The Asean Committee in Wellington hosts the first ASEAN Cooking Competition 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand
Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez joined the ASEAN Committee in Wellington (ACW), composed of ASEAN Heads of Diplomatic Missions of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam resident in New Zealand, in hosting the well-attended and highly successful ASEAN Cooking Competition 2014 on 21 June 2014 at Weltec School of Hospitality in Wellington. H.E. Noppadon Theppitak, the Ambassador of Thailand, and current Chairman of the ACW delivered the welcome remarks at the official opening of the competition on behalf of the Heads of Diplomatic Missions of the Republic of Indonesia, the Republic of the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Also present were the Heads of Diplomatic Missions of Brazil and France as well as other distinguished guests from the government, academic and business sectors, ASEAN Committees and friends in Wellington.
Twelve (12) teams competed in cooking six (6) ASEAN dishes. Two (2) teams each vied for the title of best cooks of six (6) distinctive dishes from the ASEAN nations represented in New Zealand, namely, the Indonesian “Soto Ayam” (Chicken Soup), the Malaysian “Gulai Ikan Nasi Dagang” (Fish Gravy), the Filipino “Traditional Chicken Adobo”, the Singaporean “Kaya” (Coconut Jam) Toast, the Thai “Tom Yum Goong” (Spicy Tiger Prawn Soup), and the Vietnamese “Deep-Fried Spring Rolls”. The competitors were given forty-five (45) minutes to cook their randomly assigned dishes. Two (2) teams competed to cook the Filipino “Traditional Chicken Adobo”, an authentic Filipino dish and one of the most recognized Filipino foods throughout the world. Team 1 was composed of Mrs. Michaela Paul and Ms. Lorena Bruzzone from the Embassy of the Republic of Chile in Wellington and Team 2 was from the Wellington District Court, namely, Ms. Anna Graham, Ms. Roslyn Dix, and Mr. Matthew Guy.
Guests and judges mingled with each other while enjoying ASEAN dishes as the competitors cooked their assigned dishes. Judges of the competition were headed by the ASEAN Heads of Missions and teamed with the Deputy Mayor of Wellington City Council, a Board Chair of Education New Zealand, a former New Zealand Ambassador and the Executive Chair of Asia Forum. The judges for the Philippine dish were Ambassador Benavidez, Ambassador Graeme Waters of New Zealand, and Mr. Farib Sos, Executive Director of the Asia Forum of Wellington. The judges made a close call after the tasting the “Traditional Chicken Adobo” of Teams 1 and 2 but Team 1 was ruled by the judges to have won the competition.
The ASEAN Cooking Competition 2014 highlights the successful collaboration of the ASEAN Committee in Wellington (ACW). With the aim of promoting the ASEAN community through its vision of “One Identity, One Vision, One Community”, the current ACW Chair, Ambassador Noppadon Theppitak of Thailand likened the different dishes from each ASEAN nation with their distinctive yet similar flavors to ASEAN and its ten (10) member countries, distinct but alike and in harmony well with each other.