April 1, 2023


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Pinoys Triumph with19 Awards in Hong Kong’s International Food Tilt at HOFEX

By Shekinah Sabrina Colcol  |

Filipinos emerged triumphant at the recently concluded HOFEX, Asia’s leading food and hospitality tradeshow, last May 6-9 in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.

HOFEXAs the Hong Kong International Culinary Classic (HKICC) aims to promote culinary excellence, skills and abilities of Chefs, Cooks, Pastry Chefs/Cooks and Apprentices around the region, 19 Filipino chefs bested more than 500 chefs from across the globe.

HKICC participants from Center for Culinary Arts Manila, Pastry Alliance of the Philippines and Lyceum of the Philippines University showcased superb gastronomic flair during the culinary tilt. Three chefs from CCA Manila – Miguel Antonio Lorino, Michael Cheng and Kerwin Mark Funtanilla – benchmarked with the best by joining international culinary competitions such as this.

Chef Miguel Antonio Lorino’s Il Agnello Pascuale (The Passover/Easter Lamb) achieved a perfect score.
Chef Miguel Antonio Lorino’s Il Agnello Pascuale (The Passover/Easter Lamb) achieved a perfect score.

Chef Lorino won gold with distinction (meaning perfect score) in the Golden Bauhinia Cup Western Cuisine and silver in the Professional: Sustainable Fish – Grouper category for his lapu-lapu dish, Magellan’s Reef – an olive oil-poached grouper with saffron crème, sangria reduction, paella de marisco and garlic butter rapini.

Chef Cheng's The Hour of the Pig
Chef Michael Cheng’s The Hour of the Pig – a hodgepodge of pork roulade with soy a l’orange glaze, butternut squash-ginger coulis, matcha espuma and stuffed cabbage machang

After his gold finish at the HOFEX lamb loin category two years ago, Chef Cheng grabbed silver this year in the Modern Chinese Cuisine Challenge Hot Cooking – Pork Loin category for his dish The Hour of the Pig.

Chef Kerwin Funtanilla's Campfire
Chef Kerwin Mark Funtanilla’s Campfire dish

Chef-instructor Funtanilla presented a stylish American-themed barbecued beef in the Professional: Beef Short Ribs category for his dish that recalled childhood memories. He braised the beef in figs and coffee and placed it inside the bone marrow with sidings of jalapeño-flavored cornbread, cherry tomatoes and Monterey Jack cheese.

Here are the remaining Filipinos who bagged numerous awards:

WinnersExperience the region’s most enthralling food and hospitality tradeshow as HOFEX returns with 65,000 m2 exhibiting space, providing a platform for 2,400 international exhibitors to connect with 40,000 regional buyers in 2017.

Photo Credit: Vangie Baga-Reyes