PHILIPPINES—Twenty-four single ladies from Angeles City and Quezon City brought their cooking utensils to the Philadelphia Church of God regional office in El Rancho on August 21 to participate in the first “Sisters’ Cooking Challenge.”
At 8 a.m., the ladies were briefed by Local Elder Broderick Tongco. He stressed that the activity was “not a competition, but a race against time.”
Each group made Indian, Mexican or Italian cuisine and was required to prepare a complete meal for 10 people within a given budget and time frame.
After 30 minutes of menu planning, the teams had 30 minutes to run to the market for ingredients.
“The most exciting part for me, as one of my team’s market runners, was the action-packed trip to Pampang,” single Heidi Rodis said, “budgeting the money, all while beating the traffic and the clock.”
As the clock counted down from two hours, the ladies laid out pots, pans, bowls and utensils and began a flurry of slicing and dicing while the judges circulated, inspecting each group’s progress.
“Two hours sounds like a lot, but it goes by fast,” member Daryl Tupas said. “It wasn’t actually as easy as I thought.”
At exactly noon, the teams, Cocina del Rancho, Exotica Tika Malasa and Cucinare D’ Amore, were ready for judging. Local Church Elder Benedict Marquez judged the appetizers and soups, Mr. Tongco judged the entrées, and Kristine Padua, who is a pastry chef, judged desserts.
“I think all the ladies displayed great creativity and resourcefulness with the dishes they came up with, knowing they have limited time and resources,” Mr. Marquez said.
Once judging was complete, everyone sampled the different cuisines. The day’s activity capped off with karaoke.