Let us all congratulate the hosts, the judges and of course the winners of this year’s Jolly University Grand Cook Off Challenge! Ramon Daez, General Manager of Fly Ace Corporation perfectly summed up this memorable event with his remarks : “This is the third time that we are having this Jolly University affair, and the first time that we are having a Jolly University Food Congress. As the company behind this advocacy, Fly Ace has, over the years, been building it to become better. We are thankful as well to our partners in the industry, the media and the academe for making Year 3 a huge success. We are so happy with this year’s turnout, with crowd attendance of around 1,000 people.”
It was such an overwhelming event as this epic culinary showdown was attended by hundreds of students, food enthusiasts, media and top officials of the brand owner and exclusive distributor of Jolly food line, Fly Ace Corporation, headed by its President, Lucio Cochanco, Jr.
This year’s Jolly University competition, the biggest so far since it began inspiring youth participants in 2014, was joined in by 17 universities: Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), Far Eastern University (FEU), Universidad de Manila, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, College of St. John Paul II, Manila Tytana Colleges, Arellano University, La Consolacion College, World Citi Colleges, Mapua Makati, St. Paul University – QC, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, Philippine Women’s University (PWU), Perpetual Help College-Manila, Jose Rizal University and University of Santo Tomas (UST).
Battle of the Bests
Of the total 24 individuals that gamely pitted their kitchen skills and creative abilities in the name of school pride and personal greatness, the main event ended with the moment everyone was waiting for: the live announcement of the Cook-Off winners, namely the representatives from La Consolacion College and University of Sto. Tomas who won the Individual and Group Categories, respectively.
La Consolacion’s John Mendoza, who garnered 87.66 %, was declared the ultimate winner in the Individual Cook-Off. He was closely followed by UST’s Lorenzo Joaquin with 87.43% and John L. Pestin with 86.72% of La Consolacion College. Mendoza bested 23 finalists with his fantastic dish entry “Fish Hardinera” which is mainly composed of Jolly Mushrooms, Jolly Garbanzos and fish meat.
For the Group Challenge, the FEU team composed of Kim B. Mercado, Francis John D. Candido and Jemuel M. Palmares, secured the top spot for their winning main dish, ”Crispy Jolly Mushroom Laing”. Joining them in the elite winners’ circle are UST’s Erika Michelle J. Aparte, Erine Nicole G. Ramos and Noriyuki B. Hirano with their entry “Jolly Longganisa Infused Chicken Roulade with Luscious Mango Waterchestnuts” (1st runner-up) and PWU’s “Jolly Crab Relleno Rice in Curried Mushroom Sauce” prepared John Elix P. Manuel, Juan Carlo N. Caparas and Jodi Michelle K. Jacinto (2nd runner-up).
Also earning top distinctions at the Group Competition are as follow: “Lapalabot” by FEU (grand champion), “Filipino Lasagna Delight” by La Consolacion College Manila and “Jolly Mushroom Balls in Tomato Cream Sauce” by UST for the Pasta Category.
For the Dessert Category, adjudged the best is “Jolly Trio Surprise” by PWU, followed by UST’s “Rice Pudding ala Jolly” and PUP’s “Cocktail N Peach de Leche”. For the Mocktail Competition, the “Tomato Summer Cooler” of FEU clinched the grand prize title, followed by “Jolly Mary”, also by FEU, and “Nectar” by UST.
Judges for the Grand Cook-Off Challenge included Nana Ozaeta (Food Magazine), Nina Daza-Puyat (Appetite Magazine), Dino Datu (Cook Magazine), Enzo Reynon (Masflex), Chef Ben Bernardo, Janice Villanueva, Karla Reyes (The Plaza), Karen Saguiped (Product Manager, Fly Ace Corporation), Jasmine Capule (Sr Product Manager, Fly Ace Corporation), Abe Cipriano (VP Marketing, Fly Ace Corporation), Ersanti Santos (Associate Product Manager, Fly Ace Corporation), Rorie Buenacruz (Allegro Beverages) and Chef Mitchie Sison.
