A retired employee of Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance company won the top prize in the Spamtastic food contest that was one of the highlights of the Kalayaan Picnic held last June 3 at the Halmich Park in Warren.
First-prize winner Nida Jaramillo, a mother of two, grandma of five and resident of Sterling Heights, received the $200 first prize from Buenaflor Sitchon, overall chairperson of the Kalayaan Picnic committee, during the awarding rites in the pavilion of Halmich Park.
Jaramillo’s entry, dubbed “Spam Chow Fried Rice,” got the highest average score from a field of 14 entries. Her entry was placed on a tray with three decks.
The second-place winner was Emily Hernandez who received the $100 prize for her entry “Spam Fries Paella,” and garnering third place was Elaine Hibler who got the $50 prize. The consolation prize winners were Randy Bernardez and Edna Encabo.
The prizes were donated by Tess Porcalla, first — $200; USP4GG, second — $100 and third $50; Willie Dechavez and Resty Teodoro, fourth – food basket worth $30; Taste of Manila, fifth – food basket worth $25; and USP4GG – prize for best presentation.
The three judges — PACCM President Becky Tungol and Saladmaster distributor Resty Teodoro and Jovita Engalan of Kiwanis Club Metro North — based their scores on three criteria – taste, 40 percent; presentation, 30 percent; and originality, 30 percent.
Teodoro admitted he had a tough time deciding the scores because the entries were all relatively delicious and nicely presented.
The recipes for Jaramillo’s entry are stir-fried spam, rice, carrots, corn, scrambled egg, sweet peas and onion.
Some housewives lauded the inclusion of the cooking contest in the program for this year’s Kalayaan Picnic, which was in celebration of the 119th Philippine Independence Day. In the Kalayaan Picnic in 2016, the cooking contest was scrapped.
In charge of this year’s food contest were Tess Porcalla and Carmen Concepcion.