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15 finalists battle it out for food market supremacy at the ’Next Big Food Entrepreneur’

After the taste test challenge held last week, Mercato Centrale has announced the 15 finalists for this year’s ’Next Big Food Entrepreneur.’
By Press Release |
15 finalists battle it out for food market supremacy at the ’Next Big Food Entrepreneur’

Thirty budding food entrepreneurs pitted their culinary creations against each other in the taste test challenge – the first step towards winning the annual ‘Next Big Food Entrepreneur ’ contest organized by Mercato Centrale, the country’s premier night food market– last November 7 at Midnight Mercato food market in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
 
After serving bite-sized portions of their dishes to a select judging panel (that were composed of lifestyle and food media practitioners, entrepreneurial consultants, and partners---Our Awesome Planet, Unilever Food Solutions, MasterCard, Globe MyBusiness, Entrepreneur Magazine, Yummy Magazine, Go Negosyo, Solar’s Second Avenue, and WhenInManila.com---joined by Mercato vendors and management), 15 entrepreneurs were voted into the final ‘live selling’ round of the competition.
 
Those food entrepreneur finalists---a combination of savory dishes, artisanal food, pastries, and specialty ice cream---will participate in an ‘open selling’ round over four weekends in selected Mercato Centrale-run food markets around Metro Manila.
 
The finalists include:

Bigorots – an artful fusion of Bicolano and Igorot savory dishes by the first-ever winner of Master Chef PH JR Royol;

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Up in the Clouds – artisanal ice cream with unique flavors such as Me Lychee, Butterbeer and Campfire S’Mores;

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Hunger Buster – arguably the ‘Best Burgers in Ateneo’  (and probably even in UP-Diliman, as they were the overall champions of Foodgasm, an event sponsored by the UP Economics Society);

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Home of French Toast – A variety of French Toast flavors with brioche bread;

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Let’s SuTuKil Atbp – Boneless lechon and other Cebuano delicacies from home-based cooks who first shared their homemade recipes at the Maginhawa Food Festival;

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A Guy’s Flan – a twist on the classic leche flan with different custard flavors and choices of toppings;

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Cubanos – a group of DLSU students who were inspired by the movie ‘Chef’ to create Cuban sandwiches with a Pinoy twist;

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Siowarma Twist – attendees of the Food Startup Weekend of the Next Big Food Entrepreneur who came up with a new twist to serving shawarma-siomai-style;

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BakmiNyonya – authentic Indonesian ‘BakmiAyam’ noodles and Indonesian-style siomai;

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Tiya’s Kitchen – sweet and spicy adobong pusit;

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Dirty Fingers – deep fried chicken cutlets with unusual sauce combinations like Spicy Peanut Butter and Honey Salted Egg;

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Mr. Pullman’s – homegrown sandwiches filled with your favorite Pinoy ulam;

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Naughty Nachos – customizable nachos with a secret cheese sauce and soy garlic chicken;

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Turrone de Manila Cafe – éclair-inspired turon and bacon ensaymada;

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Mad Wraps – lumpiang shanghai-inspired deep fried wraps filled with mac and cheese, buffalo chicken or pork barbecue.

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Food enthusiasts can catch these aspiring food entrepreneurs at following Mercato markets: Midnight Mercato, Bonifacio Global City on November 14 and 15 and on November 21 and 22; and Banquetta, CCP Complex on November 28 and December 5. The winner of the competition will receive P100,000 start-up capital and a six-month rental-free stay at a Mercato Centrale market.
 
The Mercato Centrale markets have been the birthplace of many fast-growing food companies including Manang’s Chicken, Mochiko, Merry Moo, Chuck’s Grubberie, Mio Gelati, Spring by Ha-Yuan, Kristina’s Inutak, Zen Taclings, Brasas, Eat My Garlic Fries, and many more successful food businesses.  
 
Keep on reading Entrepreneur.com.ph for more updates about The Next Big Food Entrepreneur 2014.   

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