Chef Jackie Ang-Po, owner of Fleur de Lys Patisserie
and host of shows like True Confections and Delicioso, shares some
thoughts about the three young finalists of Amazing Cooking Kids.
Of Ronin Leviste, the Xavier boy, she says that’s he’s "napakabait, no
air siya..." although she has to remind him at times to converse in
Filipino. Of the 11-year old Angela Clarke, she observes, that she’s
"napakapoise, hindi natatakot, parang she doesn’t get stressed sa
competition." Chef Jackie notes the stark contrast of Duday Reyes, who
is "parating go, ’I want to compete lagi’ mode."
Along with her two fellow chefs who sit as judges on this weekly show,
Chef Jackie has nothing but admiration not just for the
top 3, but for all the 12 kids who have been on the show since April
2011. All three finalists have won at least one challenge, as the show’s
format has the kids competing for a challenge win every week.
Rosebud Benitez of the famous 10-minute Quickfire show, says that at
first, "nagulat ako na sila, pero towards the end nakita mo na talaga
na it was their skill, improving throughout the show...even though
lahat ng bets ko nung una, nawala na, it’s nice to be proven wrong, na
etong tatlo ang nagwagi."
GB Barlao, Vice-President of Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality and
Culinary Arts (MIHCA), the same school that Amazing Cooking Kids host
Carmina Villaroel attends, shares that, "yung last challenge, mahirap
gawin yun..." referring to the kids having to recreate a dish he
himself created. He doesn’t expect "na nagawa nila lahat ng 100%,
hindi ko akalain nung una na marunong talaga sila magtimpla on their
own at na masarap talaga sila magluto."
Chef Jackie is extremely proud of the kids, even though she herself
was a bit surprised to know who ended up as the final 3, she
believes that the top 3 were ultimately "napili based on their skill,
love for food and dahil sila ang pinakamasarap magluto."
During the July 2 presscon for the Amazing Cooking Kids held at the
17th floor of GMA Network, members of the press asked the chef judges to name their favorite dishes done by each of the 3 finalists. Chef Rosebud answered on behalf of her colleagues that their favorites were: the pan fried pork done by Duday, the tilapia by Ronin and the chicken buffalo wings cooked by Angela.
So if the chef judges were to cook for a celebrity, who would it be
and what would they cook? Jackie Ang-Po, after thinking about it for a
while shared, "Michael V and Ogie, si Yaya at Angelina, kasi favorite
ko sila. They make me laugh. What I’ll do is, while I’m cooking for
them, dapat andyan sila to make me laugh. Whatever niluluto ko at
home, that’s what I’ll prepare for them."
Rosebud would be thrilled to cook for the Pambansang Kamao Manny
Pacquiao. She will offer "tinola pero with a twist, kung anong
twist yun, kailangan ko pa isipin, siempre, pagluluto ko rin si Jinkee
and Mommy Dionisia!"
GB excitedly enthuses he’d love nothing more than to cook for GMA
Primetime Queen Marian Rivera his version of tuna paella.
The top 3 kids also revealed the celebrities whom they would like to
cook for. Twelve-year old Ronin is vocal about having a crush
on host Carmina Villarroel’s ten-year old daughter Cassandra. He says, "para kay Cassy, pasta siguro."
Eleven-year old Angela, who won the Picnic Challenge and
Chicken Challenge, wants to whip up a batch of her winning buffalo
wings for actress Heart Evangelista.
Duday, also 11, and winner of the Rice Toppings Challenge wants to wow Heart Evangelista as well with her pasta creation.
Angela Clarke, who with her height and poise can easily become a
beauty queen, says that her favorite judge is Jackie Ang-Po, just like
Duday. Jackie looks to the two and smiles naughtily, as if she’s
sharing a secret with them. Because of the show, kids at school say to
her, "oh, andyan na si Ms. Amazing."
