Pastry Chefs score Gold in HK Culinary Title

The winners, Michael Madrid and Joan Leslie Dela Cruz
The winners, Michael Madrid and Joan Leslie Dela Cruz [via GMA News]

Two Filipino pastry chefs came out on top in an international culinary tilt, beating 23 other pairs in the Live High Tea Set category.

While 2 other teams also placed first in the competition, the scores revealed that the Filipino pastry chef pair, Michael Madrid and Joan Leslie Dela Cruz ranked the highest amongst all the competitors. The pair cooked up dishes like Black Pumpkin Pate a Choux (choux paste with bamboo charcoal) and Tinapa Tuile (spring roll wrapper with tinapa flakes) for the three-day Hong Kong International Culinary Classic (HKICC) during HOFEX 2015.

Executing the five-item menu under 90 minutes, the pair didn’t know where to hunt for ingredients and had limited people assisting them. “We went there completely prepared with the hope to win,” Dela Cruz shares. “But being competitors was reward enough, especially after we heard the judges’ positive comments. Winning highest gold was a wonderful unexpected bonus.” HOFEX, a biennial competition in Hong Kong, is the region’s leading food and hospitality tradeshow.

Joan Leslie Dela Cruz is an instructor for Baking and Pastry Arts while Madrid is a fresh graduate with a Grand Diploma in Professional Cooking and Baking and Pastry Arts. The duo, of Philippine Pastry Alliance of the Philippines (PAP), also won the Live High Tea category of the Philippine Culinary Cup in 2014.

Madrid and Dela Cruz are not the only ones who took home awards from the international culinary contest. A total of 19 Filipino chefs also bested more than 500 other chefs in different categories.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.