Thursday, September 16, 2021

Ready for Round 2: Bord Bia and European Pork & Beef PH Launches Second Edition of the East Meets West Culinary Competition

At the height of the quarantine experience last year, Bord Bia and the European Pork & Beef PH held its first ever competition using premium world-class quality Irish pork and beef resulting in some of the most inventive and creative dishes reflecting the diversity and promise of the metro's young culinary talents. This year, it's back for a second round...

...with even bigger prizes for the winners. The Irish Food Board, Bord Bia and European Pork & Beef PH formally launched the second edition of the East Meets West Culinary Competition last September 1 injecting excitement to the local culinary scene amidst the lingering pandemic. The world's finest pork and beef take centerstage once more alongside some of the brightest young culinary talents for the much anticipated culinary event of the year. Ready to show off your best pork and beef dishes? 

"We are excited to launch the 2021 East Meets West culinary competition after a highly successful 2020 competition," said EU Pork & Beef Programme Manager Marion Rogan. "The culinary community in the Philippines appears to really appreciate the chance to compete and showcase their culinary skills to our leading judges, particularly during COVID times." Looking back, it was definitely one of the bright spots in a challenging and difficult year defined by the new normal.  

The competition is just one of many initiatives by Bord Bia and European Pork & Beef PH aimed at increasing awareness for the high quality as well as unique taste and versatility of European pork and beef to a growing and developing Philippine market. And there's no better way to highlight the premium qualities of Irish beef and pork than a culinary competition with a distinctly local spin, infusing local and comfortingly familiar flavors to a savory dish with some of the world's finest beef and pork. This year, Escoffier PH founding chairman Philip John Golding and Grand Hyatt Executive Chef Mark Hagan are back at the helm leading the panel of judges joined by last year's winner, Chef Donie Bigcas.

Photo provided by European Pork & Beef PH

The 2020 finalists, all winners from last year's competition each presented unique and novel creations with a distinctly local twist using world class Irish beef and pork as the base. The level and quality demonstrated by the finalists were impressive, and the future of the local culinary scene looks bright. Each dish presented Irish beef and pork as an ideal and versatile component for any dish at home or professional applications in restaurants and dining establishments (for more on last year's competition, see my earlier posts, Five Dishes. Five Winners. Bord Bia Announces Winners of the East Meets West Culinary Competition on its first run and Food News: East Meets West in a Culinary Competition by The Irish Food Board on last year's launch).

"We were all impressed by the high standard of cooking on display and we believe the 2020 competition will inspire many young chefs and culinary students to get creative for this year's competition" added Marion Rogan.

The pristine Emerald Isles are known for their exquisite produce from the fertile lands and abundant coastlines. From fresh dairy to succulent seafood and premium beef and pork, Ireland remains one of the world's top producers guided by the highest standards set by the European Union (for more on the world renowned Irish pork and beef, see my previous posts, Let's Talk Irish the Bord Bia Dinner in Discovery Primea's Flame on the meticulous details and uncompromising standards behind the famed produce of Ireland and The Chef's Choice: Bord Bia Brings World-Class Quality Pork and Beef to the Philippines and to Your Plate on masterfully executed dishes using Irish beef and pork).

The natural environment and continuous commitment to safety, traceability, animal health standards with viable farm to fork systems in place are just some of the factors that differentiate Irish beef and pork from the rest. The East Meets West Culinary Competition highlights the world class qualities of Irish beef and pork as interpreted by talented chefs.

And when you start with the finest ingredients, a sumptuous dish is your reward. Similar to last year's competition, the basic mechanics and guidelines will be applied for the 2021 edition. For this year's competition, participants must use one of the following meat cuts:

Pork: Jowl, Collar or Pork Belly

Beef: Short Rib, Brisket or Striploin

Entries will be accepted until September 22, 2021 and the top ten recipes will be announced by October 6 (visit the FB Page at for more updates). 

Last year's winner, Donie Bigcas, captured the east meets west theme with a sumptuous creation using Irish pork jowl drawing inspiration from nostalgic local flavors with his winning Bisperas ng Pista or the eve of the fiesta...

...a rich and lavish dish with Braised Pork Jowl Hamonado, Sweet Potato Puree and Pineapple Atchara delivering sweet, savory and mildly sour notes in a complex weave of flavors for a familiar and distinct local finish. The use of premium Irish pork jowl, with its clean and fresh flavors and juicy textures completes the dish (see my post, Five Dishes. Five Winners. Bord Bia Announces Winners of the East Meets West Culinary Competition, for the complete details on the dishes from the top five finalists).

Chef Philip John Golding and Mark Hagan are ready for this year's competition. The East Meets West Culinary Competition by Bord Bia and European Pork & Beef PH is open to professional chefs, culinary students, food bloggers/influencers and home cooks. Participants will be given the opportunity to submit and create recipes that are high quality and restaurant standard dishes drawing inspiration from familiar Filipino flavors for that east meets west culinary theme. How to join? Easy. Simply visit the link at for a shot at amazing prizes valued at well over P 300,000 in supplies and certificates. 

"We look forward to seeing some culinary twists to well-loved Filipino dishes," Marion Rogan added as an invitation is formally sent out to all professional and student chefs, home cooks and bloggers for this year's much awaited second edition.

As the quarantine experience continues to change and transform your daily routine, this may yet be the year you get to finally showcase your cooking skills and creativity in the kitchen using the finest Irish pork and beef. Sign up for the 2021 edition of the East Meets West Culinary Competition by Bord Bia and European Pork & Beef PH, after all, this may be your year to shine bright. 

For more on this year's edition of the East Meets West Culinary Competition by Bord Bia and European Pork & Beef PH, visit their FB Page at

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