MasterChef Asia: The Language of Cooking

from left: MasterChef judges Chef Susur Lee, Audra Morrice, Launch Host Issa Litton and Chef Bruno Ménard. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: MasterChef judges Chef Susur Lee, Audra Morrice, Launch Host Issa Litton and Chef Bruno Ménard. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Photographed by

Jude Bautista

MasterChef is the series that has caught the world by storm having editions in the U.S., Australia, Canada and even here in the Philippines. None of the previous versions will have the prestige and international flavor of MasterChef Asia having contestants from 8 different countries. There are 3 Filipinos in the 15 contestants: Jake Aycardo, Lica Ibarra and Rico Amancio. They are joined by amateur cooks from China, India Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Catch MasterChef Asia 9pm every Thursdays and Sundays on Lifetime.

Catch MasterChef Asia 9pm every Thursdays and Sundays on Lifetime.

Pinoy competitors from right: Rico Amancio, Lica Ibarra & Jake Aycardo. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pinoy competitors from right: Rico Amancio, Lica Ibarra & Jake Aycardo. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

The show premieres 9pm September 3, 2015 THURSDAY on LIFETIME (Skycable ch 65, Cignal digital TV- ch 63). The primetime airing of Master Chef Asia is on Thursdays and Sundays. There are also replays in between and after so check program schedules for your cable/digital TV provider. Immediately after MCA is our very own Anne Curtis’ show also on Lifetime: F WORD OUT LOUD. It’s a very fun, lighthearted, quirky look at food, shopping, travel and various activities in the Philippines. I can’t think of a better spokesperson for us than lovable Anne Curtis.

from left: Chef Susur Lee, Audra Morrice, Unilever Sr. Brand Mgr (KNORR) Jessica Inocencio, Panasonic Phl VP Sales & Mktg Masaru Toyota & Chef Bruno Ménard. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Chef Susur Lee, Audra Morrice, Unilever Sr. Brand Mgr (KNORR) Jessica Inocencio, Panasonic Phl VP Sales & Mktg Masaru Toyota & Chef Bruno Ménard. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mentor and judges include some of the biggest names in the culinary world: Chef Susur Lee, Chef Bruno Menard and MasterChef Australia Finalist Audra Morrice. Susur Lee is no stranger to cooking show fans. He is the world famous Hong Kong chef who has graced nearly all TV competitions as judge: TOP CHEF, CHOPPED U.S. and Canada and competitor in Iron Chef U.S.. He was also able to host Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods Americas in 2 of his restaurants in Toronto.

Superstar Chef Susur Lee is MCA Judge. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Superstar Chef Susur Lee is MCA Judge. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Susur has been referred to as the “Father of Fusion” and has won numerous culinary awards including Food and Wine magazine’s “Ten Chefs of the Millenium” and the 5-Star Diamond award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. He is the owner-chef of four highly-rated restaurants – LEE, Luckee, Bent and LEE Kitchen in Toronto, Canada as well as TungLok Heen in Singapore. For 20 years, he has been the Executive Consulting Chef for the TungLok Group, which owns over 40 restaurants in Asia.

Michelin Star Chef Bruno Ménard is an MCA Judge. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Michelin Star Chef Bruno Ménard is an MCA Judge. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Chef Bruno Menard earned 3 Michelin Stars at L’Osier, a Tokyo-based restaurant that has been voted one of the top French restaurants outside of France. Bruno has spent 20 years establishing some of the best restaurants in Asia and currently runs a top-tier culinary consulting firm in Singapore.

MasterChef Australia finalist and TV personality Audra Morrice is judge in Master Chef Asia. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

MasterChef Australia finalist and TV personality Audra Morrice is judge in Master Chef Asia. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Audra Morrice has been described as the next Martha Stewart of Asia. Her success on Master Chef Australia cemented her career in food and launched her into the world of culinary TV. Audra is currently based in Australia. Working closely with the Singapore Tourism Board, she is an ambassador for the Singapore Celebrity Concierge campaign. Her televised cooking show, Tasty Conversations is also GEM in Australia and on FYI across Asia.

from left: Chef Bruno Ménard, photojournalist Jude Bautista, Audra Morrice, Chef Susur Lee and Film reviewer Philbert Dy. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Daniel Tan

from left: Chef Bruno Ménard, photojournalist Jude Bautista, Audra Morrice, Chef Susur Lee and Film reviewer Philbert Dy. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Daniel Tan

These three prestigious judges were kind enough to be interviewed at the URBN Kitchen during their Philippine tour to promote the show. Film reviewer Philbert Dy joined me in chatting with these great culinary minds.

