Feb 10, 2016

A Taste of the Ajinomoto® Umami Culinary Challenge Experience


The Ajinomoto Umami Culinary Challenge (UCC) was attended by thousands of HRM and Nutrition students last January 30, 2015 at the Philippine Trade Training Center. Over 300 students-competitors dished out hundreds of culinary masterpieces with each one striving to depict the importance of “umami deliciousness” in healthy cooking. 

The panel of judges is a great mix of technical experts from the culinary and nutrition fields like Celebrity Chefs Gene Gonzales, Sau del Rosario, Eugene Raymundo, Philippine Association of Nutrition (PAN) Board Member Dr. Imelda Agdeppa, Nutritionist-Dietician Association of the Philippines (NDAP) President Dr. Adela Jamorabo-Ruiz and Food and Nutrition Research Institute Scientist Maria Jovina Sandoval to name a few. Food entries that landed the top spots showcased the creative use of fresh ingredients to make nutritious and delicious meals.

The UCC Experience
Year after year, Ajinomoto thoughtfully put together a great program to tickle the minds and taste buds of culinarians and food lovers. The whole UCC experience can be described as a full-day event punctuated with fun and exciting learning activities. Aside from the culinary competitions, Umami Coaches from 23 schools and their students presented actual executions of the My Eat Well, Live Well.® Plate to promote the proper balance of healthy carbohydrates, good quality protein and vibrant-colored vegetables and fresh fruits in a food plating contest. 11 schools teams also prepared healthy beverage concoctions to the tune of danceable mash ups songs during the Aminomazing Showdown, which features the beneficial amino acid content of the new “amino Fres-C” Instant Juice Drink Mix.

Dr. Kumiko Ninomiya, Director of Umami Information Center in Japan and Dr. Celeste Tanchoco, NDAP Board Member were invited to explain the science behind umami and the amino acid - glutamate. These food science presentations proved to be helpful in understanding the role of umami in food and nutrition and its relevance to the culinary professionals around the world.

Kathryn Bernardo, Teen Queen and AJI-NO-MOTO® Brand Endorser, personally congratulated the event participants for their drive and passion in trying to fulfill their dreams of becoming future chefs. Kathryn shared her fascination in each team’s potential to make it big in the culinary industry.


UCC Winners
In the end, the following school teams were named and given cash prizes, medals and other gifts from event partners for winning the competition categories:



Ajinomoto Umami Culinary Challenge (UCC) is presented by AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION in partnership with La Germania, Solane, Fujidenzo and Masflex.


Some Of The Photos During The The Ajinomoto Umami Culinary Challenge

My Umami Coach and I prepared My Eat Well, Live Well® Plate to promote proper balance of healthy carbohydrates, good quality protein and vibrant-colored vegetables and fresh fruits in a food plating contest

St. Dominic College of Asia’s “Panseared Tenderloin, Lemongrass Shrimp Pops with Curry Coconut Sambal Sauce” – Winning Dish of 2016 Umami Master - Luzon Category

National College of Business and Arts Fairview won the much-coveted Umami Bowl Trophy after receiving the highest number of accumulated scores

Saint Michael's College of Laguna’s “Kinunot Ravioli” – Winning Dish of My Own Umami Creation - Luzon Category

Kathryn Bernardo with her new kitchen Best Friend – AjiPanda™


Best of both worlds – Culinary and Nutrition Experts mentor UCC Student-Competitors

A Spread of Umami Ingredients and well-loved Ajinomoto Products at the Ajinomoto Tablescape

Aminomazing Showdown Healthy Beverage Concoction Contest


Colegio de San Lorenzo’s “Binalot-style Relyenong Bangus” – Winning Dish of Best Filipino Umami Dish - Luzon Category