The Center for Culinary Arts (CCA) is kicking off its 25th anniversary with a series of talks about Filipino heritage cuisine, a celebration of their alumni, and a cooking competition.
The celebration begins on Nov. 25 with the talk “Pagkaing Atin, Ihain Natin,” where CCA Manila invited known food leaders who will share their experiences on how they can promote Filipino culture and history around the globe. “Entree Pinays,” on the same day, presents a collective of entrepreneurial Filipinas introducing Filipino cuisine and culture to the hearts and minds of Australians and representation of Filipino cuisine on the Australian stage. In another talk, John Buenaventura, named Executive Chef at the newly opened Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, will share how he has been spending his time re-discovering Filipino heritage dishes and promoting them globally; while chef Gelo Guizon will highlight the power of social media, specifically TikTok, and how he uses this platform to advocate Filipino cuisine to today’s generation. These talks will all be held on Nov. 25 from 10 a.m. onwards.
To recognize the excellence of CCA’s “ambassadors,” on Dec. 1, 2 p.m., there will be a demonstration of both modern and traditional Filipino dishes by CCA Alumni. This event is a cook-off between graduates of CCA Manila who are well-known in the food industry. They include chefs Allan Briones (Chef de Cuisine at The Peninsula Manila), Migo Razon (Executive Chef of Sheraton Melbourne), and Sonny Mariano (Corporate Pastry Chef of Tasteless Food Group), and Pauline Sarmiento (owner of a bakeshop and home-cooked foods restaurant). On Dec. 2, 2 p.m., CCA presents the “Clash of the Clans: Culinary Competition.” Groups of CCA Manila students will compete among themselves in a face-to-face Filipino cuisine competition in these categories — meat, plant-based, seafood appetizer, and a cheese-based dessert.
CCA Manila was founded in 1996, less than a decade after Annie Guerrero opened Cravings, a restaurant and catering business in 1988. Her daughter, present Cravings Group CEO Badjie Guerrero-Trinidad, saw a dearth of skilled chefs in kitchens across the country and partnered with a culinary school in Canada to set up CCA.
According to their website, it started with a tour with visitors from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, one of whom asked, “Where do Filipinos learn how to cook?” The mother and daughter team sought the help of Dr. John Knapp, project coordinator of that institution and the College of Home Economics in UP Diliman to build a curriculum. The school is currently recognized by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation as a Quality Program, and has a partnership with the Institut Culinaire Disciples Escoffier, which enables students to earn a French National Diploma in culinary studies.
Veritas Luna, Chancellor for Education for CCA Manila, said during a press conference streamed last week on Facebook Live, “We have to thank God. We are able to provide nurturing and holistic student, faculty, and staff development programs. We have industry-approved facilities and we have current culinary technologies available for learning, and we are able to maintain a robust networking program for our students and alumni.”
For more information on the event lineup and conference tickets, contact Jessical Cristobal at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, 0955-143-8890, Facebook.com/ccamanila, or Instagram.com/ccamanila. One can also register through: http://tinyurl.com/ccamanilasilveranniversary. — J.L. Garcia