By Francine Ciasico
The Professional Academy for Culinary Education (PACE) won 5 gold, 13 silver, and 21 bronze medals in the recently held 2018 Philippine Culinary Cup (PCC) where different culinary institutions in Asia competed.
“We were able to bring home 5 gold, 13 silver, and 21 bronze medals thanks to our hardworking instructors, and to our participants who tried really hard in their competition,” said Chef Catherine Ong, PACE co-founder and CEO, in a celebratory dinner which featured innovative Filipino cuisine at One Rockwell, Makati on Friday.
As this was their fifth time joining the contest, Ong claimed that PACE has once again surpassed its performance year by year.
“Medals would always be the icing on the cake,” said PACE co-founder and marketing director Fiona Flores. “Pero, ang mas vina-value namin is yung samahan (But what we value most is camaraderie).”
“That we learn a lot from earning a medal, from practicing, [and] from supporting each competitor during the competition,” Flores added.
Awards won from 2018 PCC
For the gold medals earned, Chef Abner Lowell Cauillan topped the Creative Breakfast category, meanwhile, Joanne Jamero and Chiclet Gonzales in the US Beef category, Edward Taponan in the US Poultry category, and Marcelo Morales in the Pasta category.
Furthermore, there were two Dream Teams who won silver medals. The first team included Chef Peachy Mathay, Chef May Martinez, Chef Carla Bangay, and their coach Chef Monicca Dechavez. The second team was comprised of Fiona Flores, Chiclet Gonzales, and Chef Catherine Ong with Chef Abner Lowell Cauilan as their coach.
Young chefs John Doliguez and Theresa Cua also obtained silver medals.
For the US Beef category, Chef Monicca Dechavez once again received the silver award, as well as Chelsea Keith Ballesteros for the Pasta category.
Another Dream Team that collected bronze medals were composed of Miro Bataan, Chef April Aluning, and Chef Sheena Castro alongside Chef Bong Villanueva who was their coach.
Meanwhile, two teams bagged the bronze award in the Filipino Cuisine category with Jessica O’Hara, Chef May Martinez, and Chef Carla Bangay in the first team, and Fiona Flores, Chiclet Gonzales, and Chef Catherine Ong in the second team.
For the US Poultry category, Chef May Martinez, Chef Monicca Dechavez, and Chiclet Gonzales acquired bronze medals. Likewise, Chef Carla Bangay, Ronald Arroza, and Kathrine Baldo in the US Pork category, Fiona Flores and Therese Cua in the Local Fish or Seafood category, Chef April Aluning and Chef Bong Villanueva in the Creative Breakfast category, and Amie Manalo in the Pasta category.
‘More than just a culinary school’
PACE co-founder and school administrator Mark Catarroja remarked that PACE is more than just a culinary school.
“When we started [PACE] six years ago, the vision is to really make a difference in the industry,” he stated. “We know that there are a lot of culinary schools…and we want to make a difference in the area of entrepreneurship.”
Catarroja explained that PACE has chefs who desire to open businesses. Concurrently, they also have chefs who own businesses.
“They believe that training is as important as any other investment in their food businesses,” said Catarroja.
PACE offers culinary training and entrepreneurship. Hence, they coined the term “chefreneurship.”