FAN (Filipino American Network), the Adobofest this year was a success and a great time for all. They really did a fabulous job organizing all the 21 contestants competing as well as having a great entertainment and program lineup for those in attendance. We claimed our contestant spot in a corner so that we could have maximum space for our stuff, our What's Cookin, Chicago group and it had a great view of the crowds coming in during the event.
Now all adobo starts out the same by sauteeing onions and garlic in a bit of oil. Once softened, protein is added, which is usually some kind cut of beef, pork or chicken. Once the protein is in, soy sauce and vinegar is added. Anything in addition to these ingredients is a variation of the dish. They say that there are rarely 2 exact same adobo recipes since everyone makes theirs a little different and to their tastes. For the contest, I made 2 large cauldrons (or calderos) of my special Tropical Adobo. It used about 20 pounds of pork spareribs, a large bottle of soy sauce, vinegar, a few heads of fresh garlic, a few pounds of yellow onions and my special ingredient, crushed pineapple.
My Tropical Adobo joined quite a few other contestants, all that have something special about them...
So what does the winner of Adobofest receive? The winner receives a $500 gift certificate to Sunda restaurant, $200 gift certificate to Wave restaurant, a box to ship items to family and friends in the Philippines (aka Balikbayan box), 25 pounds of jasmine rice and bragging rights until next year! Sadly, What's Cookin, Chicago's Tropical Adobo did not place in the adobo finals but winning wasn't everything. It was moreso the camaraderie of What's Cookin, Chicago members, fellow contestants and just being able to come together with the Filipino community of Chicago. But congrats to 'Adobo Ring of Fire' who won! After our first time competing in Adobofest, I hope to join again and submit another adobo recipe next year!