ABS-CBN will soon unveil its newest reality show Junior MasterChef: Pinoy Edition wherein kids compete in various culinary activities. The show will be hosted by Judy Ann Santos and will also feature three top Filipino chefs who will serve as judges.
Push.com.ph interviewed chefs Fern Aracama, Rolando Laudico, and JP Anglo about their feelings in being part of the Pinoy version of JMC. “I stayed in Australia for many years and dun ko napanood ‘yung Junior MasterChef,” shared Chef JP who studied at the Center of Culinary Arts in Manila and Sydney, Australia and later opened Mushu Asian Restaurant in Bacolod. “Every time na napapanood ko ‘yun, I am moved. Ngayon part na ako ng Pinoy version ng JMC, it’s unbelievable. I’m honored to be part of helping improve the culinary industry here in the Philippines na hindi pa masyadong nagbo-blossom.” The three further thanked ABS-CBN for choosing them and giving them the opportunity to show to viewers that at a young age anyone can start pursuing a career in the culinary world, contrary to popular perception that studying to become a chef is only for the rich.
Chef Lau, who studied at Culinary Institute of America and opened Bistro in 2006, described how they have a crucial responsibility as part of JMC. “Magbibigay rin kami ng lakas ng loob sa mga bata. Hindi kasi maiiwasan na sa competition dadating ‘yung point na gusto mo nang sumuko. Kapag ganun we will encourage them na ipagpatuloy lang ‘yung pag-work nila sa dream nila. Baka may mga galing sila na hindi pa nila nare-realize.”
He added that he didn’t agree to be part of JMC so he can become famous and promote himself and his business. Instead he only wanted to inspire many Filipino children who want to be chefs someday to work hard in achieving their dream. “Ginagawa ko ito hindi dahil gusto kong sumikat. Ginagawa ko ito dahil malapit talaga sa puso ko ‘yung pagluluto, at bilang father mahilig din ako sa mga bata. Magandang opportunity ito para maenganyo natin ang maraming bata na matutong magluto at mangarap na someday ay maging top chef. Itong mga bata ng Junior MasterChef I believe sila ang magiging future ng culinary industry sa bansa natin. The more na maraming bata ang magkakagusto sa pagluluto because of this show, ‘yun ang mas important kaysa sa pagsikat namin.”
Among the three, Chef Fern is the more familiar to many viewers since he has appeared in numerous cooking shows on TV before. He obtained his degree at the New England Culinary School in Vermont and later opened Uva restaurant in Greenbelt 2. His busy schedule almost prevented him from becoming a part of JMC. Now that he is finally a judge and a mentor of aspiring chefs, how will Chef Fern manage to convey his verdict of the work of these of the JMC kids? “Dapat positibo lang,” he explained. “Tutukan mo kung ano ‘yung mga ginagawang tama. Syempre dapat honest pa rin. I-point out mo ‘yung mali pero ako kasi mas gusto kong i-uplift ‘yung mga bata kaysa i-let down. I was once a kid who dream of becoming a chef. Honestly ngayon kapag may nagsasabing hindi maganda ‘yung luto ko nasasaktan pa rin ako, e ano pa sila?”