La Consolacion College hits it big at Gardenia’s Next Big Sandwich Hit

The 10 teams from top universities and colleges in Metro Manila waited with bated breath as to who will be declared grand champions of the “Next Big Sandwich Hit,” an inter-school sandwich-making and business idea generation competition organized by premiere bread company Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, Inc. (GBPI). The heart-pounding finale of the competition served as one of the highlights of Gardenia’s Happy Bread Day event, held recently at the Glorietta Activity Center.

In the end, after the audition rounds, the gruelling qualifying rounds at their schools, the demanding challenges at Mercato Centrale in Bonifacio Global City and the exhausting final cook-off, it was the team from La Consolacion College-Manila, composed of Kristina Francesca Jordan and Janmel Lolong, that bested all the other teams.

As their names and that of their school reverberated inside the venue after being hailed as Grand Champion of Gardenia’s Next Big Sandwich Hit, Jordan and Lolong were completely astonished.

“We really didn’t expect to win, especially after we saw a couple of schools bag the major awards, which have a significant impact on the teams’ total scores. As soon as our names were called, it took quite a moment for everything to sink in, and then we realized it was all true,” said Jordan and Lolong while holding the symbolic champion’s check and plaques amid the commotion and excitement inside the venue.

Prior to announcing the winners, special prizes were awarded for the People’s Choice, Audience Choice and Sponsor’s Choice awards. The People’s Choice winner was the team with the highest webisode likes and shares in Facebook and YouTube. The Audience Choice award went to the team with the highest votes on the on-ground crowd tasting during Happy Bread Day, while the Sponsor’s Choice winner was chosen among the teams who creatively used the sponsor’s product as an ingredient in their dish.

The team from University of Sto. Tomas bannered by Jenna Buenaventura and Rio Fontanillas bagged the first two awards, and the team from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines composed of Arnel Lontac and Dianne Colleen Edillor prevailed in the last.

The atmosphere was authentically euphoric as thousands flocked at the Glorietta Activity Center to witness the finale of the Next Big Sandwich Hit, the main event of the celebration of “Happy Bread Day,” Gardenia’s own way of commemorating “World Bread Day,” which is celebrated every October 16. People availed of the various goodies and freebies offered at “Bread Town,” the Happy Bread Day event’s hub of all fun activities, at areas such as “Wheat Bread Boulevard” that caters to health buffs and wheat bread lovers, the “Muffin Studio” where Gardenia muffin fans had a great time with the photo booth and muffin samples, and the “Cream Roll Nook” and the “Fun Bun Playground” for those who adore specialty snacks for kids like cream rolls and filled buns.

Those who would want to know more about Gardenia were given a trip down memory lane at the “Gardenia Museum” while some chilled and relaxed at “Pandesal Café”; others even had a sweet time at the “Flavored Bread Station”! People were also eager to help as they participated in the I Shared Bread campaign where every G-lock donated is equivalent to 3 loaves that will be donated to three beneficiaries. G-Lock is the unique and innovative color-coded clip that assures the freshness of Gardenia loaves, A total of 3791 G-Locks were collected and posted on G-Lock Wall which is equivalent to 11, 373 loaves of bread to be donated to White Cross in San Juan, Metro Manila, Don Bosco Boys’ Home and Training Center in Cebu and Bohol quake victims. Others documented their stay at the Bread Town through scribbles at the “Toast Wall.”

Bread Town visitors even formed long lines at the “Sandwich School” where the final cook-off competition was held. The crowd was able to taste the students’ various creations—from the simple-looking to the most avant garde—that used a variety of Gardenia’s famous breads such as Gardenia Classic White Bread, Gardenia High Fiber Wheat Bread, Gardenia High Fiber Wheat Raisin Loaf, Gardenia Wheat Cranberry Loaf and Gardenia Slim ‘n Fit Wheaten Bread. One can even hear the muted oohs and aahhs from the audience, who were all amazed at how today’s HRM and culinary course students can come up with such masterful creations.

This made the judges’ effort to decide on who will win the competition even more difficult. “Aside from skills, quality and hygiene, we looked at the uniqueness of their creations. Our problem was that many of the students made really out-of-the-box concoctions. It was really hard; deciding on the winners was really close,” Chef Gigi Angkaw, one of the judges, remarked.

The Next Big Sandwich Hit is Gardenia’s way of encouraging the Generation Y market to become conscious in healthy eating. The competition is also a means of developing and harnessing students’ entrepreneurial and business management skills while earning money as the students experienced to be exposed in the Midnight Mercato, a food bazaar in the Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig.

The smoke of the battle was cleared but the sandwich hit makers will just about to fry themselves when expose to the real world together with the experiences and learnings they had during the entire challenge.