Lica Ibarra adds finishing touch to her creation. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Lica Ibarra adds finishing touch to her creation. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

—Jude: Was there any language or cultural barrier considering contestants came from 8 different countries?

Bruno: 8 different countries, 8 different languages but only one language on Master Chef Asia cuisine. We speak the language of cooking. There is only one common passion, it doesn’t matter how you speak, where you’re coming from. We have the same passion. We speak cooking. Cuisine is what we do so there is no barrier. That’s the beauty of cuisine. You can see today even though we are in Philippines in Manila we give to three people exactly the same ingredients they come with 3 different recipes. Even if you come form the same country you’re gonna do something completely different every time. That’s the beauty of cooking everybody understands food. We are here to have emotion so bring me the emotion through the food. Through the story on the plate.

Chef Bruno was a real character; MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Chef Bruno was a real character; MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Audra: It’s very simple you have 30 minutes these ingredients, cook!

Bruno: I’m not used to English myself. You have one theme, they know exactly what to do. They just go for it based on their instinct their knowledge. We don’t care where they come from, the language, what we care for is about the story. It’s about the flavor it has to be delicious look good, impress us give us sensation. And tell us why we’re going to be thrilled eating look amazing, but why does it look amazing?

Pinoy contestants Rico Amancio & Lica Ibarra; MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pinoy contestants Rico Amancio & Lica Ibarra; MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

—Philbert: How do you balance what kind of ingredients you are using? Doesn’t someone from China for example have an advantage over Vietnam depending on what kind of ingredients are available to them?

Audra: if this is your challenge the next one might not be. It was sort of varied in the kind of challenges we had. Also they were put to the test how well they knew their neighbors. No one really has an unfair advantage. It was very well balance. We might insist you cook a certain type of cuisine for this challenge. For the next challenge you cook something totally different. It’s a bit up and down for everyone. Everyone had their moment to shine.

Bruno: Let’s say we ask them to cook lechon the specialty from here. But you’re gonna have someone to go on stage to teach you and explain step by step and how to do it correctly. It was very fair all the time.

Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

—Jude: How would you characterize the finalists were they a strong batch? What’s similar in all of them?

Audra: In Australia they are in season 7 in U.S. and Canada I don’t know how many seasons. Also in their local countries they are in 3 or 4 seasons. Contestants are very cluey on what to expect in the show. The beauty about Master Chef is every new batch comes in and they never know what’s going to be thrown at them. You can never really prepare for it. What we saw was incredible cooking. There was a lot of stories heartfelt cooking with a lot of stories attached to it. I think they also evolved from day 1 to the last episode. A lot of them evolved and developed. We had contestants who had very humble plans about their future. AT the end of their time on the show it became bigger. The world is their oyster. When the attitude changes everything else changes.

from left: Chef Susur Lee, Jake Aycardo & Audra Morrice. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Chef Susur Lee, Jake Aycardo & Audra Morrice. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

—Philbert: Chef Susur how has judging affected your view on food, when you go out and eat and so on?

Susur: When you are cooking you are your own self. I’ve been doing it for many years. Being a chef it’s like being a conductor in the kitchen. You are making sure your cooks hit the right notes. So with judging it’s very much the same. Finally you can actually hear yourself. All these years conducting, not just saying it, the moment you are tasting. So you are articulating certain things that you are hearing yourself. It’s great therapy for a chef being a judge. Its no different when you write your own notes, you have better memory, when you’re typing it, exactly the same with me. All that experience gave me more satisfaction with the knowledge I’ve acquired. You actually express it in words and teaching somebody to help them get to the next level. To make sure they understand and also explore, I think that’s what’s important to be a master. If you wana hold a title as judge you have to be a master. The viewer as Bruno said can’t talk back to you. Your judgment is going to tell them this is the right way, the wrong way. This is something I’m learning.

