GOOD news to budding chefs and culinary enthusiasts residing in the Marikina, Cainta and Antipolo area: A new culinary school has opened and it’s right in the heart of Rizal, thus making it more convenient for those living East of Metro Manila to earn a culinary degree.
The school is called the Professional Academy for Culinary Education, or simply PACE, and it can be found on the second floor of Ciannat Complex along Marcos Highway, Antipolo City, Rizal. It had an Open House last Saturday (April 13, 2013) to show media friends and would-be students what the school can offer.
PACE, at the moment, is rather compact, with just one kitchen laboratory and a classroom, but it has tremendous potential. It is owned and manned by professional chefs and culinary educators, including Chef Lowell Cauilan, who has spent 15 years of his professional life in the culinary industry; Chef Jose Amadeo ‘Menoy’ Gimenez, a pioneer of culinary education in the country; Chef Catherine Ong, a chef and an entrepreneur; Chef Mayonee Pongos, head pastry chef of Tito Chef’s; Jorge Wieneke, a successful food entrepreneur; and Fiona Flores, who has been working in the Hotel and Restaurant industry for more than a decade at different levels of management and is a self-made entrepreneur.
PACE began operations in September 2012 and offers a Culinary Arts Diploma (CAD) course, a modular, competency-based program that trains students on the fundamentals of professional cooking anchored on techniques, methods and practices of classical French cooking. Kitchen drills will form the bulk of the program, plus relevant lectures and actual exposure to the different facets of a chef’s workplace. The CAD program is equivalent to Commercial Cooking NC II under TESDA’s TVET Program.
PACE also offers the Professional Development and Entrepreneurship Track (ProfDev) course for CAD students. Aimed at enabling students to prepare themselves for immediate or future opportunities in the culinary industry, this program covers such subjects as Catering Management, Restaurant Operations, Retail Business in the Food Industry, and Career Planning and Preparation.
The school likewise offers short courses, including Pizza 101, Pasta 101, Mediterranean Flavors, Barbecue, Barbecue, Just Desserts: Cookies and Bars, Visit Asia: Wok in China, and Cupcake Only.
During the Open House last Saturday, PACE gave guests a taste of what culinary education is like in the school. Chef Menoy Gimenez conducted a cooking demonstration, where he prepared a delightful dish called Chicken Chasseur with Onion Rice Pilaf. Jorge Wieneke, the brains behind the Potato Corner chain and a business partner to various franchises like Waffle Time and Marina Seafood Restaurant, conducted an inspiring short lecture (also known as inspirational talk) on Business Opportunities in the Food Industry for Culinary Arts Graduates. Meanwhile the students a buffet spread of sumptuous bites for guests to partake of, and the food on the table didn’t only look good. They were also quite interesting and unique, working with not-so-common ingredient combinations and making them work really well together. Their creations included Tugue Longanisa Empanada, Isaw Clubhouse, and Potato & Pork Mandarin Egg Muffins. They also dished out generous servings of Perfasta, Cookies & Cream Parfait, Mystic Angel Cassava Cake, Alvarados Chicken and Fish Sticks in Nori. The kitchen staff also cooked a huge stockpot of Chicken Chasseur for everyone to taste.
Despite the limited space available at the moment (PACE will surely expand not too long after), PACE has also been able to incorporate a compact culinary store within its campus. For this, it has partnered with World Class Concepts Corporation (WCCC), major distributor of world-class kitchen equipment, cookware and gadgets, looking at being able to be of assistance to culinary students by extending a huge discount to them on purchases of items from the culinary store.
(Professional Academy for Culinary Education is located at 2/F, Ciannat Complex Bldg., Marcos Highway, Brgy. Mayamot, Antipolo City, Rizal. For inquiries, call 654-4862 and 654-4304.)