French Cuisine is considered as one of the first established culinary traditions in the world. It’s contributions to cuisines all over the world have become the template for contemporary culinary training. With Filipino cuisine finally becoming popular internationally, it is timely to hinge on a great culinary tradition to create world-class chefs.
With the objective of establishing world-class culinary education in the Philippines, the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA, Manila) and the Institut Culinaire Disciples Escoffier (ICDE) of Hong Kong have entered a groundbreaking academic partnership that will pioneer classic French Cuisine training in the country starting this April at CCA’s new campus in Makati City.
Through the agreement, ICDE will be bringing in three of its chef-instructors and will handle all culinary classes and programs related to French Cuisine, starting with the Disciples Escoffier Diploma in Culinary Arts, a six-month program that could be expanded with shorter courses in French Cuisine for amateurs and professionals. All classes will be conducted at the CCA’s Makati campus, with state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities to accommodate its requirements. This partnership with CCA is the first for Southeast Asia for ICDE.
Last November 2015, the agreement between the two parties was signed. For CCA, Manila, the agreement was signed by Founder and President Susana P. Guerrero, CEO Marinela G. Trinidad and Chancellor of Education Dr. Veritas F. Luna; and from ICDE, COO Ben Grenier and CFO Thierry Muller. Witnessing the landmark signing were French Ambassador to the Philippines, HE Thierry Mathou; Vincent Leroux, Director of ICDE and President of the Disciples Escoffier; CCA, Manila Program Director Chef Melissa S. Oreta and CCA, Manila Culinary Director Chef Sau del Rosario.
“With the partnership, we’ll be introducing different techniques and skills sets,” Mr. Grenier said. “There are not too many French restaurants in Manila, and I think it needs to be encouraged. If there are more people training in classic French cuisine, then there is a foundation they can build on. Whether it’s Mediterranean or Italian or Western, you can still use the building blocks on classic French cuisine and go anywhere from there.”
The partnership with ICDE further strengthens CCA’s position as a prominent establishment for culinary education in the country with its progressive curriculum geared towards creating world-class chefs.
“CCA, Manila is always very true to its commitment to the development of its students, from the time they enter our kitchen doors till the end,” Chef Melissa explained. “We have a wide range of programs but we also have licensed courses. The Escoffier program is really meant to augment the existing programs we already have. The only thing different is that it will really be more stringent, the way they do their assessment. Everyone is fascinated with Michelin-starred [restaurants] nowadays in the Philippines and with the access to ICDE, we are elevating further our standards. We believe that if you enhance your training with the Escoffier program, you can improve and probably your restaurant will become the first one with the Michelin Star, who knows?”
Marinela G. Trinidad, The Cravings Group CEO welcomed this milestone partnership. “This will not only boosts our standing as the leading hub of world-class professional culinarians but also strengthens our programs and efforts to create lasting, positive impacts on culinary education here in the Philippines. Clearly, CCA nurtures the chefs of the future!”
Founded in Hong Kong in 2014 by Robert Fontana, Chairman of Disciples Escoffier Asia, ICDE is affiliated with “Disciples Escoffier International,” a France-based non-profit organization that has more than 25,000 members in 26 countries, counting some of the world’s most respected chefs as members.
And because the ICDE is accredited by the French Ministry of Education and delivers a government-regulated National Diploma in French Cuisine (the “Certificat de Fin de Formation en Cuisine Francaise”), course graduates will be presented with certificates recognized by the hospitality and fine dining industry worldwide.
As the country’s pioneer culinary school, CCA, Manila has initiated countless groundbreaking endeavors that led to successful graduates in almost every sphere of influence and expertise in the field since 1996.