Maui News

Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival: Saturday, Oct. 12

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Chef Macadangdang at the Maui Fil-Am Festival. File photo Maui Now.

Chef Gemsley Balagso of Westin Nanea, Chef Joey Macadangdang of Joey’s Kitchen, and Chef Abby Ferrer of Star Noodle will be the featured Chefs competing in the Master P-Noy Chef Cook Off sponsored by Mama Sita’s.

It’s just one of the events being held during the Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival taking place this Saturday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center.

Balagso won the competition in 2016 while Macadangdang is a three-time winner (2012, 2013, 2014). Ferrer is the first female Chef to compete.


The Festival is part of the month-long celebration of Filipino-American History Month, which became law in 2008. The celebration kicked off with the Annual Philippine Flag Raising Ceremony at the County Building on Oct. 1.

“We’re very pleased to have Mama Sita’s as this year’s sponsor of the Master P-Noy Chef Cook Off,” said Jorge Tirona, president of the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “It will be exciting to see how each Chef will not only use the surprise protein and the traditional Filipino vegetables but also the different Mama Sita’s sauces and products in their creations.”

“Each Chef will be judged on execution of the final product, taste and most unique interpretation of the Filipino culinary heritage,” said Gilbert Keith-Agaran who is coordinating the Cook Off.  “Of course, as in any culinary competition, how ono the final product is will be at the heart of the Cook Off,” said Keith-Agaran.


The Chefs will be graded as follows: Serving Methods and Presentation (10 points); Portion Size (10 points); Creativity and Practicality (10 points); Menu and Ingredient Compatibility (20 points); and Flavor, Taste, Texture and Doneness (50 points).

The Festival will feature back to back cultural entertainment, exhibits, and food vendors selling Filipino food.

Youth events include Pabitin at the Fest, sponsored by Friends of Justin Woodson; The Pinoy Artist Contest sponsored by Enterprises International; The Oh Wow! Parol Making Contest sponsored by Originz; and Your Name in Baybayin sponsored by Friends of Gil Keith-Agaran.


Other contests include the Any Kine Adobo Contest sponsored by Tante’s Island Cuisine; the Speedy Balut Eating Contest sponsored by Esteban Construction, LLC; and The Polvoron Challenge: Eat&Tweet sponsored by Friends of Yuki Lei Sugimura.

A new event this year is A Health Fair For All sponsored by Maui Health System and coordinated by the newly formed Philippine Nurses Association Maui, Hawaiʻi (PNAMHi) and the Philippine Association of Medical Doctors (PhMAD), also newly formed.

And those in attendance may register for one of two drawings of a roundtrip airfare from Honolulu to Manila sponsored by Philippine Airlines.

“The Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival is supported by a number of companies and community groups who believe in its importance and significance. Local sponsor support is so vital to the Festival’s success,” said Melen Agcolicol, Event Chairperson. “Without our sponsors, the Maui Filipino Chamber Foundation would not be able to showcase our history, culture, heritage, and growing number of Filipino businesses on Maui. So we are extremely grateful for our sponsors.”

The Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, is the charitable and educational arm of the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce. The Maui Filipino Chamber was established in 1994 and its mission is to promote, represent and advocate the interests of the business community in the County of Maui.

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