Thoughts from the Director, Mats Loo
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Thoughts from the Director, Mats Loo

matsloo Quite a long time ago when people asked me what attracted me to the hotel and restaurant industry I always answered that it gave me the possibility to travel the globe. That was the main reason for the professional choice that I made as early as 15 years old. At that age you start to be very curious about the rest of the world and you want to discover as much as possible. It was not the passion for food and the “big money” that actually, still, some people think it is in this business that attracted me. For me, the whole idea of deciding to become a professional cook and later on a chef was that it would give me the ability to travel.

Now being somewhat older I look back at the first 25 years of my professional career with not only joy, but also pride. I have a lot of stories to tell people and especially my students at First Gourmet Academy. I also feel very proud that I have managed to convince quite a lot of my graduates to work abroad. These graduates always come back to the school to visit after they return from abroad and they want to share a few stories with me, just as I shared my stories with them the previous year.

Being a fresh graduate from a Top Culinary School in Asia, like First Gourmet Academy, will for sure open up a lot of possibilities anywhere. A culinary graduate is lucky to get his or her degree at this time, since the economy has been doing really well in most parts of the world the last few years. There are so many hotels, restaurants and cruise ships that have recently been completed, or are being constructed at the moment, so the demands for young hospitality graduates are very high.

I feel lucky that I regularly can welcome so many new students to our fantastic facilities. I also feel privileged of being part of teaching them how to take the first small steps in becoming a professional chef. Hopefully the students that recently enrolled in First Gourmet Academy will understand the importance of getting experienced. Also after graduation. And hopefully they will earn this experience in another country before returning home, to their native country, with a lot of stories of their own.

MATS LOO
Director of First Gourmet Academy