Having substantially complied with accreditation requirements, First Gourmet Academy is granted an authority to accept foreign students in compliance with all existing rules and regulations imposed by the Bureau of Immigration. Our first foreign student was Woongbae Ji, a Korean national from Batch 39. Later on, we have Cyrill Anne Fermato together with her mother Evelyn Reynolds who are from United States, William Henry Esmundo (Australia), Armand Mselle (Tanzania), Solomon Conrad Haoda (Papua New Guinea), Marielle Beverly Gabriel (Austria) and Reuwel Javier (Ireland). We interviewed two aspiring chefs from Papua New Guinea and Tanzania to share their experience and on why they choose to study Culinary Arts in Philippines.
SOLOMON CONRAD HAODA
- When did you arrive in the Philippines? Feb 15th, 2017.
- Why did you choose to study culinary here in the Philippines? I was very fond of Filipino cuisine.
- How did you know about First Gourmet Academy? Through internet.
- What pushed you to go to First Gourmet Academy? The experience of the Chefs.
- What are the major problems you have encountered studying culinary school here in the Philippines? How did you deal with it? Not everyone was fluent with their English, but we got the message across to each other using hand gestures and basically any actions of the body to get the message across to each other.
- How has First Gourmet Academy helping you in your culinary education? Tremendously, I can't wait to get out into the industry and put the skills I have acquired from First Gourmet Academy to work.
- Kindly cite some memorable experiences at First Gourmet Academy. Fish day!! It was hilarious, we had to kill and fillet a whole fish.
- What do you consider your culinary weaknesses before going to First Gourmet Academy? Baking and Pastry.
ON LOVE FOR COOKING
- When did you see yourself as a chef? I do not see myself as a chef yet. A good cook yes! But not a chef yet. Hopefully in my future in Culinary Arts I can earn and rightfully be called the Chef de Cuisine.
- If asked, what would be your signature dish and your favorite cuisine? Why? Signature dish would be Isi doe (Turtle and Sago) a delicacy from my small island in Papua New Guinea. Favorite Cuisine would be Western Cuisines. I don’t only look at it as cooking but an art of its own
- How has your love for cooking affected your life? It keeps me wanting more and more, to try something new every day from different parts of the world. To learn how to use every spice, every herb in every way imaginable.
TIPS FOR FUTURE ENROLLEES
- Will you recommend First Gourmet Academy to your relative/friends in Papua New Guinea? Why or Why not? Yes, excellent Chefs great and staff First Gourmet Academy is the place to be.
- Do you have any advice for Papua New Guineans that who'd like to pursue a culinary education here in the Philippines? Hard lo toktok! Come tasol, Osem yupla yet ;)
- When did you arrive in the Philippines? 2015 October 15th.
- Why did you choose to study culinary here in the Philippines? Food industry is highly respected in Philippines and it is growing fast.
- How did you know about First Gourmet Academy? On internet, Google.
- What pushed you to go to First Gourmet Academy? First Gourmet Academy has transparent information; welcome note day one I received from instructors Mats and Thomas was excellent and perfect communication when I was searching for school no hidden information or delay to reply any of my quires and the CV of the instructors is very good. Credibility of the school from Bureau of Immigration, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, World Association Of Chef’s Societies etc. take the school I far, far ahead.
- What are the major problems you have encountered studying culinary school here in the Philippines? How did you deal with it? Tagalog language somehow gives trouble to communicate especially between students, double payments of Visa, if you hold tourist visa need to update and at the same time pay for special permit for study, and SSP visa has so much limitation e.g. you can’t go out of country during holidays.
- How has First Gourmet Academy helping you in your culinary education? First Gourmet Academy has a lot of practical in the kitchen, and the instructors are so informative, I can note my difference with other OJT students who did kitchen practical once a week or none! I learn proper hygiene, discipline, listening and kitchen communication.
- Kindly cite some memorable experiences at First Gourmet Academy. Day one when I could not even hold a knife.
- What do you consider your culinary weaknesses before going to First Gourmet Academy? Before going to First Gourmet Academy is kitchen terminology, like Sauté, Garde Manger I could not understand them and how the work!! And I was very slow in the kitchen with less confidence
ON LOVE FOR COOKING
- When did you see yourself as a chef? On my on the job training some time I am the first in the kitchen so responsible to make the breakfast at 6:00am when I saw customer ordering food I cook and see them happy eating.
- If asked, what would be your signature dish and your favourite cuisine? Why?
My signature food: Pasta Tomato Basil
My favorite cuisine: Western Cuisines
Reason: recipe well known, health conscious, flavour is known
- How has your love for cooking affected your life? I find myself buying spices every day I feel to have almost all the new spices learn from you tube, and school notes!!
TIPS FOR FUTURE ENROLLEES
- Will you recommend First Gourmet Academy to your relative/friends in Tanzania? Why or Why not? Yes. After my graduation!!!
- Do you have any advice for Tanzanians that who'd like to pursue a culinary education here in the Philippines? Yes, hope will do that after my graduation
There is no such thing as distance and language barrier that can surpass hunger for learning and pursuing someone’s passion. First Gourmet Academy is still accepting enrollees for International Diploma in Culinary Arts & Baking and Pastry for July 2017 intake. If interested, please sign up using our contact form or reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.