“I look forward to the winners’ continued passion and dedication to their studies. As new ambassadors of Jolly, I expect them to continue their engagement with the Jolly brand team, spreading the word that there’s this reliable canned food brand Jolly, which is now 20 years old, that is always supportive of the Philippine culinary industry and students who are willing to learn and aspire to become good at their cooking craft,” said Cochanco.
Amid the excitement, time pressure and energetic cheering of supporters, the Jolly University finalists delivered no less than top caliber kitchen skills as they light up their stoves to come up with the best-tasting Jolly-inspired dish in the Cook-Off Challenge, and a remarkable summer-inspired drink in the Mocktail contest. The teams were given 60 minutes to prepare their dishes and mocktails whose ingredients had to include Jolly’s various canned fruits and vegetables and other Fly Ace products.
Winners in the Group Category received trophies and cash prizes: P10,000 for the Grand Prize winner. For the Individual Cook-Off, the winners went home with trophies and cash prizes: P15,000 for the 2nd runner-up, P25,000 for the 1st runner-up, and P35,000 for the grand champion. On top of cash awards and home products from Fujidenzo, Masflex, Corelle and Glad, this year’s grand champions will participate in several projects with the Jolly brand including recipe development and will also receive hands-on culinary training under Chef Mitchie, Jolly Food Line team, among many others.
Prior to the big announcement, the Jolly University Food Congress, which simultaneously took place with the Cook-Off, formally opened with the many exciting offerings of the event.
Students and enthusiasts were entertained by a mix of highly interactive booths, with some taking home freebies during the stage activities hosted by various brand and media partners. Guests also gained meaningful insights in the informative talks and culinary demonstrations by featured resource speakers, namely inspirational speaker Francis Kong, Spanky Enriquez, Nana Ozaeta, Emily Monsod, Theo Zaragoza, Karla Reyes, and FNRI-DOST Science Research Specialist II, Josefina Gonzales.
Apart from the culminating activities, the student finalists immersed in a three-day boot camp where they acquired essential industry lessons and hands-on training via seminars.
On perpetually coming up with enriching campus-wide campaigns that boost Jolly University’s ultimate goal to reach, engage and harness the youth’s leadership and entrepreneurial potentials, Cochanco said that they are honored to lead this endeavor.
“We have always been excited to share to the students the different disciplines on how they can improve themselves and how they can be successful in their chosen career. We want people to know that Jolly is not only a relevant brand that provides premium canned fruit and vegetable products for Filipino consumers; it is also a brand that gives back to the student community by sharing any learning which they can pick up and use in their future careers,” Cochanco stressed.
Grander things happening soon
For those wanting to become next year’s champions, expect exciting announcements to happen soon as Jolly University Year 4 will begin yet another great edition — this time inviting more young talents from various campuses in the country.
“We are very inspired by the turnout of the recent event, which is why we are already eyeing a bigger, far-reaching campaign next year, maybe even taking the activities as far as the Visayas,” said Cochanco.
The Jolly University Food Congress and Grand Cook-Off Challenge is supported by brand partners Masflex, Whirlpool, Tecnogas, Fujidenzo, Security Bank, Fujifilm, Allegro Beverages, Pyrex, Corelle, GLAD, Raintree Group of Restaurants and Booster-C, and media partners Cook Magazine, Breakfast Magazine, Food Magazine, Appetite Magazine, Celebrity Mom, Entrepreneur, Business Mirror, CNN Philippines, Eagle Broadcasting and Crossover 105.1.
Jolly is a canned fruits and vegetable line marketed and distributed by Fly Ace Corp., one of the leading food and beverage consumer goods companies in the country today. Propelling limitless multiple-category growth by bringing the best of the world closer to Filipino homes, Fly Ace Corporation’s portfolio of food and beverage products includes house brands and exclusively distributed brands. For more updates, visit www.jolly.com.ph and www.flyacecorp.com. Also like its official Facebook fan page (Jolly Eats) or follow via Twitter and Instagram (@jollyeatsph).