INSPIRING ROLE MODELS. So what inspired these kids to cook or what got them started? Ronin shares that it was his grandparents own one of the biggest Chinese restaurants in the country called Century Seafood Restaurant. Because of their influence and his interest in watching cooking shows like Iron Chef and Top Chef, Ronin steadily developed his passion for food. He shares,"I started cooking lessons mid-last year and getting into the show and then top 3 is overwhelming. All of them are good, even the eliminated people, so it’s really overwhelming."
This charmer-in-the-making also sees himself becoming an artista with
GMA Network after the show ends. He says that he admires Cassy,
"daughter of Tita Carmina because she is pretty!" Right now, Ronin
leads the other 2 finalists with most number of challenge wins: Blind
Tasting, Seafood, and Cake Decorating.
For Ronin, the most stressful part is the "time component. Before we start cooking, I’d sometimes think that I might not get it, but I eat pressure for breakfast, so I stay in my zone, it’s just me and my dish." He did get scared the one time that he was going to get eliminated during a seafood challenge because of the careful timings involved in each seafood component. But he remembers, "my confidence brought me back and I stayed in the game." He says that the best thing about Amazing Cooking Kids is "the experience, the journey to the final 3 has been wonderful. Being here has taught me to be competitive. Just to see a person smile when we cook is good for me."
Duday relates that her love for cooking started when she was still
young and as she grew up, she spent time watching cooking shows. "Tuwing may birthday, sasabihin ko, Mommy, pwede ba ako ang maghiwa eh si mommy nun overprotective, ayaw pa niya. Pinayagan lang niya ako noon nag-audition na ako dito para sa show. Yung talent ko talaga, doon na lumabas." Duday’s biggest scare during the show was the Picnic Challenge, "kasi na-bottom two ako noon. Kinabahan talaga ako, yung time na yun, gusto ko pa talaga magstay, na tumagal ako. Sobrang kaba ko, di na talaga ako makahinga, tapos nung tinawag yung name ko,
muntik na talaga ako umiyak."
For Duday, seeing herself on TV is a "dream come true, kasi sa totoo
po, natututo talaga ako magluto, 4 years old, itlog po. Tuwing
nagluluto ako, iba talaga ang nararamdaman ko, compared sa iba kong
hobbies, natutuwa talaga ako and I always smile, tuwing nagluluto
ako." This pint-sized wonder sees herself becoming a chef and artista,
"ang idol ko si Marian Rivera kasi ang galing niya umarte. Paglaki ko,
gusto ko maging kontrabida, kasi doon pwede mo rin ilabas yung galit
mo di ba," she says candidly.
Duday, who resides in Novaliches but who has roots in Batangas, narrates a cute anecdote about her classmate. She narrates that because of her exposure in the show, the class president would walk in front of her, announcing to everyone that he is now her manager.
Angela says that after seeing herself on TV for the most of the
summer, it sometimes feels like, "artista na ako, pero ang saya.
Minsan natatawa ako na, ganyan pala mukha ko sa TV." When she was
younger, she recalls, "gusto ko maging stewardess, tapos nung nanonood kami ng cooking shows, napapaisip ako na gusto ko rin magluto. Gusto ko maging chef ngayon, pero sumulpot eto ngayon na gusto ko na maging artista. So medyo naguguluhan ako ngayon."
Ms. Poise says that she does get stressed, especially when "may
binigay na dish na mahirap, iniisip ko kung paano ko lulutuin. Pero
kung nasa show, di ko pinapakita na nagpapanic na ako." The show has
taught this young lady "sportsmanship. Kunwari, pag di ako nanalo sa
isang challenge, natuto ako magsabi sa kasama ko ng ’hey, good job!’
Kasi kunwari, dati, pag natatalo ako, naiinis ako. Ngayon, ang nasa
isip ko, ’yey, ang galing mo!’ She considers Ronin as her toughest
competitor at this point, "kasi siya yung maraming napanalunan na
challenges, magaling siya dumiskarte, ng plating..."
Watch the top 3 battle it out on GMA-7’s Amazing Cooking Kids
every Saturday at 11:15 am before Eat Bulaga! until July 16, 2011.