HOTEL and Restaurant Management (HRM) students bagged maajor awards in the wedding-themed Manila Food and Beverages Exposition last June at the World Trade Center in Pasay.

Seniors Gwen Anais Gatchalian, Maria Elena Dumalaog, and Frances Casey Santos won the grand prize in the cake-decorating competition while sophomores Angelica del Rosario, Katrina Lopez, Jodel Porto, Anthony Tamayo, and Patricia Villamar grabbed first prize in the on-the-spot table-setting category.

Coming up with “Lucky in Love,” a three-layered fondant cake that bore casino-inspired designs, the HRM seniors bested Lyceum University and Emilio Aguinaldo College which won first and second prizes, respectively.

“We wanted to show that the sacred vow of wedding is like hitting a jackpot in a casino that would give one a prize of a lifetime,” Gatchalian, the HRM Society president, told the Varsitarian.

Meanwhile, the HRM sophomores’ “Crystal Unison” table-setting entry finished behind grand-prize winner St. Paul College. Emilio Aguinaldo College took the second prize.

“We wanted to portray purity in our design through the use of white roses and the bride’s veil as accessories for the chairs,” Del Rosario said.

Sam De Leoz, Jr., an HRM faculty member and a professional chef, served as the teams’ coach.

In the table-setting contest, the participants were required to wear white long-sleeved shirts and black bow ties. Each group was given one-and-a-half-hours to set up the four-by-four meter table area.

Meanwhile, the cake decorating competition required every detail on the cake’s surface to be edible.

Use of basic household utensils was encouraged while specialized decorating tools, molds and gadgets must be approved by the faculty-in-charge.

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HRM coordinator Melinda Torres said the victory of their students underscored the effectiveness of Institute’s curriculum after separating from the College of Education in 2006.

“This is not the first time our students won an inter-school competition. But we think it is high time that we let the other colleges know we are excelling too,” said Torres. “We hope that our students may be more exposed to these kinds of competitions with the support of the administration.”

The winners were given medals and trophies, but did not receive extra academic credits.

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