Filipino Cooks Battled It Out for Melawares Culinary Clash Grand Winners

Cucina Idol Grand Winner Culinary Enthusiasts Division Mercedita MadronaArmed with their cooking skills and fueled by their passion for food, culinary enthusiasts and students battle it out on the most exciting culinary competition to date, “The Next Cusina Idol Cook-Off Challenge,” hosted by Melawares, the popular high-quality melamine tableware and Urban Kitchen, the complete restaurant and food service solution.

With the Global Culinary and Hospitality Academy in Pasig City serving as their cooking arena, the finalists vying for the coveted title were divided into two categories: the Culinary Students Division composed of students currently enrolled in the present school year; and the Cooking Enthusiasts Division which was held open to all genders, 18 years old and above.

Emerging as winners were Mercedita Madrona for the Culinary Enthusiasts Division and Kimberly Jane Solejon for the Culinary Students Division.

Cucina Idol Grand Winner Culinary Students Division Kimberly Jane SolejonBefore advancing to the final round, the competitors underwent a rigorous preliminary round, after purchasing P500.00-worth of Melawares, Bestware, Perfect Dining, and Urban Kitchen products and filling out an online contest registration found at the Melawares Cusina Club Facebook page.

Each contest participant was required to cook one original main entrée dish choosing between fish and chicken. Using Melawares, Perfect Dining, Bestware or Urban Kitchen products for the final plating, they took photos of their entries and posted it to the Melawares Cusina Club Facebook page. Winners were chosen based on the plating, cleanliness and preparation, and number of Facebook shares.

For the final round, finalists for the Culinary Students Division were asked to impress the judges with their star dish using chicken, while those in the Cooking Enthusiasts Division tried to stand out from the competition with their original fish recipe. Even more challenging, it will be a timed competition, as they have to cook and present on the spot within one hour.

Finalists were judged based on the taste of their dishes (50 percent), cleanliness and preparation (20 percent), and plating and presentation (30 percent).

The “Cusina Idol” champion in each division will individually get a total of P250,000 worth of kitchen showcase from Melawares, Perfect Dining, Bestware or Urban Kitchen, and will be featured in select major publications. Meanwhile, the other finalists didn’t go home empty-handed, as they will received P25,000 worth of kitchen showcase and will also be featured in select major publications.

“It is no secret that Filipinos are foodies at heart, with some of our best chefs making waves at the international food industry. However, while the culinary talents of our Filipino cooks are unquestionable, food presentation poses a challenge to most. Fortunately, Melawares and our other lines are now making it easier to serve not only genuinely delicious food, but beautiful and appetizing-looking as well. With the Cusina Idol Cook-Off Challenge, we are excited to see the best and brightest culinary stars in the Philippines,” said Chriselda Chua, Marketing Manager of CDC Manufacturing Corporation, makers of popular tablewares brand Melawares and other quality tableware since 1969.

From a company that sourced its products through importation, CDC Manufacturing Corporation now carries four brands, namely, Melawares, the classic brand that carries high-quality melamine tableware products, Bestware, its affordable line of tableware products, Urban Kitchen, the company’s modern brand that carries food service products outside of melamine tableware, and Perfect Dining, the company’s exclusive brand for the SM chain that carries high-end melamine products, on top of being the leading manufacturer of customized dinnerware for Quick Service Restaurants serving the biggest names in the food industry.

For more information about the Cusina Idol Cook-Off Challenge, visit


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