SANTA ANA, Cagayan -- Fifteen competitors cooked their best dishes, which include native food, during the 1st Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) culinary festival at the Santa Ana Gymnasium here earlier this week.
CEZA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Raul Lambino, who tasted each of the 14 cooked dishes, praised the ingenuity of Cagayan cooks who prepared native food such as grilled catfish locally called "tinonneb", carabao innards called "mondonggo", sweet chili prawns, native chicken, seafood, and beef salpicao, among others.
"The activity is consistent to one of CEZA’s priority objectives, which it to promote tourism, by highlighting the distinctive cuisine of the province, not only to the Filipinos but to the global audience," Lambino said.
Piat town cook Dominic Guzman said his beef salpicao is a local version with native spices such as chili. He said it is a well-loved dish among Cagayanos.
Tinonneb cook Melbina Magaddon said her dish was made more palatable by the addition of chopped tomatoes, chili, ginger, and fresh calamansi juice.
Santa Ana town bagged the PHP20,000 championship prize, Tuguegarao City tabbed the PHP15,000 plum for a second-place finish while Lal-lo town placed third and received PHP10,000. Non-winning towns received a consolation prize of PHP5,000 each. (PNA)