After a two year suspension constrained by the global pandemic, the longest regional culinary show made an unexpectedly strong return on October 16-17 at the Limketkai Atrium in Cagayan de Oro City.
Organized by the Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association (COHARA) KUMBIRA, is an annual culinary festival showcasing the talents of the chefs and food service personnel from the different hotels and restaurants in Mindanao.
Through Kumbira, COHARA aims to showcase and promote the flavors and regional flavors of Mindanao cuisine; promote the use of indigenous ingredients in local recipes, hone culinary skills and apply new techniques and technologies in developing local cuisine, and promote skills certification to professionalize the hospitality industry in Mindanao.
KUMBIRA has undoubtedly helped promote the local food service industry to world class standards. It also hosts the Mindanao Chef Wars, a regional elimination of a live team competition to choose the region’s representative to the National Food Showdown.
Although it was traditionally held during August as one of the flagship events of the City Fiesta, the rescheduling of the school opening to a later date necessitated its rescheduling to a later date to allow participating schools adequate preparation to organize their participation.
However, to provide a link to its traditional date, Master Classes by Master Chefs were held as a pre-event on October 15 at the VIP Hotel, a Colors of Mindanao Exhibit featuring products from the six regions of Mindanao (Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, SOCCSKSARGEN, Caraga, and the BARMM, and a Food Avenue where COHARA members will showcase their specialty dishes for the public.
Kumbira 2022 Competitions include the following: KUMBIRA MASTER : KUMBIRA Chef Master (Live/ Individual); KUMBIRA Cake Master “Colors of Mindanao” (Live/ Individual); KUMBIRA Bar Master (Live/ Individual); and, KUMBIRA Brew Master (Live/ Individual); PASTRY AND DESSERT: Plated Dessert “Cashew & Tablea” (Display/Team of 2); and, Bread Showpiece “Tubong Mindanaw” (Display/ Team of 2); DINING SERVICE: Basket Floral Buffet Centerpiece (Display/ Team of 2); CULINARY CHALLENGE : Lechon Manok Party Platter -”Ways with Lechon Manok” (Display/ Individual); BEVERAGE SERVICE : Flairtending (Live/ Individual); and, BRAND COMPETITION :Del Monte Set Menu (Live/ Team of 2)
The individual and team competitions were participated in by students and professionals from Cagayan de Oro and other areas including Kidapawan, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Iligan, Bukidnon, Agusan, and Zamboanga.
This year’s culinary fest was supported by the Department of Tourism, TESDA, Department of Trade and Industry, ug ang lokal and the City Government of Cagayan de Oro.
The Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association (COHARA) is a non-profit organization composed of hotel and restaurant members in Cagayan de Oro City.
COHARA was organized in 1996 through the initiative of the Regional Office of the Department of Tourism, Region 10 then headed by Regional Director Dorothy Jean B. Pabayo, who now heads the Cagayan de Oro City Tourism Council.
Aside from KUMBIRA, COHARA continuously updates the skills of its employees through trainings and workshops with competent lecturers and professionals in the Hotel and Restaurant industry.
It has worked with Expert Advisers of the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), mentoring hotel and restaurant staff and conducted trainings on different aspects of hotel and restaurant operations.
The Association has also opened itself to new ideas by attending Marketing Incentive Conferences, Chefs on Parade in Manila and other culinary festivals in the country as well as the Thailand Food Expo in Bangkok, Thailand, HOFEX , Hongkong and FHA in Singapore.
Playing a vital role in the promotion of Tourism in Cagayan de Oro City, COHARA has endeavored to host conferences, conventions and events. It is affiliated and represents the hotel and restaurant industry of the region to various organizations – the City Tourism Board, Promote Normin Foundation, the Tourism Congress, and is a chapter member of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines (HRAP).
The Association also involves itself with outreach programs through annual gift giving and sponsorship of meals for orphans and the needy. Sports and social activities among the members are also in the offing.
Quality service, world-class standards, value for money and constant skills training are the precepts with which COHARA lives by. (with a report by SPPalen/Photos and layout by Rod Constantino/CIO)