from right: Unilever Sr. Brand Mgr (KNORR) Jessica Inocencio, Panasonic Phl VP Sales & Mktg Masaru Toyota, AE+E Asia Pacific Dep Mng Dir Prem Kamath, MCA judges Chef Bruno Ménard, Audra Morrice & Chef Susur Lee. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Unilever Sr. Brand Mgr (KNORR) Jessica Inocencio, Panasonic Phl VP Sales & Mktg Masaru Toyota, AE+E Asia Pacific Dep Mng Dir Prem Kamath, MCA judges Chef Bruno Ménard, Audra Morrice & Chef Susur Lee. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

MasterChef Asia is presented by the Singapore Tourism Board and KNORR of Unilever in association with Panasonic, Changi Airport Group, Carlton Hotel Singapore and Air Asia. For more information visit the official website msn.com/masterchefasia

Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here:

Official site-

http://www.knorr.com.ph/

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Chef Susur interviews Rico Amancio in the heat of competition. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Chef Susur interviews Rico Amancio in the heat of competition. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Pinoy contestants from left: Rico Amancio, Lica Ibarra & Jake Aycardo. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pinoy contestants from left: Rico Amancio, Lica Ibarra & Jake Aycardo. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: PUPIL Mgr Dang Cabuhat, Market Monitor Ent. Editor Alvin Dacanay, Liz Timbreza and Philbert Dy. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: PUPIL Mgr Dang Cabuhat, Market Monitor Ent. Editor Alvin Dacanay, Liz Timbreza and Philbert Dy. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

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Chef Bruno & Audra admire Jake’s dish. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Chef Bruno & Audra admire Jake’s dish. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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MasterChef Judges from left: Chef Susur Lee, Audra Morrice & Chef Bruno Ménard. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

MasterChef Judges from left: Chef Susur Lee, Audra Morrice & Chef Bruno Ménard. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Pretty Lica Ibarra is also part of the National Football Team and a proud mom. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pretty Lica Ibarra is also part of the National Football Team and a proud mom. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here:

Official site-

http://www.knorr.com.ph/

from left: Audra Morrice, Chef Susur Lee, Chef Bruno Ménard & Rico Amancio. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Audra Morrice, Chef Susur Lee, Chef Bruno Ménard & Rico Amancio. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Knorr Philppines fb page

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Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

Knorr YouTube channel

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Michelin Star Chef Bruno Ménard is an MCA Judge. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Michelin Star Chef Bruno Ménard is an MCA Judge. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Chef Bruno Ménard, Audra Morrice & Chef Susur Lee. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Chef Bruno Ménard, Audra Morrice & Chef Susur Lee. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Chef Susur Lee; MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Chef Susur Lee; MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Rico shoots Selfie w friend. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Rico shoots Selfie w friend. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

WordPress:

http://judebsports.wordpress.com/ , http://judebfood.wordpress.com/ , https://judebphoto.wordpress.com/ , http://judebgallery.wordpress.com/ , http://judebautista.wordpress.com/

Superstar Chef Susur Lee is MCA Judge. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Superstar Chef Susur Lee is MCA Judge. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Chef Bruno interviews Lica Ibarra in the heat of competition. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Chef Bruno interviews Lica Ibarra in the heat of competition. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Jake Aycardo was a computer analyst but had a stronger passion for cooking. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jake Aycardo was a computer analyst but had a stronger passion for cooking. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

flickr:

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from left: PUPIL Mgr Dang H. Cabuhat, Liz Timbreza, Philbert Dy, Chef Susur Lee & Chef Bruno Ménard. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: PUPIL Mgr Dang H. Cabuhat, Liz Timbreza, Philbert Dy, Chef Susur Lee & Chef Bruno Ménard. MasterChef Asia visited URBN Bar & Kitchen 28th St, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

Check out Knorr products, special Filipino recipes, tips and videos here: Official site-http://www.knorr.com.ph/

WordPress:

http://judebsports.wordpress.com/ , http://judebfood.wordpress.com/ , https://judebphoto.wordpress.com/ , http://judebgallery.wordpress.com/ , http://judebautista.wordpress.com/

Catch MasterChef Asia 9pm every Thursdays and Sundays on Lifetime.

Catch MasterChef Asia 9pm every Thursdays and Sundays on Lifetime.

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