A long-time supporter of the Filipino baking industry, URC Flour and Pasta division finally unveiled a baking school of its own, the Baker John Academy, on April 11, 2019 . As the school was inaugurated, URC simultaneously launched a baking contest featuring competitors from its partner schools in the Flourish Pilipinas learning program.
Pasig-based Sta. Lucia High School took the grand prize at the 2019 Flourish Pilipinas baking competition cake category. Posing with their winning Sweet Potato Carrot Cake are contestants Alaura Daele and Christian Mangilit with their coach, Angelo Dela Cruz.
A project undertaken in partnership with the Department of Education, Flourish Pilipinas supports public senior high school students taking up bread and pastry-making classes under the technical-vocational track of the DepEd’s curriculum. Together, URC and DepEd created the URC Flourish Pilipinas Multimedia Toolkit on Bread and Pastry Production, which includes a recipe book and 12 instructional baking videos with recipes, tips and facts necessary to develop the right baking and pastry-making techniques. Six schools in Davao (Catalunan Pequeño National High School, Mulig National High School, Don Enrique Bustamante National High School, Camansi National High School, Mahayag National High School and Sta. Ana National High School) and five in Pasig and Makati (Benigno Aquino High School, Fort Bonifacio High School, Makati High School, Rizal High School, and Sta. Lucia High School) are piloting the Flourish Pilipinas Multimedia Toolkit project.
URC Flour & Pasta Division Marketing Manager Chinkee Andres and General Manager Ellison Dean Lee; Makati High School’s Rowell Villanueva and Stephanie Jane Escobido with their coach, Leanne Espiritu; URC Flour Sales, Marketing and Distribution Director Naida Ebora.
As they say, the proof is in the pudding and through the two-day Flourish Pilipinas Baking Competition, explained URC Flour and Pasta Technical Director Nicanor Ines, “The best students of the beneficiary schools of Davao city, Makati, and Pasig city are competing with one another, showcasing their talents and skills derived from the bread and pastry program of the DepEd.”
While URC has held numerous baking competitions over the years, this competition has the distinction of being the first held at the state-of-the-art learning facility. “With the Baker John Academy, we provide a world-class venue for our young Filipino talent in bread and pastry making befitting their world-class talent, skills and potentials,” said URC Flour sales and marketing director Naida Ebora.
During the competition, participating students had the first crack at using Baker John Academy’s facilities. These include the fully equipped work stations, each with a worktable, sink, and different types of ovens: convection, deck and table; and the industrial grade dough-handling equipment composed of dough rollers, dough sheeters, and noodle makers.
After an intense two-day battle, the winners were presented at a dinnertime awards ceremony.
Taking first prize in the Cake baking category were Ralph Christian Mangilit and Alaura Daele (coached by Angelo De La Cruz) from Sta. Lucia High School with their Sweet Potato Carrot Cake. Aside from the trophy, the pair shared P100,000 worth of prizes including two Kitchen Aid stand mixers, two Imarflex convection ovens, and various baking tools and ingredients from sponsors. Ivy Rose Peniano and Annie Castro (coached by Jennifer Apurado) from Mahayag National High School took home first runner-up honors and prizes worth P50,000 with their entry, Tuba Cake; while Jamila Eloiza Pawai and Norlyn Nacion (coached by Amelia Volarde) of Don Enrique Bustamante National High School stood as second runner-up with prizes worth P25,000 with their Davao Pomelo Cake.
Winning cake creations during URC Flourish Pilipinas baking competition: (Clockwise, from top) Don Enrique Bustamante National High School’s Davao Pomelo Cake won third place; Mahayag National High School’s Tuba Cake won 2nd place; and Sta. Lucia High School’s Sweet Potato Carrot Cake won first place.
In the Bread category, Stephanie Jane Escobido and Rowell Villanueva (coached by Leanne Espiritu) of Makati High School reigned victorious with their Macabasa Loaf. With the honor, the team also took home prizes worth P100,000 including two Kitchen Aid stand mixers, two Imarflex convection ovens, and various baking tools and ingredients from sponsors.
The Garden Bread of Mark Geo Batistis and Jennaly Olaer (coached by Rosalie Pamulagan) from Mahayag National High School garnered the first runner-up position along with prizes worth P50,000, while Sta. Lucia High School made the podium again through Aubrey San Agustin and Jhon Caparal (coached by Angelo Dela Cruz), whose Spinach Celery Bread earned second runner-up honors to go with prizes worth P25,000.
Winning bread creations during URC Flourish Pilipinas: (L-R) Sta. Lucia High School’s Spinach Celery Bread won third place; Mahayag National High School’s Garden Bread won second place; and Makati High School’s Macabasa Loaf won first place.
Through the competition and other related programs, it is hoped that more students find inspiration to continue on the path to becoming the country’s next generation of successful bread bakers and cake-making professionals. URC is there to support them all the way, states Ebora. “Along with the continued implementation of our Flourish Pilipinas program and our annual baking competition, we are excited to provide more and more opportunities for Filipino students to try their hand at the rewarding and fulfilling profession of bread and pastry making. It is our vision to help create and sustain success in this lucrative and exciting field.”
The Baker John Academy is at Exxa Tower, Bridgetowne, Quezon City. For more information on URC and its other products, visit www2.urc.com.ph.