The search for the country’s very first “Cucina Idol”

I can almost feel how the finalists of the first Cucina Idol Cook Off felt that Saturday afternoon. I was once a finalist in a culinary competition too, two years ago. And all the memories came back, one by one.The heat, the tension, time pressure, worries and fear about the outcome of the dish that I was cooking, and the adrenalin rush. I can only empathize with them that day and I remember hearing one of the contenders of the first Cucina Idol saying these lines nervously during her interview. “Cooking is really my passion. I put my heart and soul in cooking .” The competitors banked on their culinary skills and talents in the kitchen as they battled in the most exciting culinary cooking competition to date, the “Cucina Idol”.Cucina Idol’s objective is to bring home the honor and prestige of being the very first Cusina Idol Champion, and a true kitchen idol.



A total of 7 finalists battled out in the cook off held last Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the GalaStars Culinary Studio of the renowned Chef Sylvia Reynoso Gala in Pasig City. Each finalist cooked one chicken and one seafood dish which they prepared on site.They were all given one hour to cook and present their dishes to the judges. The finalists used Melawares, Perfect Dining, Bestware, Urban Kitchen, Rosseto and Loveramics products in the final plating of their dishes.


Prior to selection, the finalists all went through a rigorous screening process after a single receipt purchase of P500.00 worth of Melawares, Bestware, Perfect Dining, Urban Kitchen, Rosseto, Loveramics and Sodastream, or a combination of said brands. They then received and filled out a contest registration form and answered a few questions as to why they should be the next “Cusina Idol.”


The panel of judges consists of distinguished culinary masters and personalities in the industry, namely, Chef Ernest Reynoso Gala, Chef Sylvia Reynoso Gala, Chef Jill Sandique, Chef Danny Dela Cuesta, Vice President for Sales and Marketing of Superb Catch, Inc., (SeaKing), Jennifer Uy, and Vice President-Advertising Sales of Business Mirror Group of Publications, Marvin Estigoy.



The first “Cusina Idol” champion will get a total of P500,000 worth of kitchen showcase from Melawares, Bestware, Urban Kitchen, Perfect Dining, Urban Kitchen and Sodastream and will also be featured in a magazine and in the country’s top newspapers.


“We are quite excited with the holding of the ‘Cusina Idol’ cook off because this will give the finalists a chance to showcase their talents and skills when it comes to cooking, which can be a great asset in achieving their goals and charting their future careers in the culinary sector. It is also a chance for us and the public to witness our customers’ brand of culinary talent. Who knows? The next best and brightest star in the culinary world may come from these guys,” explains Charmaine Chua, General Manager of CDC Manufacturing Corporation, makers of popular tablewares brand Melawares and other quality tableware since 1969.
CDC Manufacturing Corporation

Mark Justin Tee, a 26 year old culinary student from Mandaluyong City brought home the bacon and was hailed the very first “Cucina Idol Champion” among all the seven finalists.


Congratulations Mark Justin Tee!

Congratulations Mark Justin Tee!


Sponsors of “Cusina Idol” organizer include Superb Catch, Inc., makers of the “Sea King” brand of seafood products, appliance brand Westinghouse, Uni-Fab Metal Industries, Inc. for the cook ranges, San Miguel Pure Foods Culinary Center and Magnolia, Business Mirror Group of Publications as media partner and GalaStars Culinary, which serves as official competition venue.


From a company that sourced its products through importation, CDC Manufacturing Corporation now carries 4 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.


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