I am Bandar H. Basang. 19 years of age.I am a graduate of Associate in International Culinary Arts at the American Hospitality Academy Philippines on December 6,2014.The Associate in International Culinary Arts program is a ladderized program which gave me the opportunity to continue towards Bachelor’s Degree in International Culinary Management which i have completed in April 28,2016.I studied Culinary Arts because of my love and passion for cooking.I am thankful I enrolled at AHA Phils because it has provided me with quality education,training and so much opportunity on hands- on competencies in culinary arts. AHA is also accredited by the American Culinary Federation which automatically certifies AHA graduates like me as U.S. certified culinarians.I am grateful to be able to learn and get experience from international chef instructors,visiting masterchefs and lecturers from prestigious universities here in Manila.
Month: June 2016
Highest Academic Distinction awarded to Chef Romualyn Ramirez.
AHA taught me how to be independent inside the kitchen. Being an AHA student is not easy because the training is intense. AHA opened my eyes on how beautiful a kitchen is. I’m thankful to AHA because they taught me how to become a good culinarian! My advice to future culinarians: Try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun.
– Chef Romualyn Ramirez
Chef John Mark Villamar. He is now the Chef at Elcamino Restaurant (Sydney, Australia)
Aha is my 1st choice among all the culinary schools . Pinag isipan kong mabuti kasi masyadong mahal para samin yung tuition at wala akong skills sa kusina bago pako pumasok ng aha.
Pumasok sa isip ko na kaya ako pumasok sa aha para matuto sa kusina kasi wala naman pinanganak ng magaling na agad so nag push ako sa pagiging kusinero sinubukan ko sa sarili ko kung hangang san ang makakaya ko.
Nung nag start kami sa aha month of june batch 2011 isa kami sa pinaka malaking batch non mahirap pala maging kusinero pero ang nasa isip ko lang lagi non positive para maka tapos ako hindi ako matalino aminin na natin na ako yung mahina sa klase pag dating sa pag aaral pero iniisip ko hindi naman ito yung start ng buhay ko kasi nan dito ko nag aaral para matuto nan dyan na yung pagiging mahirap sa klase bagsak pasado basta ang mahalaga nalaban ka sa araw araw para maka survive ka.kasi pag dinaan mo sa pag suko ibig sabihin hindi mo kayang tumagal sa pinapasok mong mundo.
Sinabi ko rin non sa mga schoolmate ko nung hs na bumisita sa aha non hinarap ko sila at sinabi kong
“aanhin niyo yung malaking school kung wala naman kayong natututunan”
Isa lang to sa nasabi ko sa kanila non
Nag papasalamat ako sa aha family,head chef instructor sa mga professor ko specially classmates friends na nan dun yung teamwork kasi nan dun yung pagiging strict nila at pasensya nila sakin kasi kung wala yun hindi ko to mararating.
Mahirap mag aral sa aha sobrang strict pero yung pagiging strict pala na yun may dahilan kasi pag labas mo at pumasok kana sa real world mas mahirap pa kaya thankful ako kasi naranasan ko yung ganon.
Bilang studyante non na nangangarap lang na dapat hindi lang puro salita ang ibibigay mo sa klase dapat pag ka labas mo papatunayan mo sa sarili mo kung anong nasimulan mo at isipin mo na lang na hindi basihan ang magaling mag salita ng english para sabihin mong magaling ka sa mundong pinasok mo.
Thankyou and god bless!:)
June Batch 2011
John mark villamar
Chef Chalene Okina, Kitchen Manager and R and D Specialist, The Penthouse 8747
AHA has been my home for years. The laughter, the tears, the tardiness, and everything in between. Sounds bizarre, but even though I wasn’t the ideal student back then, they never gave up on me.
AHA is not your typical culinary school where stereotyping kicks in, the discipline we had back then would be like what real cooks and chefs experience inside a real kitchen. Basically, no spoon feeding was allowed and you have to have your ways lined in accordance to the school’s policies, and because of those rules – it set my foundation in this industry, and up to this date, that’s how I train my cooks. With the guidance I had from my instructors back then, I was able to reach my dreams one step at a time.
AHA has taught me to be keen with details – everything you jot down in your pocket notebook will eventually help you in the real kitchen, especially the basics. They also taught me about independence – they treat us all as if we are inside a busy kitchen with 200 dockets flying out the board.
If you want to be a professional chef, and you are looking for a school that is easy, then AHA is not for you. But if you want to be surrounded by professional people who truly knows what this industry is made of – I highly recommend AHA.
I am truly grateful that I am a product of AHA. It has been a rollercoaster, but I will never forget what my instructors gave me – A chance. A chance to reach my dreams.
Remember – discipline is key. It will never be an easy journey, but everything will be worth it in the end. Hard work truly pays off.
Chef Chalene OkinaKitchen Manager / R&D Specialist
The Penthouse 8747
Associate in Culinary Arts Alumna, Batch 2013
Chef Ronnie Caoile’s (Executive chef / Partner of Bespoke Day Lounge)
I did not study Culinary Arts until I was at the age of 28 and was tired of working 9 to 5 in an office. I needed something more challenging where I can do what I love to do, which is to eat and cook. Growing up in Los Angeles, I was exposed to different kinds of cultures and food from Asians, Hispanics and Europeans, which made my decision to study Culinary Arts very easy. As we all know that Culinary Schools in the U.S cost a lot of money, which more likely take at least 5 to 10 years to pay off after you graduate.
Food has always been passion, from watching my mom cook in the kitchen to watching Emeril Lagasse on Food Network. I was lucky enough to be enrolled in a Regional Occupational Program in high school at the age of 16 that sent me to Marriot Hotel for training in the kitchen. At that age, I saw the challenges working in the kitchen from long hours, blood, sweat and tears. I also saw how a brigade has to work as team in order to complete the task from Baking to Plating.
