Meet the Adobo Cook-Off for a Cause 2019 Contestants!


This year’s Adobo Cook-Off for a Cause is underway, with six contenders vying for the “Best Adobo in the Bay Area” crown. On its third year now, 7 Mile House has hosted the adobo cook-off as a fundraiser for a local community organization. This cook-off is our ode to preserving history, culture and community, something that we feel passionately about.

The recipient for this year’s fundraiser is Entrepinays, an organization for Filipina entrepreneurs.

Get your tickets now and let your taste buds do the voting! Here are this year’s contestants:


Paola Tiano

Why my adobo is special

This is not your Lola's adobo! I sous vide pork belly for 24-hours and let it swim in a rich, soy-vinegar glaze topping it off with chili-garlic oil. Inspired by my Lola and Mom, my adobo is a love letter to all Filipinos in America: an homage to where we came from and where we are now, with every bite that tastes exactly like Home.

Why I should win

Cooking is my happy place and feeding people is how I express love. Immigrating from the Philippines, I brought with me my love of Filipino food and learned to infuse it with innovative cooking techniques and ingredients familiar to both countries I call Home. I am sharing my story on a plate, and I hope you enjoy -- Maraming, Maraming Salamat Po!

When I'm not perfecting my adobo, I'm tapping it back at SoulCycle.

#TeamPaola #adobocookoff


Dante Blackstone

Why my adobo is special

My Adobo is unique in that the recipe is from Bicol, the foothills of Mayon Volcano.
Land of Laing.

Why I should win

I feel that I should win this cookoff because of the love that I put forth in everything I make. It's made for the soul. Enjoy!

#TeamDante #adobocookoff


Charles Palk

Why my adobo is special

While there are different ways to make adobo, a lot of people who have visited my home seem to like the taste of mine, even first time adobo eaters. People often assume I’m the Filipino in the family because I’m the one making this dish but really, I’m just a Korean-Puerto Rican man trying to eat what I love. And, really, there’s magic in Adobo because it seems to bring people together no matter what the occasion.

Why I should win

Adobo is one of my favorite dishes to eat and make. I learned this recipe from my ex-wife, who is from the Philippines, over 30 years ago. Over the years I think I’ve perfected my recipe to the point that it is better than her's now. But, don’t tell her I said that; She would kill me.

#TeamCharles #adobocookoff


Chef Ava Marie

Why my adobo is special

My adobo is special its different from other adobo dishes it has coconut milk and swapped beef stew meat for cubed chicken thigh, but its adapted from genius kitchen blog and I find new ideas to work on for contesting each year so it's a great special adobo dish.

Why I should win

Why should I win the 3rd annual abobo cook off, because i been a fierce competition in and out, love my filipina mamas but come from a Swedish Norwegian Latin American commuunity, wanted to bring a new abodo with coconut that will knock the judges socks off. They wanted pork and delivered Filipino promise. So let the games begin!!

#TeamChefAva #adobocookoff

Chef Ava Marie.jpg
Derlie Ann Tolentino.jpg

Derlie Ann Tolentino

Why my adobo is special

My adobo is a mix of everything I have learned about adobo from my grandmother, mother, and friends and also from working in a professional kitchen and learning other culture's techniques in cooking. After 2 years of trials and 5 coworkers cleaning out my pot of about 15 lbs of chicken for this version... I think I finally got my adobo down.

Why I should win

I want to continue the legacy of my late grandma, Virginia, whom I shared this passion for cooking. She always prepared food for us and our whole families making sure we all had baon. I have joined this competition for fun and to share my passion with community.

When I'm not perfecting my adobo, I'm spending time with my family. Especially my crazy neices.

#TeamDerlie #adobocookoff


Verwin Gatpandan

Why my adobo is special and why I should win

I should win because my adobo is tasty! Also it comes from my love of cooking that was inspired by my late lola in the Philippines. My lola was the best cook I've known. She never gave me the adobo recipe, but instead had me help her cook it for years. She made sure I understood the depth of flavors and how they come together. This adobo honors her memory and our heritage.

When I’m not working on perfecting my adobo, I’m actually working as a Respiratory Therapist at both Stanford and UCSF hospitals. In my spare time I love to cook. I try to build new dishes that I find interesting and keto friendly (for the most part). My base is always Filipino so I draw from those flavors. Adobo was the first dish my Lola taught me so it always has a special place in my heart. If you want to see some of my creations check my page on Instagram @ver_wins. Come out and support a great cause and try some delicious food. I’m excited for you all to try my adobo!

#TeamVerwin #adobocookoff