Wednesday, December 8, 2010


By Nathan Camba
Winner, Amateur Division
Kulinarya : A Filipino Culinary Showdown 
For the whole month of December and January, we will be featuring the dishes that were prepared by the 6 finalists to the recently concluded Kulinarya : A Filipino Culinary Showdown held at the Metreon in San Francisco last December 4, 2010. 

Organized by the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco along with the various government agencies, namely, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Philippine National Police with the goal of increasing the awareness and appreciation of Northern California residents on Filipino cuisine. 

Kulinarya, which means culinary or cuisine in Tagalog, started in 2005 as a cultural tourism program of the Philippine Department of Tourism . Dubbed as Kulinarya Filipina, the program introduces Philippine flavors to domestic and international tourists to promote the country as a culinary destination. Travelers practically eat their way around the country as they visit destinations that are well-known for their food. There are Kulinarya tour packages that are being offered now to various parts of the country and each region has its own culinary treasure to boast. 

Kulinarya : A Filipino Culinary Showdown has been organized to discover and showcase the talents and expertise of Filipino chefs and foodies. A total of 6 finalists competed -- 3 in the Amateur Division and 3 in the Professional Division--- in cooking regular meal items that included an appetizer/salad, adobo and another Filipino entree, and a Filipino dessert. The judges consisted of notable culinary experts, professional chefs and food critic such as Chef Thomas Weibull-- an accomplished chef for over 25 years and who has worked in numerous three star restaurants in the Bay Area from One Market, Aqua, Rubicon and Plouf;  Chef Kelly Degala--Executive Chef at the Academy Café at the California Academy of Sciences; Lynne Char Bennet- SF Chronicle Staff Writer and Food Critic; Nancy Freeman, President of the Asian Culinary Forum; June Belen-- writer for SFoodie, SF Weekly’s widely read food blog and has been featured at Saveur Magazine's "The Best of the Web"; and Mrs. Tess Paynor, wife of Consul General Marciano A. Paynor.  Winners were selected according to the cohesiveness of menu, presentation, creativity; and taste/flavor 
This week we are featuring the recipe of Nathan Camba, the winner at the Amateur Division.


1 large lapu lapu, sliced
1 1/2 lbs prawns
1 large carrot, sliced
1/2 medium onion, julienned
1/2 red, gree, and yellow bell peppers, julienned
1 can baby corn
1 can quail eggs
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp cornstarch
Flour and calamansi for the fish
1. Squeeze calamansi on the prepared and sliced lapu lapu. Make small slits on both sides of the fish to prevent it from curling while being fried.
2. Coat both sides of the fish with flour, and fry at a medium high heat.
3. Fry until golden brown, and then set aside on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
4. On separate pan, caramelize julienned onions, and then add the minced garlic and ginger.
5. Add carrots,baby corn, water, soy sauce, patis, and vinegar. Allow to simmer until vinegar boils gently.
6. Add bell peppers, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes.
7. Carefully add diluted cornstarch, mixing consistently but gently.
8. Add prawns, and then turn off the heat. The residual heat from the pan is enough to cook the shrimp.
9. Add the quail eggs.
10. Allow eggs and prawns to cook, being careful not to overcook them.
11. Transfer fried fish on a serving platter, and then top with the sauce.

Join us again next week as we share with you the recipe of Chef Ed Grajo, the winner at the Professional Division.

Isla Kulinarya lets you explore the islands, taste the food, relive the memories -- all made possible by Island Pacific Supermarket. Go and visit an Island Pacifc near you with branches in Southern California located at Cerritos, Canoga Park, North and South Vermont in Los Angeles, Panorama City and West Covina;  Union City and Vallejo in Northern California.Check out our website at Stay connected with us-- find us on Facebook @island pacific market, follow us on Twitter @islandpacificUS and  Blogger @island pacific market. For your comments, suggestions and request for recipes that you want us to feature, please email Presyong Sulit... sa Island Pacific.
**Featured recipe and some notes were taken from the Kulinarya Event Magazine published by the Philippine Department of Tourism, San Francisco, December 2010.
**Special thanks to the Philippine Department of Tourism, San Francisco for allowing us to feature the recipes of the 6 finalists.
19 year old Nathan Camba, the youngest participant competing in the Amateur Division, is a college student from San Jose, CA and works as a part-time host at the San Jose Fishmarket on Blossom Hill Road. He inherited his passion for cooking from his mother and his family and he has been whipping up various Filipino dishes since he was little.

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