ITHM students bag awards in int’l competition

FEU Advocate
April 08, 2021 05:11

Five students of Far Eastern University Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management (FEU ITHM) gained recognition in Amity Youth Fest (AYF) 2021 conducted virtually last March 11 to 14.

The event is annually organized by Amity University, one of the top institutions in India recognized globally. 

Awardees from FEU Manila campus competed in two university level competitions—the 'AMICHEF' and 'Star of the Bar'—both under the supervision of the Amity School of Hospitality.

AMICHEF 2021: I am the Real Chef

Born to create a platform for aspiring chefs, the AMICHEF is an online space for students to exhibit their innovative cooking styles, methods, and ingredients.

Frangelico Adam Lopez, a Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) junior, received a silver medal for his Ube Violi with Mango Cream Sauce. Determined to innovate the usual entrée, he used pasta in creating a Filipino-inspired dessert.

Lopez expressed in an online interview with FEU Advocate that he wanted to be known as someone who gave honor to their institute, thus  motivating him to join the competition.

However, as a first-timer, Lopez said that he just wanted to gain experience. “'Di rin ako makapaniwala. Gusto ko lang sumali. 'Di ko naman ine-expect na makaka-2nd place. (I can’t believe it either. I just wanted to join. I didn't expect I'll win 2nd place)," he said.

He also mentioned that the language barrier with the Indian judges and the internet connection during the question-and-answer were some factors that he struggled with.

While Sophia Mae Bernardo, a HRM freshman and a working student, grabbed the bronze award for her Pesto Lasagna with Tinapa Filling. 

Bernardo maximized the use of native goods in innovating the typical lasagna recipe. By using tinapa flakes, eggplant, and malunggay leaves as the highlight of her dish, Bernardo left a good impression on the judges.

Although the lack of money almost stopped her from pursuing the fest, Bernardo acknowledged that the help she got from her friend and the encouragement of her mentor kept her going.

"I would like to thank ITHM and HRM department especially Ma'am Chiu, Sir Eugene, Chef JL, HRM Society family kasi kung wala sila kung wala yung HRM department, wala rin ako sa kinalalagyan ko ngayon. (I would like to thank the ITHM and HRM department especially Ma'am Chiu, Sir Eugene, Chef JL, and HRM Society family because if it weren't for them and the HRM department, I wouldn't be where I am now)," Bernardo said.

Lopez was coached by Chef Racky Masa while Bernardo was guided by Chef John Lester Tuason.

Other FEU students who reached the final round were Rishven Angel Peralta coached by Chef Aleli Jihan Aseremo, and James Ryan Sibala and Joshua Adrian Esclarino coached by Chef Richard Tabuena.

The participants were judged by evaluating their dishes' creativity and uniqueness, concept and balance, appearance and description, and recipe and video content for 20 points each, totaling to 80 points. 

Star of the Bar: An online cocktail recipe making competition

The Star of the Bar is a competition between bartenders and sommeliers designed for cocktail-making.

Joaquin Lorenzo Bersamin nabbed the first place with his recipe called the Tropical Spice, a cocktail exhibiting the combination of Indian and Filipino culture. 

Despite his past out-of-the-campus competitions, Bersamin still felt overwhelmed with his win.

"Hindi namin balak manalo. Gusto lang namin i-apply ‘yung knowledge and skills namin despite this pandemic (We did not intend to win. We just wanted to apply our knowledge and skills despite this pandemic)," Bersamin said in an interview.

Similarly, Jun Deyna Dimaculangan placed second in the same category. Although she had struggles with the conceptualization of her recipe, Dimaculangan was able to impress the judges with her Kahava Choko, a cocktail inspired by the Filipinos' love for coffee and chocolate.

In addition, Richard Brylle Quitlong ranked fourth with his recipe called Balavaan, an integration of the local alcoholic drinks in the Philippines.

The three awardees from the said event were all mentored by Dr. Anna Pamela, their former professor in Bar Management.

The entries were evaluated using the following criteria: 80% was allotted for the uniqueness of recipe, ingredients used, color scheme and garnish, glassware used, and presentation while the 20% was based on their flaring and juggling skills. 

AYF21 amid the pandemic

The online fest was administered through the submission of video presentations and conferences in Microsoft Teams.

Although given enough resources, the awardees all admitted that they struggled in editing their entries. According to them, the video-making was a conflict because they did not have enough knowledge and equipment in filming and editing.

As described by Dimaculangan, "Kailangan yung video mo, smooth. Kailangan yung edit mo, tama sa timing (Our video presentation should be smooth. Everything must be captured and edited at the right timing)."

They also expressed their thoughts in administering the fest online.

"Iba ‘yung feeling pag nagco-compete ka nang may audience kasi pag nagpe-perform ka sa tapat ng audience, gaganahan ka kasi papalakpakan ka, iche-cheer ka. (It's a different feeling when we compete with an audience because when we perform in front of them, we feel more uplifted because of their applause and cheers)," Dimaculangan added.

Nevertheless, they acknowledged that the support they got from the HRM Department and ITHM amid the pandemic restrictions was enough motivation to pursue their endeavors.

The awardees said that they are all open in joining future competitions given that their schedules will allow them to.

Star of the Bar first-placer Bersamin also mentioned that one of their planned ventures after their one-year on-the-job training is to join a global search for the best bartenders called World Class.

"Bartending is a continuous learning process that never ends," he said.

For the aspiring bartenders, he added "Never stop learning and never stop i-push yung sarili sa gusto mo and try to explore new things."

"Wag mahiya na i-explore yung sarili. Grab lang nang grab ng opportunity. Grab lang nang grab ng knowledge (Don't be hesitant to explore yourself. Just grab every opportunity. Just grab every knowledge)," Dimaculangan also advised.

AYF 2021 concluded last March 14 with the theme 'Creatively Engaging Youth: With Students, For Students, By Students.' 

-Mary Licel Biscocho