Being a foodie, I am not only at awe with gastronomic delights that I get to try. Although I have no talent and patience with cooking, I acknowledge that it's in the kitchen where all the magic happens. So when I was invited last Saturday, March 17, to attend the Grand Open House of Moderne Culinaire Academy, the newest culinary school in the Philippines, how can I say no.
Located at AFPOVAI Phase 1 in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Moderne Culinaire Academy is a duly recognized and certified technical/vocational school under TESDA, "a real culinary school and not a business pretending to be a culinary institution," as simply put by Chef Dino Guingona, Head Chef and Culinary Program director of MCA.
|Ribbon Cutting with Chef Dino Guingona and Mrs. Teresita Ang|
After a few words from the Culinary Program director of MCA and the ribbon cutting with Mrs. Teresita Ang, wife of Mr. Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation, we were led to a lecture room where we were graced with the presence of Chef Billy Anislag, a master fruit & vegetable carver who wowed us with not only a dragon-carved pumpkin, but also with a watermelon he instantly turned into a flower.
In today's food industry where every player is competitive, one cannot rely on taste alone. And this is where Chef Billy's combined Thai carving skills and knowledge on local wood carving, Paet, comes in handy -- to up a chef, catering or restaurant's game. And as if seeing a lovely flower-carved watermelon by Chef Billy was not enough, we were also introduced to Chef Kevin Mize who is a master when it comes to cheesecakes.
With his own business, FoodLab, Chef Kevin from Arkansas really knows everything when it comes to cheesecakes. He didn't only share to us some tips and tricks on how to make a perfect cheesecake, and how to properly slice them, but he also let us sample some of his bestselling cheesecakes -- chocolate, dark beer and classic New York cheesecakes.
THE COCKTAIL PARTY
After the session with Chef Kevin, we finally got to the food tasting part. With cocktails and appetizers prepared by the Moderne Culinaire Catering, MCA's own catering service, we got to sample what the culinary institution can offer and spend a food-filled afternoon at the Air Strip Function Room.
We first got to try a Seafood Salad -- squid, shrimp, cucumber, olives and capers drenched with vinaigrette, and served with fish crackers. This ensemble is really a good starter. With a subtle sharp flavor, it didn't fail to whet our appetite. We also got to sample a Spanish Sardine and Squid Ink Rice Ball which the beau totally dig. We liked the salty and savory flavor, but what made this appetizer special is the squid ink roe-like bits on top.
Being a potato lover, I didn't miss the Potato Croquettes. The potatoes were creamy which gave a nice balance to the crispy outer part. Aside from these potato pieces, there were also servings of Eggplant-Wrapped Chicken Fillet. Although I didn't go crazy with the chicken cutlets, I really liked the idea of having them wrapped with eggplant.
For some sweet treats, there were pieces of Chocolate Truffles with Sea Salt, really delectable desserts which I didn't get to take photos of. We also had some Banana Caramel Tart which tasted heavenly as well.
Overall, MCA did a great job whipping up food items to give us a teaser of what they can cook and what MCA students can learn. With a Grand Open House as enticing as this, I bet you'd want to see more of Moderne Culinaire Academy.
I haven't been able to visit a lot of culinary institutions, but believe me when I say Moderne Culinaire Academy has a lovely facade that will surely tempt a budding chef.
The good impression doesn't stop at the building facade though as MCA's lobby will not fail to make one giddy with excitement. With a modern, minimalist lobby space, I'm sure even a frustrated cook like me will feel comfortable leaving all his/her inhibitions at MCA's doors.
Moderne Culinaire Academy also boasts of its state-of-the-art lecture rooms, kitchens, dining and restaurant facilities, as well as its own culinary research center. With a 9 students to 1 chef instructor ratio, MCA can also assure not only a conducive space for learning, but also efficiency through a more focused and direct approach.
With Chef Dino Guingona (Head Chef and Culinary Program Director), Chef Aileen Digman-Palomares (Director and Events Manager) and Chef Raymar Reyes (Director and Catering Manager) heading Moderne Culinaire Academy and its all-star cast of chef instructors, a student can not only hone his/her culinary skills, but can also be ready to take on the global culinary scene under MCA's 1-year Culinary Arts Diploma program.
However, fear not passionate hobbyist cooks and foodies because MCA also has short courses and workshops to fit our wants and needs. There are a lot of upcoming classes at MCA. So if you're ready to impress your family, friends, loved ones and even yourself, then give these classes a try!
Moderne Culinaire Academy
155 Diego Silang St., AFPOVAI Phase I,
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
(02)843-8071; 6229656; 0917-7002665