Variety is the spiceBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Last April 8 at 11:15 a.m., Marvin Agustin unveiled his latest TV show, “Karinderya Wars,” on TV5, and a good, hearty time was had by all. What makes the new reality challenge a perfect fit for Marvin is the fact that, aside from performing, he’s become quite a hit at bankrolling a wide range of restaurants, so he knows whereof he speaks.
Yes, the cooking and cooks that the new show features aren’t “high-end,” but the production is still a significant one in the local context, where literally thousands of reasonably priced little eateries provide an alternative to “fast food” outlets, and are more “in-sync” with the Filipino gustatory psyche, to boot.
Marvin’s new show is a significant production because it plucks outstanding carinderia owners out of anonymity, pressures them to do their utmost best by competing with one another on different challenges, learn a lot in the process—and, if they win, get enough money to sink into a bigger eating place with which, if they’re smart, they can make their fortune.
Nine contenders have been chosen from literally hundreds of aspirants, so each one of them must have a lot going for him or herself.
We presume that all of them are good, creative cooks, but mere cooking prowess clearly isn’t what the show is about. Each finalist is a character and has a unique “back story,” the better for viewers to relate to them as individuals.
There’s even a young Fil-Indian contender who, we trust, will help heat up the tilt with his literally “spicy” inputs.
It’s still early days for the new cooking competition with a welcome masa twist to it, but it’s turning out to be a promising adventure for contestants and viewers alike. To separate the real cooks from the rank amateurs, the tilt’s first challenge required the finalists to clean and gut a fish in the quickest possible time.
The winner was then rewarded with the right to choose her teammates, and the also-rans who weren’t favored realized early on that they would have to really hustle to keep up with the hands-on competition!
We hope that, as the daily tilt progresses, the finalists will be required to cook in various styles, so that viewers can learn a lot about the range and depth of Pinoy cuisine in the process. The challenge should be: Yes, carinderia food is supposed to be eminently “affordable,” but, it should be really tasty and creative as well. To this end, we trust that the TV tilt will feature taste jurors who will hew to high standards, while keeping the masa stomach, appetite and budget always in mind.
While the guest judges are important, it’s key that the show should reflect Marvin’s own experience, taste and wisdom, from start to finish. His eminently successful career as a restaurateur should inspire the people his show seeks to mentor to also dream big, work hard, cook well—and similarly savor the sizzling perks of success!
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