International Young Chef Chinese Culinary Challenge by Lee Kum Kee Crowns New Pinoy Champions

There is a lot of great cooking talents in the country and they are serving in restaurants in the metro serving the best dishes for their patrons.  Lee Kum Kee is one brands that believe in the potential of these chefs and they are giving them an opportunity to showcase their talents with a culinary contest that calls on young chefs from the country.

They have come up with the first ever International Young Chef Chinese Culinary Challenge (IYCCCC) - Philippines Qualifiers held at Magsaysay Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Manila last October 30, 2019. The IYCCCC was started in 2014 internationally and is held every two years.  It aims to be an platform for the best young Chinese culinary chefs in the world to showcase their prowess and stand out among all the contestants from around the world.

At the same time, it is also promoting the inheritance of Chinese culinary skills and sustainable development of the Chinese culinary industry with the aim of enhancing the international standard of Chinese cuisines.

A panel of internationally renowned chefs who are experts in Chinese cuisine also came to judge and critique each dish making sure that there they perform and serve with creativity, efficiency, and presentation.  They are Singaporean award-winning Chef Aaron Tan Kean Loon, Chef James Antolin, President of LTB Philippines Chefs Association, and Mr. Leslie Lau, Managing Director South Asia of Lee Kum Kee

They will choose who among the contenders will represent the Philippines for the upcoming 4th IYCCCC in Hong Kong in 2020. There they will be competing with around 50 aspiring young chefs from over 20 countries and regions for the international championship. In the last contest, all three contestants from the Philippines won bronze awards. 

"With the mission of 'Promoting Chinese Culinary Culture Worldwide', Lee Kum Kee is committed to nurturing Chinese culinary talents worldwide. The IYCCCC is an optimal platform for young Chinese chefs from around the world for culinary exchange. In the 3rd IYCCCC, we had representatives from the Philippines for the first time. This year, we are going even further to host the first-ever Philippines Qualifiers. I wish the two talented winners all the success in the finale in Hong Kong next year, representing the Philippines to fight for the championship." Mr. Lau said.

The contenders went through two phases of the competition, one shows their creative style using the ingredients and lee kum kee products provided. The next round showcases their talent in traditional Chinese dishes which they can also put a little twist. Chef Aaron and Chef James gave their comments and feedback to show them what they can improve on and what they liked out their work.

At the end of the day, they made their final choices and below are the winners and other special awards:

  • Best Sauce Combination Award - Michael Lee Avisado (Viking Group)
  • Best Presentation Award - Michael Lee Avisado (Viking Group)
  • Most Creative Award - Eler Maghanoy King Chef Seafood Restaurant)
Bronze Awards:
  • Eler Maghanoy (King Chef Seafood Restaurant)
  • Jefferson Palma King Chef Seafood Restaurant)
  • Janin Layco (UBACK)
Silver Awards:
  • Muhajiran Ijiran III (Manila Com)
  • Michael Lee Avisado (Viking Group)

With this win both Michael Lee Avisado and Muhajiran Ijiran III will be going to the IYCCCC as the representatives of the Philippines. Though still months away from the actual competition, they are encouraged to practice and plan ahead so they can assure a victory for the country as they also battle culinary powerhouses like Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore.

We wish them congratulations on their victory, and good luck for their battle very soon.

For more details, please visit, follow Lee Kum Kee on Facebook (@LeeKumKeePh) and use the hashtag #LeeKumKeePh

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