Casual dining restaurant Pancake House has teamed up with Lopez-led media giant ABS-CBN Corp. to offer some of the most flavorful dishes prepared by young contestants in the reality cooking show Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition.
Created in response to the popularity of the TV program hosted by Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo, Pancake House has added five new dishes on its menu based on the standout recipes created by the show’s young aspiring chefs.
Adrian Azurin, product development corporate chef of Pancake House said the partnership would enable the restaurant to appeal to a younger crowd, which make up the majority of the show’s fan base.
"Pancake House has been around since the 1980s. We know those who grew up knowing Pancake House are already parents or grandparents by now," Mr. Azurin toldBusinessWorld in an interview.
"We hope that with this license agreement with ABS-CBN, we will be able to tap into the young audience of Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition to encourage them to visit our stores," he said.
Among the restaurant’s new dishes are the appetizer Cabbage lumpia (spring roll) in coconut breading.
A hint of roasted desiccated coconut in the breading provides an extra crunch that makes this dish memorable, especially for vegetarians looking for menu choices.
Another healthy option is Tofu eggplant salad (P175) -- deep-fried tofu lathered with a special honey sauce, served with grilled eggplant and mustard greens salad, and topped with toasted pinipig (glutinous rice grain flakes).
For the main course, there is the Fish Burger (P235) which is served with malunggay(moringa) leaves, caramelized ginger and brown rice pilaf.
To complement Pancake House’s rice meals, Mr. Azurin said the restaurant selected two rice meal dishes from the show: Rice in ampalaya silog features cheese-topped bitter gourd paired with garlic fried rice and a sunny side-up egg, with a serving of pickled ampalaya (bitter gourd) and crispy dilis (anchovy) on the side; and Porksilog Steak, a pan-grilled pork loin filled with garlic longanisa (a local sausage) meat, served with special fried rice with corn bits, sunny side-up egg, and mango chutney.
Mr. Azurin said that while they had to tweak the dishes to fit the costing requirements of Pancake House, the dishes display the innate talent of the young cooks.
The new menu choices will be available in all Pancake House branches nationwide until March, although, with the positive response from diners, Mr. Azurin said plans are already under way to add the better-selling items to the regular menu.
"It all depends on talks between Pancake House and ABS-CBN," Mr. Azurin said.
ABS-CBN’s licensing division represents Shine International in the Philippines. Shine International owns the global MasterChef franchise.
MasterChef is a TV cooking reality competition which originated in Britain in 1990. The show has expanded into other countries, including Australia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Lebanon, Switzerland, Turkey and the US. From the original version featuring adults, the franchise spawned a version for child contestants in 1994.
Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition began airing last August. The Philippines is only the third country in the world to produce its own Junior MasterChef, next to Britain and Australia.
Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition airs weeknights at 6:30 p.m. -- Jeffrey O. Valisno