Wednesday, January 20, 2016

CCA Manila Collaborates with Prestigious French Culinary School ICDE; Now Offers French Cuisine Classes

Many would agree that mostly anything French sounds and feels elegant. After all, it is a country known for sophisticated fashion and food. French Cuisine, in particular, is considered one of the first established culinary traditions in the world. Its contributions to cuisines of other countries have actually become the template for contemporary culinary training.  

Mille feuille purple yam with tropical fruits bars made with dried pineapples and mangoes 
Today, with Filipino cuisine finally becoming popular internationally, the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA Manila) believes it is timely to hinge on a great culinary tradition to create world-class chefs. Thus, with the aim of establishing world-class culinary education in the Philippines, CCA and the Institut Culinaire Disciples Escoffier (ICDE) of Hong Kong have entered a groundbreaking academic partnership to pioneer classic French Cuisine training in the country. The collaboration is ICDE's first for Southeast Asia. 

It is exciting to know that three ICDE chef-instructors 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. Students can expect state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities at the new CCA Makati campus to accommodate the course requirements. Classes will start this April.

a toast for new beginnings

The agreement between the two parties was signed last November 2015 by CCA Manila's Founder and President Susana P. Guerrero, CEO Marinela G. Trinidad, Chancellor of Education Dr. Veritas F. Luna; and by ICDE's 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

The partnership was formally introduced to members of the media recently along with a delicious lunch at Lucia Ristorante located at the ground floor of Hotel Celeste in Makati City. Chef Sau and his fellow CCA chefs served us dishes using local ingredients cooked with a French twist. 

Red snapper with microsprouts and ginger vinaigrette
Mr Grenier announced that with the partnership, "We’ll be introducing different techniques and skills sets. There are not too many French restaurants in Manila, and I think it needs to be encouraged," he said. "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."

Partnering 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. According to Chef Melissa,  "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."  

Grilled prawn in papaya and coconut soup
"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," she explained. "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?"

Cravings Group CEO, Marinela G. Trinidad, welcomed the milestone, recognizing that it "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!"

US Beef Medallions cooked Bistek Tagalog style 
with Sweet Potato Mash and glazed root vegetables
ICDE is founded in Hong Kong in 2014 by Robert Fontana, Chairman of Disciples Escoffier Asia. It  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.

Since 1996, 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. Thus, course graduates would be happy to know that 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"), they will be presented with certificates recognized by the hospitality and fine dining industry worldwide!

For inquiries on the forthcoming CCA-Escoffier program, please call (02) 218-5266, email: or visit  CCA Manila main campus is located at 287 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

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