When I hear about Jolly, I always remember their delicious mushrooms and how much I cannot get enough of them which is why I was so excited to attend the Jolly University Year 4 Grand Cook-Off and Congress. Tons of fun activities, yummy food and exciting freebies awaited us at the Jolly University event.

Before enjoying the festivities, we enjoyed the food prepared by Fly Ace Corporation for the media. After the filling lunch, I went straight to the main event venue where Jolly mushroom tempura, Jolly mushroom and corn, Dona Elena tuna, Old Orchard cranberry juice, Jolly Cow fresh milk and Lotus biscoff awaited us for us to taste.

While waiting for the program to start, games awaited us. I spun the Jolly wheel and won a Jolly Heart Mate canola oil. I also won a notebook from the UCPB. But wait, there’s more. Because I brought a Jolly product label, I also won a P200 Cold Stone Creamery Gift Certificate from the raffle.

After grueling weeks of training and preparation, all aspiring student-contenders in the country’s long-running campus-based culinary search, JOLLY University (JU), got close to reaching their dream of becoming JU Year 4 grand champions.

A steep and well-fought encounter took place at the Le Pavillon Tent in Pasay City with all the 120 elite finalists pulling out their best and most creative JOLLY-inspired dishes to clinch the coveted titles in the following four divisions: Individual Category (featuring Luzon Cuisines made easy, healthy and baon-ready); Team Main Dish Category (Visayas Cuisines Made Easy, Healthy and Jolly); Team Pasta Category (Mindanao Cuisines made Pastariffic) and Team Mocktail Category (Capture the Jolly Vibe of the Philippines in a Sip).

This year’s JU elite finalists are from 23 different schools across North and South Luzon and Metro Manila – competing to bring home the championship to their school.

With the theme “It’s More JOLLY in the Philippines”, Jolly University was held in conjunction with the Grand Cook-Off and the JOLLY Congress, which featured some of the country’s top industry practitioners and leaders: Leo de Leon of Allegro Beverage, JC Libiran Author of Byahe ni Juan, Marilyn Perion of UCPB, Liza Morales of CCA Manila, Karla Reyes of La Petite Fromagerie, Nana Ozaeta of Food Magazine, Bryan Kong of Crazy Katsu, Chershire Que (nutritionist), Vberni Regalado of Philippine Star, Jose Mari Oquiñena of Gawad Kalinga, Angelica Atanacio of Anghelica’s Desserts, Kian Kazemi of Persian Grill, Rebecca Lee of, and Ms. Earth 2015 Angelia Ong.

Now on its fourth successful year, JOLLY University offered student participants an unforgettable experience to develop their culinary, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills as future culinary and industry leaders. A program designed to empower the youth, JU fostered industry-ready competitiveness, as well as, cooperative relationships among students and institutions in promoting culinary excellence and business innovation.

Kicking off the first leg of JU Year 4 is the Bootcamp workshop series conducted recently at the Center for Culinary Arts, Manila. The guest speakers, CCA faculty Chef-preneur Jonvic Mangibin and award-winning Chef Kerwin Funtanilla, shared their real-world expertise to the JU elite finalists as they explored various fundamentals on Food Presentation & Food Safety and Sanitation, and Conceptualizing & Preparing their Competition Dish.

To fine-tune their cooking skills in preparation for the JOLLY University Grand Cook-Off, a Market Basket-style cooking challenge was conducted wherein each Individual Category finalist was assigned to one of four “houses” (Culinary Champions, Gastronomic Guru, Kitchen Kings, and Meal Masters) headed by top CCA Manila students who served as their mentors. The dish entries were graded based on presentation, taste, innovation/creativity, food safety/sanitation, green chefmanship and use/integration of JOLLY food products as mandatory ingredients. The panels of evaluators are JU Headmaster Chef Mitchie Sison, Chef Jonvic Mangibin and Fly Ace Corp. representatives, Fly Ace Senior Product Manager for Jolly Food Line Bey Acuña and Fly Ace PR and Digital Media Manager Dianne Pagtalunan.

Alyanna Mae Rañola (UST, 2nd runner-up), Bernice Tenorio (UST, 1st runner-up) and Charlene Baltazar (EAC, grandwinner) won in the mock-up challenge.

JU elite finalist Francis Marion Santos of Centro Escolar-Manila, was elated by his boot camp experience. “I’m really thankful and honored to be part of JU batch 4. The hands-on training, coaching tips and mentorship by the esteemed chefs gave me and the others a huge confidence boost,” he said.

“We believe that fostering competitiveness, innovation, and entrepreneurship skills through programs that support youth development is a great investment that leads to positive outcomes both for the next generation and for the country,” concluded Ralph Rebulanan, Associate Product Manager of Jolly Food Line.

Pasta (team) La Consolacion Batangas
Mocktails (team) Lyceum Subic Bay
Main Dish (group) La Consolacion Manila

Main Dish (individual)
2nd runner up La Consolacion College Manila
1st runner up Manila Tytana Colleges
Grand winner University of Sto. Tomas

Audience Choice: La Consolacion Manila
This year’s JU grand winners will walk away with Php50,000 worth of cash and prizes, trophies, culinary training workshop under CCA Manila, and an internship program under Fly Ace Corporation where they will receive comprehensive, job-ready skills development training from the industry’s best practitioners.

The JOLLY University Year 4 Congress is made possible with the support of event sponsors CCA Manila, Allegro, Coldstone, Glad, Fujidenzo, Masflex, PLDT HOME Fibr, Robinsons, Technogas, UCPB and Whirlpool and media partners Appetite Magazine, Breakfast Magazine, Cook Magazine, Food Magazine, Chinatown TV, Malaya Business Insight, The Manila Bulletin, Mommy Bloggers Philippines, Philippine Star and

Fly Ace Corporation is one of the leading food and beverage consumer goods companies in the country today. Propelling limitless multiple-category growth by bringing the best of the world closer to Filipino consumers, Fly Ace Corporation’s portfolio of food and beverage products includes house brands and exclusively distributed brands. To learn more about Fly Ace, visit
JOLLY is a canned fruits and vegetable line marketed and exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corp. For more updates, visit or like its official Facebook fanpage or follow via Twitter and Instagram (@jollyeatsph).