THE Davao Tourism Association (Data), in partnership with the Philippine Culinary Cup (PCC) and SM Lanang Premiere, is set to re-launch the Mindanao Culinary Festival (MCF), the region's biggest culinary competition this year.

The event will be held simultaneously with this year's World Food Expo at the SM Lanang Premiere from June 25 to 27.

In its 12th year, MCF will raise the standards in the culinary competitions, as it will be patterned with the standards and mechanics of PCC, the prestigious culinary competition in the country initiated by LTB Chefs Association Philippines, the Pastry Alliance of the Philippines (PAP) and PEPGroup Inc.

"We will be restaging the Mindanao Culinary Festival. This year, it will further raise the bar in the culinary competitions, as it will be aligned with the standards and mechanics of prestigious Philippine Culinary Cup, aspired to be participated in by chefs and apprentices nationwide," Salome D. San Jose, president of Data, said during Wednesday's edition of Club 888 forum at the Marco Polo Hotel.

With around 130 participants, the event is expected to lure Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) and culinary students, restaurant owners, hotels and resort managers, and even the general public in Davao City.

The event will be judged by the country's top chefs: Buddy Tridad, president of PAP; Fernando Aracama, LTB secretariat; and James Antolin, vice president of PAP, among others.

"MCF will have eight categories. For team competition, we have Filipino Cuisine Challenge and Young Chef's Team Challenge, while for individual competition, we have local fish or seafood, pasta, quick fire salad, plated desserts, wedding cakes and dress the cake," Antolin said.

The competition is open to HRM and culinary students, and professional chefs and apprentices.

"We partnered with MCF because we saw a big potential in Davao in the culinary field since the growth of the culinary scene here is evolving. We are also here because we believe that we can learn a lot in Davao and we want it to bring in Manila," Antolin said.

San Jose said the event serves as the venue to showcase and develop talents and skills, and provide culinary opportunities to the participants.