo dish but was enhanced further with pepper and Tablea chocolate to achieve a balance of the salty, sour, sweet and spicy flavours. The well-presented Dish E had chicken cutlets and sausages covered with a rich creamy sauce garnished with tomato peel roses and sliced green mango. Although it looked like it was marinated in soy sauce because of its dark color, Dish F surprised everyone with its sweet and well-seasoned meat cuts, each seemingly smeared with Panutsa-based sauce. Dish G likewise was a conventional take of the classic Adobo pork dish that had a delectable thick brown sauce.
Together with Mr. Manuel and Ms. Karmeli, Ms. Rubi Barcelona-Benitez, Mr. Leo de Ocampo and the rest of the KSearch manpower savoured the entries and judged every dish based on its flavor and creativity. Dish F emerged the victor, ranking first in the competition while Dish E and Dish C won 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Overall, it was a fun, fulfilling and gastronomic event that highlighted another facet of KSearch employees – their passion and skill in cooking. Kudos to the winners and the other participants for their scrumptious Adobo dishes!
Evie Galera, Associate Consultant
ICT Practice Area