Filipino flavours earn first place at street food contest

Julie Anne Martinez wins first place with Filipino-style Scotch eggs

On March 20, Young Culinary Talents’ program (YOCUTA), Nestlé Professional partnered with George Brown College (GBC) for an “Iron Chef”-style cooking competition.

Competitors were asked to make a healthier version of international street food. Dishes had to contain at least two Nestle Professional Minor’s bases and concentrates.

John Higgins, director for the chef school, hosted the competition where eight students participated in the high-pressure contest in the atrium of GBC’s culinary and hospitality building.

Julie Anne Martinez, who won first place for her Filipino-style Scotch eggs, described cooking in front of a crowd in the open atrium as “intense” and “mind-blowing.”

Jordan Burke placed second with a dish of jackfruit pulled pork and Urmil G. Rathod placed third for his samosa chaat dish.

The first competitor started to prep at 10:35 a.m. as the others followed one after the other separated by five minute intervals. 

Each student had two portable stoves to work with at their station. Competitors were given 40 minutes to have their dishes presented and ready for the judges after prepping.

The panel of judges included Doug Burn, a media judge and writer for the Food in Canada magazine, Rick Secko, a Nestle Professional corporate chef, and Warren Ford, a GBC chef school professor.

Martinez credited her “tunnel vision” to the successful creation of her mini Filipino-style Scotch eggs, making sure to get details like the timing of the quail eggs just right.

Her winning dish featured quail eggs (a common staple in Filipino cuisine) wrapped with turkey sausage as a healthy alternative to the traditionally used pork sausage.

The sausage was infused with Filipino flavors and roasted garlic, and then coated with chickpea flour, eggs, Panko bread crumbs and quinoa after being hard-boiled.

“It’s a throwback to my heritage,” said Martinez who was brought up in the Philippines.

The mini Scotch eggs were then deep fried, drizzled with pineapple Chipotle sauce and served on a skewer.

“Everything in the Philippines is totally revolving around street food, and street food in the Philippines comes in skewers,” said Martinez.

“The competition was about street food and it was actually the most functional in terms of a street food dish,” said Ford who was impressed by how easy it would be for a tourist to enjoy it.

Martinez explained that the combination of sweet, sour and spicy flavors are a staple of Filipino cuisine.

“All those flavours worked really, really well together and then they punched,” said Secko.

“The winning dish was awesome. It was amazing. Nice texture, nice flavour, has a good crunch,” said Warren.

“The competition was about street food and it was actually the most functional in terms of a street food dish,” Warren said. “You pick it up, walk around with it whether (or not) you’re a tourist. You eat, you look around and enjoy and it was really nicely done.

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Filipino flavours earn first place at street food contest