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Pinoy chef wins on MBC's Global 'Taste of Korea' Contest.

A 27-year-old Filipino chef and commissary manager won in the 2014 Global "Taste of Korea" Contest held in Seoul, South Korea.

Marc Justin Tee bagged second place and took home $3,000 as cash prize in the contest aired on Korean TV channel MBC last Nov. 3 and 5 and co-sponsored by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and North Jeolla Province.

Tee, who works as the commissary manager at Maison Eric Kayser Philippines, told Bulletin Entertainment that he was aiming to win first prize.

"Honestly, I was somewhat disappointed (by the result). I really wanted to win the competition and really thought I would go on and win it all. I was happy with my dish and how it turned out, but (first prize winner Cavit Arden of) Turkey did an awesome job, too. He is a great chef, and deserved the win," he said.

Tee was the Philippine representative to the contest and competed with chefs from Australia, Belgium, Chile, China, Egypt, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States.

According to the Philippine Embassy in South Korea, the contest was held to introduce Korean food to the international community and encourage people to love Korean traditional dishes.

"I wish to congratulate Mr. Tee for winning the second prize of this contest organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Cultural Bureau to promote Korean cuisine to the whole world. In fact, it's already becoming the next big thing in the Korean wave of culture." said Philippine Ambassador to Korea Raul Hernandez.

The final round of competition was also attended by North Jeolla Province Governor Song Ha Jin, MOFA Cultural Affairs Bureau Director General Kim Dong-gi and MBC Vice President Kwon Jae Hong.

The Korean food entries were judged based on taste (30 points), globalization (20 points), understanding Korean food (30 points), skill (10 points) and hygiene (10 points).

Tee won in the preliminary round held in Manila last June.

The final competition was a long-day cook-off held at the MBC studio and Tee said he made galbijjim or beef short rib stew as his entry along with two side dishes, a soup and rice.

"It was actually a very long day. We started at around 8 a.m. During the morning we had rehearsals and dry runs. then at 1 p.m. the cook off started. After the two-hour cook off, we had to wait for about one hour for the evaluation, then filming of the deliberations and announcement of winners. By 7 p.m. we had to do post interviews and finished at around 8 p.m. During the final round of cook-off the main ingredient was Han-u beef, a local Korean breed of cattle that is very similar to wagyu," he said.

Tee, who graduated in 2012 from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management, said he learned to cook Korean food when he was an exchange student at Woosong University in Daejeon, South Korea.

"I was there from March 2011 to December 2011. I was taking up Global Culinary Arts. I am a huge fan of Korean food, maybe since I was still a teenager. It's really hard to choose just one Korean dish since I really love most of them but if I had to choose just one, it would be Nakji-bokkeum or stir fried spicy octopus," he said.

Tee said he's thinking of what to do with the prize money he won.

"I don't know yet. Maybe use some of it to buy my family some nice presents this coming Christmas. The rest I will save for the future, maybe to open my own restaurant one day," he said.

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Filipino chef Marc Justin Tee (right) won second prize in the 2014 Global 'Taste of Korea' Contest (Photo: Philippine Embassy in South Korea)
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Title Annotation:Entertainment News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Nov 7, 2014
Words:648
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