STI Students Cook Up Success at JML Flavor Festival

By: Graceline Marcelo , May 27, 2024

Two students from STI College Pasay-EDSA proudly participated and claimed 3rd place in the JML Flavor Festival, a prestigious competition held recently at the SM Megamall Event Center.

The event celebrated the vibrant theme of Filipino culinary heritage and offered a stage for students to demonstrate their culinary prowess using JML Philippines cookware.

The competition kicked off with preliminary rounds at each participant's school, where teams were required to conceptualize and creatively execute their dishes, which were then filmed and posted online. The most creative and liked entries advanced to the final cook-off, and the final five schools were announced on JML Philippines' social media pages.

Daisy Bigas and Raph Kent Niembra, BSHM students


Representing STI College Pasay-EDSA were 2nd year BS in Hospitality Management (BSHM) students Daisy Bigas and Raph Kent Niembra, under the mentorship of Chef Benidict Frianela, Tourism and Hospitality Management faculty member.

During the final live cook-off, which spanned three days, each day featured a unique culinary challenge. On Day 1, participants showcased the rich flavors of "Fiesta Sarap" by recreating traditional festive dishes. Day 2 focused on the iconic "Bahay Kubo," challenging students to incorporate local vegetables into their creations. Lastly, Day 3 explored the theme of "Fusion of Regional Flavors," prompting students to blend distinct regional tastes into innovative and harmonious dishes.

Bigas and Niembra created Bugana De Mangga En Blanca dish for Day 1
Pumpkin Salted Egg Gourmet Pasta dish was served during Day 2
For the final round, they presented the Okoy Chicken Express dish

The team faced many challenges due to limited time practice and inadequate training for presenting and executing their dishes each day. Despite these obstacles, Bigas, Niembra, and their supportive mentor Chef Frianela motivated them to push their limits and helped them stay on track throughout the competition.


Daisy and Raph during the JML Festival
Daisy and Raph during the JML Festival
Daisy and Raph during the JML Festival
Daisy and Raph during the JML Festival
Daisy and Raph during the JML Festival
Daisy and Raph during the JML Festival

When asked about what they learned throughout their journey, Niembra emphasized the importance of taking risks and doing one's best, saying, “One of the most important things I learned from the event was to take a risk and do your best.”

“I learned a lot from the judges and our mentor, who brought us the courage to trust ourselves even more,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bigas acknowledged STI College's support, which helped them overcome obstacles and grow as aspiring chefs. "STI helped me come out of my comfort zone and has been a key to discovering something very special to me, which is cooking," she said.