NBP- Iron Bar Chef Challenge 2012 – drawing knives for a cause

Manila-Philippines. A visit to NBP (New Bilibid Prison) is not included in my plans but learning about it thrills me. Honestly, i even secretly hide it to hubby  because of obvious reason that he would not let me go but I’m glad i made the decision to come because I get the chance not just to meet new bloggers but to experience a new thing that can be stored in my memory bank and on my growing collection of photographs.

new bilibid prison (maximum security)

Different inmates of the largest prison in the country drew their knives not to aim and challenge each other for a combat but for a different cause that creates harmonious and camaraderie among each other. The Iron Bar Chef Challenge as told by Ms. Maricar Villar,  Communications Head of Bureau of Correction is an inspiration by the reality TV show, “Iron Chef” which program also gave their blessings to the NBP to hold this event.

Iron Bar Chef Challenge

The supposed one event that happens in January 7, 2012 drew a lot of attention and positive reviews that’s why the management and organizers thought that a final showdown should be held.  Indeed on Saturday, June 30, the respective winners of minimum and maximum security comprising six groups joined together for a final challenge

Different inmates and Gang members of Sputnik-Commando, Batang City Jail or BCJ,  Bicol Region Masbate,  Batang Cebu, and Genuine Ilocano Group joined altogether to form  six groups which was named Team Yumyum, Team Planet, Team Sarap, Team Lolong Pogi, Team Namit, and Team Uban.

A period of 60 minutes or 1 hour is given to each group for them to create their masterpiece of appetizer, main dish, and desserts which ingredients can be found on the mystery bayong (eco-bag) which was given to each group . Each dish will be judged according to it’s taste, nutritional value and over-all creativity.

Chef Gene Del Prado, an executive sous chef of Makati-Shangrila Plaza Hotel among with other well known in the field of cooking judge the cooking event.

Iron Bar Chef Challenge 2012

All the foods are indeed delicious but just like in any contests, only one winner could emerge which happens to be the Team Uban who wowed the judges  with their steam tilapia, chicken with peras and other enticing dishes made from the limited ingredients that was given to them.  Team Namit came in second place followed by Team Lolo Pogi who garnered the third spot.

Iron Bar Chef Challenge 2012 Winners

Prices are Fifteen Thousand for the first place, 10K for the second and 5K for the third place but all non-winning participants get to go home with 2K but the most important one is the feeling of happiness and the beautiful memories of the event which could not be bought by any amount.

Over-all, the event was successful and was able to fulfill it’s main purpose which is not just camaraderie but also a good way for them to show that even behind bars, there are ways for them to enjoy life and showcase their talent. This event is just a piece of series of programs that were lined up for the transformation and renewal of inmates inside the Bureau of Corrections.  On that same day, Ms. Pilita Corales and Ms. Pinky Marquez will be having a concert on that same maximum security facility.

the author with NBC Director Gaudencio Pangilinan

Bureau of Corrections Sr. Communications Officer Maricar Villar