There are tons of Culinary Schools to choose from all over the World. I was lucky enough to be mentored by Chef Philip Golding in American Hospitality Academy. My days in culinary school were not that easy, having to wake up at 5am everyday and learning the basics of working in a professional kitchen. I learned how being prompt, organized and proper grooming are very crucial when it comes to working in a kitchen.
Chef Sara Lecciones – Del Puerto, Head Chef of Research and Development for Greenwich, Jollibee Foods Corporation
Anyone can learn fundamental kitchen skills from any school of culinary arts. What sets AHA apart is the discipline that they inculcate in you by immersing you in diverse kitchen experiences that simulate the hardships and pressures in a real-world professional kitchen environment each and every day.
This intense discipline instilled in me the most important values I now have as the Head Chef for Research & Development of Greenwich, a subsidiary of Jollibee Foods Corporation:
Humility to take on any task needed, no matter how unglamorous – During my short stint in Singapore in addition to my usual kitchen work, I washed dishes and scrubbed the kitchen floor when we were one man short. I’ve realized that each and every task in the kitchen, no matter how small, is important in what I do as a chef.
Excellence in the face of intense pressure – I’ve learned to use the sound of my head chef shouting at me at the top of his lungs to push my limits and put out my best work each and every time.
Punctuality and preparedness – There is no time to slack in the kitchen and the pressure never goes away. Each task should have been done a few seconds earlier. This is something that I’ve grown comfortable with since my days as a student in AHA.
So despite graduating at the top of my class in 2007, my key takeaways from AHA, more than just the techniques and the skills, on which most of my grades were based on, is the attitude I’ve developed towards my craft.
If you want to have a wholistic and immersive learning experience – an experience akin to training in a real professional kitchen – AHA is the perfect school.
AHA will equip you to be the best chef you can be.
Chef Sara Lecciones-Del Puerto
Head Chef of Research and Development for Greenwich,
Jollibee Foods Corporation
Chef Chris Neary CEC, CCA, AAC — On Passion and Hard-Work of AHA Students
My time spent with the students and instructors at the American Hospitality Academy several summers ago is an experience I will never forget. My traveling companion ,Chef Ty and I were treated like dignitaries by everyone we met.
It was a pleasure and an honor to get to lecture in front of and work along side of such a dedicated group of young culinarians, many of who I still keep in contact with through Facebook and my daily Chef’s Start of Day email blasts.
I was particularly impressed by the level of intensity the students displayed in their daily quest for knowledge. I often talk about passion in my daily emails and will add any of you to the list that wishes to join in.
I’ll never let the crew and students from AHA escape my memories and look forward to the chance to someday return to your country.
Chris Neary CEC, CCA, AAC
Chef Dave Curaming is back in the USA.
When I enrolled in AHA I did not fully anticipate the hardships and struggles I would face. But I am sure all students feel these at times. I frequently battled frustrations while understanding I needed to maintain a good temperament and attitude.
In the end, the struggles paid off. I realized that AHA and its staff are molding their students to have a better future possible, and the struggles are necessary to our success.
As a result, I gained a rewarding U.S.-based internship that I will treasure for a lifetime.
I learned so much from professional and personal standpoint, and AHA set me up for that. My culinary knowledge was boosted from my graduation at AHA. I will always treasure my education and the friends that I met during my journey with AHA.
– Chef Dave Curaming.
Chef Vic Curso, Sofitel Dubai
I will never forget the year 2012 when I first set foot onto the grounds of this institution, at that time I was a 16 year old young man, who had just graduated from high school. One question I was asked during my admission interview that really stuck with me was “Do you know how to cook?”, to which I replied “I learned to bake cup cakes when I was 7 years old.”
Now as I embark on my journey as a chef at the Sofitel Dubai Downtown United Arab Emirates, I cannot help but to look back at my time here at AHA and remember everything that I was taught. With the knowledge passed on to me I have gone from baking cup cakes to crafting exquisite courses, but that is not all that I learned at AHA, I was taught the very fundamentals of kitchen life, that not just knowing how to cook a meal, but cooking said meal with heart.
It is with my deepest gratitude that I say “Thank you AHA, you accepted me, a naive young man with humble beginnings and gave me the knowledge and experience to pursue my culinary dreams.”
AHA, you have my sincerest appreciation, without this beloved institution I would not be where I am today. The success that I achieve now and in the years to come is not only my success but yours and everyone’s that has past through the halls of this great institution.
Middle East now, the World next!!
Thank you AHA!!!
Chef, Sofitel Dubai
Alumnus, Associate in International Culinary Arts 2014
Chef Nicu Dalman, New York, NY
A solid core and a deep understanding of the basics. That is what Chef Gene and AHA taught us since day one. T.V. Or other institutions would try to sell you with this idea of how glorious the kitchen life is but only AHA taught us that in order to become a good chef, you must be a well rounded cook first and that I believe is what trained me and what still guides me to this day. AHA never sugar coated anything. I remember Chef Gene would always tell us “good sauces come from good stocks” and it took me awhile to fully grasp the ideology behind it.
Cooking has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done. It is grueling and often times you question why you do it. To my fellow cooks, we don’t do it for the money or for the recognition. We do it because it is what feeds the hunger inside us and no amount of money can ever compensate for the satisfaction of a day’s hard work.
To whoever is reading this, as both a former student and faculty of AHA I cannot dictate you on how to pick the best school that suits you but I can tell you this, the reason why AHA stands out from all the other culinary schools in the Philippines is their dedication to build character and character is what earns us the respect.
“Nunc est bibendum”
Chef Nicu Dalman, New York, NY
Alumnus, Diploma in Culinary Arts Batch 2012