STORIES become more heartfelt and meaningful when shared over good food. For most chefs, however, their stories are told not in words but in the food they cook. Chef Roseller Fiel II is a testament to this as he proudly prepared dishes handed down to him by his family, leading to his win at one of the biggest cook-offs in the country.
This cooking competition is Solane Kitchen Hero, a nationwide cooking competition led by Solane which aims to discover the next big name in the culinary industry. Competing against the finest chefs in the country, Chef Roseller bested hundreds of other hopefuls in the regionals and emerged as one of the 15 chefs to make it to the semi-finals. After which, he qualified in the top five of the finals round before being named the first Solane Kitchen Hero.
A professional chef for almost ten years now, Chef Roseller hails from Lanao Del Norte. He is currently the executive chef at Soy Café and Diner and a culinary instructor at Sweet House Pastry School. His love for food developed because of his parents. “They are my kitchen heroes,” he says. “It’s because of them that I learned how to love food, how to love the kitchen.”
Armed with a story to tell, Chef Roseller whipped up a winning three-course meal with his creative interpretations of iconic dishes from his region: a salad of Kilawin na baboy with butter-poached lobster, grilled talong and ampalaya and coco-cream vinaigrette; the main dish of Humba Bisaya with brown rice pilaf; and a dessert of Dodol with caramel-tisa sauce and peanut-ginger brittle.
“The dishes that I served for this competition are my family. The Kilawin represents my father because he is that one who cooks it in the family. Meanwhile, Humba is our family dish. Every time I ask my mom to cook dinner, she would make Humba.”
His mission to share his family recipe and to bring local food to the global stage is now made possible with the prizes he took home from the competition, namely, P100,000 cash and a culinary trip to Japan with customized stops at different food and drink destinations.
This exciting cooking contest is made possible with the support of dynamic organizations and brands championing the same passion for cookery in the country. STI serves as their official school partner while Midea is a co-presenter. Major sponsors are Masflex, Jolly, Jolly Heartmate Canola Oil, Dona Elena, and Dona Elena Al Dente. Minor sponsors are King Sue, Ajinomoto, Philtranco, Fastcat, Chef’s Garb, and National Bookstore.