|The three Filipinos who made it to the finals and vying for MasterChef Asia title|
Press release: The world’s most successful cooking competition finally lands in Asia with the inaugural edition of MasterChef Asia premiering in LIFETIME on September 3 at 9PM. With 15 of the region’s finest home cooks out to battle their way to culinary glory, MasterChef Asia is simmering as one of MasterChef’s most exciting editions yet with the contest’s enormous talent, interesting drama, and mouthwatering dishes.
China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam have fielded their own home cooks and the Philippines is joining the kitchen battle with three contestants – Jake Aycardo, Lica Ibarra, and Rico Amancio – all apron-armored and ready with their secret tricks and recipes to snag the title of the very first MasterChef Asia.
Jake Aycardo, 24, used to work at a bank where he prepared lunch for his colleagues and realized his true calling lies in cooking. After quitting and pursuing a career in the culinary industry, Aycardo was in the process of applying in a professional kitchen when he heard about the casting call for MasterChef Asia. Hoping to improve his skills through the competition, Aycardo is getting closer to his dream of achieving a stellar career as a culinary professional.
When 29-year-old Lica Ibarra is not busy with her work as a finance sales officer, she will most likely be found in the kitchen, indulging her passion for the culinary arts, and whipping up dishes especially for her 7-year-old son. A multi-faceted woman, her interests extend to sports such as Ultimate Frisbee and football. She was so good that she even represented the Philippines in the Women’s National Football Team.
Rico Amancio’s journey with food began with him helping his aunt in the kitchen at the school canteen. Now, the 31-year-old paralegal is into cooking more than ever and even wants to take it to the next level by giving back to the community through free culinary workshops for underprivileged children and out of school youths. He also enjoys traveling and mingling with tourists apart from spending time honing his craft in the kitchen.
The three Filipino kitchen stars are entering the competition with the hopes of bringing home the crown, but it won’t be an easy feat especially with the wealth of talent and potential pooled by the show for its debut run. A+E Networks Asia Pacific Deputy Managing Director Prem Kamath says, “MasterChef Asia is the platform for each contestant to not only display their technical knowledge and skills but also to showcase the culinary legacies of their nation. They will be motivated by a strong sense of national pride, in addition to their commitment and passion for cuisine. We can certainly look forward to an exciting season with so much at stake.”
A+E Networks Asia Senior Vice President for Programming & Production Michele Schofield adds, “MasterChef Asia is coming together really well. There is a wonderful range of culinary creations made by the home cooks and many moments that will move audiences to the edge of their seats. With the passion for food we have in Asia, we believe audiences will love the show and root for their favorite contestants.”