Chef Wil’s

“If you want to become a great chef, you have to work with great chefs. And that’s exactly what I did.”- Chef Gordon Ramsay. I’m inspired by this statement of Chef Gordon that’s why I did it too… where my heart belongs‒ in American Hospitality Academy (AHA).

It was my preference to have enrolled in AHA, way back in May 2012. My siblings and I had been scouting different culinary schools in the metro.       

And luckily we had the opportunity to attend the “Open House” of AHA. It was an eye-opener for me. AHA has become my second home to which the dreams that God has planted in my heart was fulfilled like‒the internship i did abroad.  Another thing why I became interested in this school is because AHA is an accredited school of the “American Culinary Federation” (ACF). I felt wowed about this. With this, I felt so much confidence that I can become a World-Class Chef, because of the credentials and achievements of AHA.

Since the beginning of my studies in AHA, I have learned about how important confidence is. When you don’t have confidence you step back and miss out on learning. Also, you will never get better if you don’t think you can do it. A lot of times our mistakes can be fixed and it wouldturns into a learning experience. Being a member of the Culinary Team we had to work as a team a lot and I really learned so much about “teamwork” and how to get along with difficult people. Also, AHA has molded me to become more responsible and taught me tons of wisdom and perspectives in terms of leadership skills.

As far as workload, there were some paper works that we had to write, and projects to do, but showing up for class and paying attention was the biggest part of school. With this, I enthusiastically say that I’ve been there and done that! It was an amazing and indeed tge greatest experience of my life so far.

I think that the traits to succeed as a chef are the same as the traits you’d need to succeed in anything. You need passion. You have to love what you do if it’s making you stand for 10 hours at a time in afort kitchen, getting burned and cut, with the responsibility of feeding people. Truly, the sure path to becoming a successful chef is through your passion. Lastly, finding a business angle to it and pursuing excellence in your passion.

I am thankful that I was enrolled in this kind of school because of the numerous achievements that I attained: 1) I had the chance to compete in the international culinary competition with medals as my way of giving distinct honor and pride to AHA; 2) I had also greatest experience like having the opportunity in assisting Master Chefs in the culinary industry who conducted cooking demonstrations in our school; Thinking deeply, not only the skills, I also owed to AHA the discipline, attitude and as a whole‒ my character which has improved and molded me to become a better person.  

AHA provided me the opportunity to work in the United States and learn more about the American culture and helped me gained more knowledge, skills, and experience, and taught me the ability to be an effective team player, follower and leader, at the same time meets the rigid standards and demands of the hospitality workplace. Additionally, I was lucky enough that I did not experience the culture shock during my tenure as intern in a foreign country for which reason is that AHA has already trained for (not only me but all its students) with all the necessary ability and discipline we need.

AHA, truly trained us of being near to perfection because dealing with kitchen stuff and delivering to customers has NO trial and error process, with this, AHA has its firm stand which pushes each and every student to become more attentive or the so-called “attention to details” and AHA disciplined us to be time conscious and we practically observed it in attending classes ahead of the scheduled time. Also, we are trained to work fast but in an accurate way of doing things. We had also experienced the tight kitchen schedules that we are required to attend the following day in an early call time.  So, with this, we are molded to become more hardworking with dedication to what we are doing. What I mentioned are only a few of all the good teaching techniques and aspects that were taught by AHA that aided me and other students in working in the real world.

THANK YOU AHA for the Gift of Knowledge and shaping me to become a kind of person who strives for continued EXCELLENCE. Thumbs Up to team AHA! So Proud to Be My ALMA MATER!

– Chef Wil Peñafiel

(He did his culinary internship in Chateu On the Lake, Missouri. He is now a Private Chef.)

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