Career Internship Abroad (CIA), a consultancy firm that gives international internship opportunities to young professionals, conducted a culinary mass hiring fair last January 24, 2016 at First Gourmet Academy. The event was a chance for students from different culinary schools to get a spot at these prestigious establishments in Massachusetts, USA: Sea Crest Beach Hotel and Harbor View Hotel.
Nine hopeful aspirants were given a time pressured “cook off” to showcase their culinary prowess; they were give one and a half hours to finish their masterpieces. Two dishes were required to be served: main dish and dessert.
Aspiring First Gourmet Academy student, Mart Gallo, prepared pan-seared duck breast with Marsala wine and truffle risotto complemented by a white chocolate mousse. Heritage was Mart’s approach during the cook off; hailing from Nueva Ecija, he plans to improve and learn as much as he can about dishes that require duck, and hopefully open up a restaurant of his own.
Panel judges Glenn Macnayr (Chef of Sea Crest Beach Hotel) and Khalid Essobh (Food and Beverage Manager of Sea Crest Beach Hotel), monitored the students carefully. With the competition ongoing, the students were observed for any faults in dress code and area cleanliness. Each dish was heavily assessed depending on presentation and overall taste.
Chef and owner of Sea Crest Beach Hotel Glenn Macnayr has been hiring only Filipino cooks in his establishments since the year 2011; this is because he claims that Filipinos are very moldable and have exceptional work ethic, and our culture is very good. As a judge, he expects the Filipino participants to be very passionate in the culinary arts. As Khalid mentioned this is a chance for the students to show what they have been learning for the whole year.
Director of the Hospitality Internship Program, Melissa Trinley, was also present in the event. As the representative of Intrax—a cultural exchange company that sponsors international programs—she aims to help hotels, in particular, chefs and food and beverage directors, to fill roles in their culinary department and front offices. Intrax not only issues the paperwork that allows the students to enter the Manila Embassy for the J1 student VISA application but they also keep track of the student’s well being during the course of the training program.
The event exemplifies one of First Gourmet Academy’s goals: to help culinary students have more opportunities outside the country. First Gourmet Academy wants its graduates to gain knowledge and excellence in the pursuit of greater culinary heights.
For more photos of the event, just visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/firstgourmetph