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*** SOLD OUT ***

Saturday, May 15, 7 to 9 pm

The International Culinary School at

The Art Institute of California-San Francisco

Location & Directions


It’s an epic battle to make the best adobo. Ever.

Traditional? Nouveau? Doesn’t matter. Whether it’s a much-loved, time-tested family recipe or a modern version transformed by a secret twist or two, the final test is in the taste.

Bragging rights and two sets of prizes (wooden spoon-and-fork sets for proud display on the winners’ kitchen walls) will be decided both by our panel of expert judges and by popular vote.

The judges’ panel and all attendees will have a chance to taste each version and vote for their favorites. Read more about the competitors below, including the name of their dishes and their inspiration in the kitchen.

[ $20 per person - Buy tickets now! ]
(ticket sales end Weds May 12) Reserve your own tasting plate and voting ballot!

* * * SOLD OUT * * *

Keith Kamisugi is our esteemed host of ceremonies, with live music by Lumaya. Each adobo will be served on Eighth Wonder heirloom rice from the Philippines. Beverages include San Miquel Beer, VuQo wines & vodka, and special drinks based on Ramar’s Manila Gold fruit juices. And for dessert, Ramar will be finishing the night on a sweet note with Magnolia ice cream, while Askinosie Chocolate will share samples of their Davao 77% Dark Chocolate.


Fred Briones

NAME OF DISH: Not Your Mom’s Adobo

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: The flavors aren't hiding, and people don't really have to guess what the ingredients are. Bold flavors and great taste.

EXPERIENCE IN THE KITCHEN: I learned from various friends and family.

Aimee Crisostomo


WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: My dad’s adobo seems to change each time he makes it, and each time, it is delicious.  I’m looking forward to cooking with my Dad.

EXPERIENCE IN THE KITCHEN: I enjoy cooking for family & friends. I have an informal food cart called the Wandering Kusina that serves pork adobo.  My dad used to own a Filipino restaurant.  Now, he cooks for family and friends, and teaches his daughters (me) to cook Filipino food.

Clemente P. Escopete

NAME OF DISH: Uncle Clem’s Abobo Bicolano

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: The traditional recipe has been perfected over decades and has been taste tested by discerning Aunties & Uncles. The flavor and consistency is not too saucy, packed with flavor, and even better over rice. Plus everyone loves it!

EXPERIENCE IN THE KITCHEN: I’ve been cooking at home for family and friends since 1973.

Lizelle Festejo

NAME OF DISH: Tuna Squidobo

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: A twist on an adobo recipe I learned from my grandmother that was also passed onto my mother. It was one of the first dishes that she learned from my nanay after my mother married my father. I am adding my twist by adding tuna, one of my favorites.

EXPERIENCE IN THE KITCHEN: I love to cook and have cooked for special catering events on a volunteer basis.

Steffany Farros

NAME OF DISH: Howard Family’s Awesome Adobo!

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: This is a special family recipe that has been in my boyfriend's family for years. His grandmother gave me the recipe, and she said that her grandmother used to make it. She told me that the recipe was really just a template, and that every generation changes it slightly. I am so grateful that she shared it with me!

EXPERIENCE IN THE KITCHEN: I’m a home cook, and I run a cooking blog at www.dinnerlove.com. I learned to cook with my parents, and through trial and error!

Jennifer Kirk

NAME OF DISH: Captain Kirk's Adobo

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: I only use cane vinegar from the Philippines, a very special brand and my special blend of pepper seasonings that I coat the meat with before cooking. I think it makes a difference. And I would be remiss to say that love wasn't a part, especially since I was taught to cook adobo by the Filipino family that "adopted" me when I moved to California and left my entire family 3,000 miles away.  :)

EXPERIENCE IN THE KITCHEN: I've been cooking since I was little with my mom and have been throwing dinner parties and cooking for friends, family and coworkers ever since. I give lessons to my bachelor friends and bring in baked goods to work almost weekly. I love to feed people. It's my hobby :)

John Malana

NAME OF DISH: J's Tomadobo Chix and Ribs Recipe

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: My chicken and short ribs adobo recipe is based on the standard adobo foundation ingredients with a few added secret spices. The cooking process starts off with a simple tomato & garlic braising reduction process that leaves the dish fork tender and savory. This recipe will engage the palate by offering a new, heartily tasty and enticingly flavorful dish with character that gives it a unique twist to the classic adobo.

EXPERIENCE IN THE KITCHEN: Amateur cook and Filipino food auteur.

Pauline Rivera

NAME OF DISH:Jalapino” Pork Adobo

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: My spicy pork adobo uses the core basic ingredients (garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar) and the "kicker" is just a jar of jalapenos, which adds a sophisticated depth of flavor and kick. It is very easy to make and is even more delicious a few days old as the juices are able to penetrate and marinate the pork.

EXPERIENCE IN THE KITCHEN: I learned how to cook from my mom with the most basic Filipino cuisine/side dishes (e.g., steamed white rice, garlic fried rice, tocino, ADOBO).  I later ventured outside of the box and began to take up more complicated dishes (sinigang). I enjoy cooking for friends and family parties. My culinary repertoire extends beyond Filipino dishes to gourmet recipes in Bon Appetit, fast-preparation recipes in Family Circle, or just from simply watching "Iron Chef" or "Top Chef" for tidbits of foodie insight to spice up the palate


Chummy Sevilla

NAME OF DISH: Slow Braised Pork Adobo

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: Slow cooking makes our meat fork-tender and allows all the different ingredients to develop together into a yummy, savory adobo sauce. Twice-cooking the dish intensifies the adobo flavor. It can be served with rice or pulled-pork sandwich style. YUM!!

EXPERIENCE IN THE KITCHEN: We are home cooks who enjoy throwing get-togethers with family and friends throughout the year.


Dawn Bohulano Mabalon

Assistant Professor, Department of History, San Francisco State University

Marie Romero

President & Publisher, Arkipelago Books

Vice Consul Leah Victoria Rodriguez

The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco

and, the toughest judge of all....


[ $20 per person - Buy tickets now! ]
(ticket sales end Weds May 12) Reserve your own tasting plate and voting ballot!

* * * SOLD OUT * * *

Click for more weekend events!


Adobo Throwdown Winners!

People Power Awards


Clement P. Escopete

Uncle Clem's Adobo Bicolano


Pauline Rivera

"Jalapino" Pork Adobo


Steffany Farros

Howard Family's Awesome Adobo

Judges Panel Awards


Lizelle Festejo

Tuna Squidobo


Pauline Rivera

"Jalapino" Pork Adobo


John Malana

J's Tomadobo Chix and Ribs Recipe