Despite my years of experience in cooking and culinary teaching, I still get nervous when joining cooking competitions. With a lot of skilled chefs and cooks in the industry, you can never be too certain on how to perfectly capture the heart – or the taste buds – of the judges, can you?
Last May, I have been invited to participate in the PAL Master Chef Series competition. The winner will design the children’s inflight meals for 2015 to 2017. I accepted the challenge because I believe it would really be fun to recreate a tray of airplane food. All the more, it would be the kids’ meal – and if you really know me, you’d know how I love preparing foods for kids.
I did my best and had so much fun putting things together for the presentation. However, since my family and I had to attend one of my best friends’ wedding in New York, I didn’t wait for the announcement of winners. I also was not expecting to win the contest because I found out that the other two participants were renowned chefs in the industry.
While I was on vacation in the US, I received an email from Philippine Airlines saying I won the competition. It was truly overwhelming, and, I gladly accepted the offer of designing the children’s inflight meals for PAL.
Just last month, I presented my dishes to the executives of Philippines Airlines and Thousand Milers Club Kids. I prepared meals for long haul, medium haul, international flights, breakfast, hot meals, and snacks.
Kids had to raise their paddle if they like the food I prepared. And guess what. They all loved it.
Such a lovely experience! Sometimes, you really just have to go with your instincts and not let fear get the best of you.