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3rd Umami Culinary Challenge Winners


The 3rd Umami Culinary Challenge, held last January 20, 2012 at the SMX Convention Center, was a success!

Hundreds of aspiring chefs from universities, colleges and culinary schools in Metro Manila and nearby provinces battled it out in both culinary and non-culinary competitions to dish out the best meal of their life.

The entire day was reserved for competition and cooking demonstrations. Participants battled in group competition with the Umami Bento, Plate-My-Dish, Amazing Aji-Ginisa Race, Prep, Shake and “Tak-Tak-Tak” (PST) and Mystery Umami Ingredient categories.

But the highlight of the whole day event is the Awarding Ceremony hosted by Ms. Suzi Entrata-Abrera. Ajinomoto Executives opened the program with a special recognition to Philippine Culinary Icon, Ms. Nora Daza, for her significant contributions in the Food Industry. Mr. Taro Fujie, President of AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION, gave his welcome remarks to congratulate all participants.

Wild cheers and applause met Ms. Sarah Geronimo’s memorable performance as the Popstar delivered a message of inspiration and motivation to all guests and participants.

Miriam College came out strong “The Ajinomoto 3rd Umami Culinary Challenge (3rd UCC)” as they bagged the Umami Bowl Award for garnering the highest average score in major competition categories including the Umami Feature Writing Contest which also made them bag the Dr. Ikeda Award. The school brought home an Elba Kitchen Showcase on top of other prizes courtesy of AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION.

Mr. John Paul Ventura of Jose Rizal University was awarded the Umami Master title after delighting the judges with his umami masterpiece which he named “Pan-Seared Salmon w/ Veggie Rolls and Micro Green Salad in Spicy Coconut Sauce”.

Other winners:

  • Lyceum of the Philippines Manila: Umami Bento and Mystery Umami Ingredient Categories
  • Centro Escolar University: First Place in Amazing AJI-GINISA Race and the Umami Buzz Jeopardy Challenge
  •  Trinity University of Asia: First Place in Prep, Shake and TakTakTak competition
  • De La Salle Araneta University: Plate-My-Dish competition and Appetite Magazine’s Capture Umami Challenge (Food Photography Contest)
  • College of the Holy Spirit: “Media’s Choice for Best Plated Umami Bento”

Top three (3) culinary schools in 5-Ingredient-Umami-Healthy Dish competition:

  1.  Global City Innovative College
  2. American Hospitality Academy
  3. MOST Institute Culinary School

The Ajinomoto 3rd Umami Culinary Challenge is a collaboration of organizations which strongly support the development of the Philippine culinary scene, among them are Glutamate Association of the Philippines (GAP), Elba, Whirlpool/Fujidenzo, Masflex, PR Gaz, Meat and Livestock Australia, and Anvil Publishing together with media partners GMA 7, Appetite Magazine, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inquirer Libre and PR Moms Network.


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