KUMBIRA, the biggest culinary show and competition in Northern Mindanao finally opened Wednesday, November 22, at Limketkai Atrium, Limketkai Center, Lapasan Cagayan de Oro City.
Organized by the Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association (COHARA), this year’s KUMBIRA was anchored on the theme "Kumbira 2017: Eat Right" to promote the use of healthy ingredients and to inspire everybody to eat a balanced diet.
This year’s participants, Kumbira’s 21st edition, included the VIP Hotel, Limketkai Luxe, Apple Tree resort and hotel, MIA's Cakery, MSU-Maigo School of Arts and Trades, NikkiLicious Cupcakery, Pane E Dolci, FoodBuds, Manjo's Cafe, Fumivorein's Food Haven, Cafe Pillar and Cagayan-An Cafe Cartel.
Ten schools from places such as CARAGA, Iligan, and various Misamis Oriental towns, also took part in the event.
Participating schools included the University of Science and Technology of the Philippines (USTP), Saint Michaels College Caraga, Father Saturnino Urios University, Liceo de Cagayan University, Lourdes College, Iligan Medical Center College, TESDA-KNAS, MSU-Maigo, MSU-Naawan and CSU-Cabadbaran Campus.
Aside from the professionals, well-known establishments and student categories, there were also 10 schools which participated in the Junior and Kiddie Category- Liceo de Cagayan University High School, Liceo de Cagayan University Grade School, Lourdes College Integrated Bed, Kinoguitan Central School, City Central School, Saint Michaels College of CARAGA, Bugo National High School, Saint Mary's Academy of Carmen, Molugan National High School and MSU-Maigo.
According to COHARA President Nelia Lee, this year’s Kumbira was unique.
"You cannot compare it with last year because we have done it in the month of November and at the same time as you can see students are just enrolled, so there's a difference but then we still have a good number participated", Lee said.
"Today's KUMBIRA is different. We made a different format more on giving to the people, to the culinary enthusiasts, the learning", Lee added.
Various culinary experts, chefs and restaurant owners acted as judges in this year’s competition. The judges included Chef Myrna Segismundo, Chef Norbert Gandler, Chef Eduardo Tuazon,Chef See Cheong Yan,Chef Robby Gocao, Chef Jean Pierre Migne,Chef Raul Ramos,Chef Cathy Dano,Chef Mich Uapal,Chef Awi Chaves,Chef Ramon Cardenas,Chef Jocelyn Chua and food writer Micky Makabenta.
Kumbira is a Cebuano term for "feast."
Kumbira is a food festival that showcases the talents of chefs from different restaurants around the city of Cagayan de Oro.
Kumbira 2017 formally opened on November 22 and ended yesterday, November 23.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on November 24, 2017.