CALBAYOG CITY- In one of his lazy days, Rinz Matteo Montejo experimented cooking a different variety of morcon, a meat roll stuffed with sausages and hotdogs. But instead of using the all common ingredients in cooking the popular dish, the 19-year old hotel and restaurant services student, used instead “tinapa” as his main ingredient. Obviously, his experiment works as he and his two classmates won this year’s tinapa cooking contest sponsored by the City Tourism Office. The cooking festival, now on its second year, was held at the Calbayog Convention Center last October 11 as part of the 66th charter day celebration of the city.
Tinapa or smoked fish is one of the prides of Calbayog which they are trying to further promote, tourism officer Raymund Ronald Ricafort said. “I just made this dish out of my experiment. Little did I know that this will turn out good. So when we decided to join the contest, we decided to use it as our entry,” the second year student of the STI-Calbayog said.
For winning the contest, he received not only acclaim from the three-member judges headed by Glenda Barretto, one of the country’s foremost restaurateurs and cook book authors. Montejo, with his group mates Gelli Anne Gomez and Peter Aringay, won the cash prize of P3,500, besting 11 other students from various high and college schools of Calbayog. The menu whipped by the group of Montejo so impressed Barretto who said that she is thinking of having the kind of menu. “We judges were unanimous in our choice. Their entry was impressive,” the cooking guru, a native of Calbayog, said. City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino claimed that their tinapa is the best in the country reason why this product must be pushed. “But we have to admit that the production depends on our catch fish,” the city mayor said. He said that when bad weather prevails, makers of tinapa may not meet the demands of the market. (JOEY A. GABIETA)