Who won the first Spuds and Dairy Culinary Cup? Plus how to level up your hash brown and pancakes!

A few Fridays ago, Potatoes USA and Real California Milk transformed the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall into a giant kitchen to showcase the best potato and dairy recipes from some of the brightest culinary minds in the local scene. 

You could feel the energy in the air from the moment hosts Chico Garcia and Michelle Aventajado began the program and went over the rules of the competition as each of the 10 teams were pumped up and eager to show the cheering audience what they’ve got.

Job well done! Big congrats to all the participants!

There were five meal categories for the competition, Appetizer, Brunch, Main, Dessert and Bar Food.  The teams must draw which category they need to prepare, and they must come up with a potato dish and a dairy dish.

The chefs were not allowed to touch the ingredients or prepare any of the food, and they can only guide, give tips and taste the food to their partner students.

The students will do all the prepping, mixing, cooking and plating. Teams had 30 minutes for grocery shopping and a budget of Php 5,000 for their ingredients and were given an hour and 30 minutes to prep, cook and plate their dishes.

Chef Mike Borja guides his partner Riel Sison, a culinary student at DLSU-CSB

As soon as the cooks fired up their stoves to begin working their culinary magic, you could sense the excitement was further heightened by the collective cravings of the audiences as the different aromas coming from the stations surrounded the entire venue.  

Chef Victor Barangan looks on as his mentee, Ria Garcia of Enderun Colleges, makes the final touches on their dishes

After all the plating and tasting was done, the team of Chef Victor Barangan and Ria Garcia (student of Enderun Colleges) emerged as the winner for Best U.S. Potato Dish.  Their Potato Royale with Potato Foam, Potato Tuile and Scotch Egg for the Breakfast/ Brunch category earned them the grand prize of Php 100,000 each.

Best U.S. Potato Dish – Potato Royale with Potato Foam, Potato Tuile and Scotch Egg (Chef Vic and Ria)

For the Best California Dairy Dish, the Mozzarella Wrapped Salmon with Smoked Cheese Infused Citrus Sauce, Grilled Vegetable Salad, Ricotta-Almond Crumbs and Potato Tuile of Chef James Antolin and Erik Roy San Luis (student of Center for Culinary Arts Manila) won them an Immersion Program at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California.

Best California Dairy Dish – Mozzarella Wrapped Salmon with Smoked Cheese Infused Citrus Sauce, Grilled Vegetable Salad, Ricotta-Almond Crumbs and Potato Tuille (Chef James and Erik)

Judging the very first Spuds and Dairy Culinary Cup were Mr. Ryan Bedford – Agricultural Attaché of USDA, Mr. Rey Co – President of Hightower, Inc., Chef Sau Del Rosario – President of Culinarya Pampanga, Ms. Nina Daza-Puyat – Lifestyle Columnist of Manila Bulletin, Editor of Appetite Magazine and cookbook author, and Chef Myrna Segismundo – Chairperson of the National Food Showdown.

Winners from left – Chef Vic, Ria of Enderun, Erik of CCA and Chef James

Watching all those teams create those delicious dishes, got me so worked up and excited, I decided to create my own potato and dairy masterpiece. And if there’s anything I learned from the Spuds and Dairy Culinary cup, it’s the importance of choosing the right ingredients. That’s why you have to always look for the Real California Milk seal and choose U.S. Potatoes if you want to level up your own recipes!

Since I’m pretty much a kitchen noob, I decided to start with a couple of very simple breakfast recipes, but this time I’m using only U.S. potatoes and California Sunshine Milk.

Pancakes and Hashbrowns are my favorite breakfast duo so I experimented if I could create the same crispy hashbrowns I regularly order. Here’s my recipe using U.S. dehy potatoes.  


  • – 1/2 kilo U.S. dehy potato shreds
  • – 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • – 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • – Salt and freshly ground pepper.

Soak the dehy potatoes shreds in a bowl of water to remove extra starch, tossing the mixture for about 30 seconds. Drain and transfer to a tea towel and wring out water from the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss with your hands.

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. When it begins to sizzle, add the potatoes. Spread in an even layer and allow the potatoes to cook until golden, seven minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook until browned, four minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.


Pancakes on the other hand are my comfort food and I could enjoy them with almost anything. Now to make fluffier pancakes I opted for the California Sunshine Milk. Here is my homemade recipe for that fluffy and tasty pancakes.


  • – 1 cup California Sunshine Milk
  • – 4 eggs
  • – 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or ready-made mix
  • – 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • – 1 teaspoon butter
  • – 1/4 cup maple syrup
I got this at S&R, but other California dairy products like cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cold brew are available in grocery stores nationwide. #LookForTheSeal

Beat the eggs with all the ingredients (except the maple syrup) until completely mixed. 

Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Wipe the butter out of the pan with a paper towel. Spoon the batter (1/3 cup for each pancake) into the hot pan. Cook pancakes over medium heat until golden brown on the first side.

Very carefully turn the pancakes over to brown the other side. Drizzle with maple syrup. Serve hot and consume fast!

Look how thick and fluffy they are! The Real California milk makes all the difference!

So there you have it, my first spuds and dairy duo recipe perfect for any time of day that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face and fill that hungry tummy!

Want to create your own potato and dairy dishes? Visit the Potatoes USA Philippines or the Real California Milk Philippines Facebook pages to learn more about U.S. potatoes and California dairy.

Follow Real California Milk on Instagram @realcaliforniamilkphl.

#spudsanddairyculinarycup , #potatoesusa , #realcaliforniamilk

What do you think?

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Written by eduy

Get Smart and say Hello! to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro!

Bren Esports and CX Blanc win big at 2019 Taiwan Excellence eSports Cup