Arts & Leisure

Culinary school opens Makati campus

Posted on April 26, 2012

Long before TV shows like Top Chef, Master Chef and Hell’s Kitchen made many viewers consider entering the culinary profession, chef Norbert Gandler had already thought of setting up a school that would provide an avenue for aspiring chefs to have a formal culinary education.

ISCAHM’s Executive Director Norbert Gandler
After stints in Germany, Sweden, China and Kuwait, Mr. Gandler arrived in the Philippines in 1989 to join the Mandarin Oriental, Manila.

It was there that he learned that while many Filipinos know how to cook, there was no culinary school in the country at that time that provided formal training for becoming a chef.

"We have been talking about the fact that there are so many talented people here but there was no [culinary] school," Mr. Gandler told reporters.

Together with his friend and colleague Hans Schallenberg, Mr. Gandler established the International School of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management (ISCAHM) in 2002.

Since then, many aspiring chefs have passed through the portals of ISCAHM in Katipunan Ave., Quezon City to become some of the country’s most promising restaurant owners and culinary masters.

With a faculty roster of reputable local and foreign culinary and hotel veterans, ISCAHM has been molding students into becoming real professionals through lectures, demonstrations and hands-on training, and by instilling discipline, honesty and efficiency.

"Our curriculum is very much rooted in the European culinary education which is rich in fundamental techniques and cooking methods," Mr. Schallenberg told reporters.


Recently, ISCAHM joined forces with the Institute of Culinary Arts and Food Service to create the ISCAHM Education System -- Makati Campus.

Located at the Makati campus of the Far Eastern University along Gil Puyat Ave., ISCAHM-Makati will provide the same culinary education found in Katipunan.

Aside from offering a two-year diploma course, as well as short cooking classes, the Makati campus also offers a special eight-month culinary arts program for professionals who want to have training but do not have enough financial resources to pay for a full two-year diploma course.

Mr. Gandler, who is ISCAHM’s faculty and executive director, said the tuition fee for the eight-month professional in culinary arts program is P180,000, about 70% less than the fee for the two-year diploma course.

"This program is designed to accelerate a promising career in culinary arts," the chef said.

Mr. Shallenberg explained that the program includes six months lecture and laboratory training, and two months of internship.

Classes run for four hours from Monday to Friday, with night classes available for busy professionals.

The program includes classes in knife handling, cooking methods, menu planning and food presentation, among others. Students will also learn how to cook soups, sauces, Asian specialties, European dishes and other international cuisine favorites.

"We believe that it is important to educate the new generation of young culinary professionals because they will be the industry leaders of tomorrow," Mr. Gandler said.

For more information, log on to the school’s official Web site or call 894-3773 and 892-3599 (Makati) or 926-8888 and 920-1481 (Katipunan). ISCAHM-Makati is located at the second floor of the FEU Makati Bldg., Gil Puyat Avenue corner Zuellig Loop, Makati. ISCAHM-Katipunan is located at the 4th floor, FBR Arcade, Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City. -- Jeffrey O. Valisno