By Alu Aran

The mission? Sharpen F&B skills, tighten team work and emerge as the victorious leader in this year’s prestigious Culinary Cup.

The Discovery Hospitality Corp, proudly Filipino-owned company, has been faithful in continuously training and stimulating its culinary team to come up with world-class output. One such challenge was the inter-hotel’s 2019 Culinary Cup held last September 6. The five (5) properties: Discovery Primea, Discovery Suites, Discovery Country Suites, Discovery Shores Boracay and Club Paradise Palawan, battled it out in four (4) categories: Hot Station, Beverages, Table Setting and Pastry.

Vegan Dumplings with Egg-free Aioli and Cauliflower Fried Rice from Discovery Suites Team

The Hot Station competition using the surprise Beyond Meat sausages and burgers set off the teams to think – vegan, healthy and delicious. Each team had to select their recipe and corresponding produce and condiments within 40 minutes. The F&B duo Alvin Christian Trinidad and Ronaldo Colis from Discovery Suites emerged as champions with their Vegan Dumpling with Egg-free Garlic Aioli and Cauliflower Fried Rice.

We’ve Oly Just Vegan cocktail : Almond milk, Gluten free cheese and GlenAlmond Whisky from Discovery Primea

In the Beverages competition, the mixologists/bartenders from each property were made to come up with a drink that would go well with the surprise “gluten-free” cheese. Martin Protacio of Discovery Primea delighted the judges with his cocktail drink of almond milk, gluten-free cheese and glenalmond whisky called “We’ve Only Just Vegan.”

“Under The Lemon Tree” Dream Wedding from Discovery Shores Boracay

In the Table Setting competition, the teams were asked to prepare for a themed dream wedding. They were to set-up a table for four, including the bride and the groom. And the set-ups from the five hotel teams did not disappoint. The theme went from Arabian Nights to Boho Chic and even Crazy Rich Asian. Aurora Abraham-Estolloso from Discovery Shores Boracay grabbed the championship with her “Under the Lemon Tree” Dream wedding Table-setting. The sunny lemony color, the use of the fruit itself and the intricate dining table details made the table instagrammable.

Vegan Cheesecake with Sugar and Caramel from Discovery Coron

And as the rivalry needed to end on a sweet note, the Pastry competition champions, Roberto Dacsil and Ranie Espenida of Discovery Coron rose to the occasion with their delectable concoction called Vegan Cheesecake with Sugar and Caramel.

Mr. John Tiu, Chairman of Discovery Hospitality Corp

Mr. Jun Parreno, President of the Discovery Hospitality Corp, Inc, expressed his surprise and satisfaction as the teams exhibited excellence in the preparation of the dishes and articulated enthusiasm in rallying their members.

Vice President for F&B and Chef Raymond Anthony, Executive Chef of the Discovery Hospitality Corp

Vice President for F&B Anthony Raymond was equally pleased by the competitiveness and the strong desire to win by each of the teams as well as the efficiency of the event coordinating team led by Gwen Contreras, Director of Food and Beverage of Discovery Suites, as well as the Culinary Cup committee members from all properties.

Judges : (L-R) Adolf Aran, Jr of Courage Asia, Aris Mayuga of Don Revy, Alu Aran of dineph website and Chef Shiella Lopez

The panel of judges included Mr. Adolf Aran, Jr – President and CEO of Courage Asia, a F&B consulting firm and conference producer; Celebrity Chef Sheilla Lopez, culinary and pastry chef, Mr. Aris Mayuga of Don Revy and Ms. Alu Aran, Editor-In-chief of food biz website :