Event ‘to boost culinary skills’ of tourism students

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Sunday, June 22, 2014


TO HELP Cebu produce a pool of highly qualified and skilled tourism workers, the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu, Inc. (HRRAC) launched last week the biggest culinary competition in the Visayas.

HRRAC officials said Cebu Goes Culinary (CGC) 2014 will showcase 20 culinary-related categories that put to test skills in artistry, creativity and speed in cooking, cake decorating, table setting, and bartending among professional chefs from the different hotels and resorts in province and aspiring culinary students from universities and culinary schools from Cebu and neighboring provinces.

The event is held every two years.

Officials said the event is now on its 10th year and has grown in terms of the number of categories, participants and audience.

CGC chairperson Julita Urbina said that in 2012, the event had 5,000 participants. She said they hope to double the attendance this year.

The two-day culinary event is set on July 25 and 26 at the SM City Cebu’s Trade Hall and Northwing Atrium. It will have three competing categories: professional, culinary schools and the academe.

HRRAC president Cenelyn Manguilimotan said the focus of this year’s competition is developing the culinary skills of students who would later become workers in the tourism and hospitality industry.

“We want to make sure that when students graduate they are already employable because right now we still see trainings at the start of employment. With CGC we want them to know that these are the requirements,” she said.

Manguilimotan said they opted to separate the competition for culinary schools and the academe to better assess and evaluate the competencies of participants.

“Although Cebu produced many workers for the industry it is sad to note that there is 50 percent mortality rate of not ending up with a career because of requirements that are not realized,” said chef Raki Urbina co-chair of CGC.

“The objective of this competition is to elevate the skills among the students and produce more highly skilled talents for the industry,” said Raki.

He said there is a big difference between the curriculum taught in culinary schools and universities.

After the two-hour lecture, students at the culinary schools are exposed to four-hour kitchen work while students in the universities are taught other things such as management and other tourism-related subjects other than culinary.

“We want them (students) to know that if they really want to excel and be in this business, they have to choose. Do they want to just be a cook helper for life or level up and become an executive chef? And if they want to level up then this is what they should expect. And as students they will be given a glimpse and idea of the expectations of the industry,” said Manguilimotan.

Participants of the CGC 2014 will compete in cold buffet platter, plated appetizers, healthy breakfast on a tray, live cooking and chef wars with a theme of The Classic French, dream team challenge with Bollywood as theme, Asian noodle challenge, torta wars, dress the cake, fruit and vegetable art with the theme of SM Properties’ My Seaside City, and cocktail mixing.

Dottie Wurgler-Cronin, CGC in-charge for student category and participation said there are at least three schools from neighboring provinces like Bacolod and Iloilo that will join the event. Almost all universities in Cebu that are offering hotel and restaurant management and hotel management courses are expected to participate.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 23, 2014.

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