While the global COVID-19 crisis is raging around the world, a Filipina chef brought good news to the Filipino-American community in the United States after winning in a culinary competition.
Ginger Lim-Dimapasok bagged the prestigious champion title on Food Network’s “Chopped Sweets” and took home $10,000.
“Chopped Sweets” is a spin-off of an American reality-based cooking television game show called “Chopped,” also airing on Food Network.
This show is hosted by esteemed celebrity chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Scott Conant who challenges chefs to use their kitchen skills to craft confections.
For this competition, Dimapasok said four bakers are pitted against each other in three dessert rounds: Fried, Fruit and Frozen.
While Dimapasok was delighted by her victory, she said her win “came at such as strange time amid the COVID-19 outbreak.”
“My immediate family and I watched together and celebrated quietly amongst ourselves,” she told Interaksyon.
Despite this, Dimapasok shared that several people reached out to her to say they were uplifted by her win.
“A lot of people reached out saying that the win truly gave them some joy and hope at such a troubling time. I, myself, have not truly been able to process and celebrate the win,” the Filipina chef said.
“I think this time is just about weathering this storm we are all going through together. I am hoping and praying that this storm passes soon and that we can all get back to full health and go back to living normally and without the kind of fear and worry that we are in at the moment,” she added.
Actress and former VJ Giselle Tongi-Walters, who now resides in California, was among those who cheered Dimapasok on during the competition.
Dimapasok, 42, was born and raised in Manila.
In 1999, she flew to the United States to pursue culinary education in New York City until she permanently moved to California in 2001.
At present, she manages a café with her husband. Her food establishment called Café 86 specializes in drinks and desserts that feature Filipino flavors such as calamansi and ube.
This cafe was similarly affected by COVID-19 and had to temporarily closed down.
How Filipino’s love for food influenced Dimapasok’s culinary stint
The Filipina chef was scouted to join “Chopped Sweets” late September last year.
“I didn’t think much of it when I agreed to go through the process as I believed that there was such a huge amount of people auditioning, but being that I am such a huge fan of Food Network and ‘Chopped,’ I decided to give it a shot,” she said.
While she believes nothing prepares one for the competition, Dimapasok’s culinary prowess is inspired by Filipinos’ love for food. She also brushed up on memorizing recipes, baking with speed and efficiency and basic techniques.
“I grew up being surrounded by family who loves to eat and cook and more than any formal culinary training, this is truly what I hold on to and draw inspiration from when I cook and bake,” she said.
She advised those who wanted to follow her footsteps and indulge on the culinary scene to just keep practicing.
“I believe cooking from the heart and doing what you love to do plays a big role in being successful in not just cooking and baking, but in anything you do. Keep practicing, keep eating, and keep getting inspired,” Dimapasok concluded.