The grand finals of the first-ever Filipino Culinary Showdown or “Kulinarya” in San Francisco on Dec. 4 saw both veterans and newcomers triumph, reports Asian Journal.
 “It was in with the old, and in the with the new,” commented Joseph Peralta, associate editor of the Asian Journal.

That’s because the winner in the amateur category was 19-year-old college student Nathan Camba, while the winner in the professional category was the most senior among his competitors, Edgar Grajo, banquet chef at Napa’s Meritage Resort & Spa.

The talented chefs duked it out over four courses: a soup/appetizer; two entrees, including their own unique take on the “adobo” (Filipino stew in soy sauce and vinegar); and a dessert. The judges, who included the San Francisco Chronicle’s Lynne Bennett, Nancy Freeman, member of the board of directors of the Asian Culinary Forum, and Thomas Weibull, excutive chef of Swell, got to sample a variety of Filipino delicacies -- from Camba’s “Kangkong [River Spinach] Fingers” appetizer to Grajo’s Grilled Squid and Adobo Aioli.

Philippine Consul General Jun Paynor told Asian Journal they hope to make this annual cook-off a part of the calendar for Northern California foodies who will get to discover that Filipino cuisine is much more than pancit and lumpia.