MAKING DREAMS A REALITY, CHEF PATRICIA AZADA, CORPORATE CHEF OF BREVILLE PHILIPPINES

AHA has widened my horizon. I was able to meet mentors that did not only tell me how to do things, they showed me what it is to strive for my passion. The school not only molded my culinary skills but has also provided me the necessary discipline to think on my feet when everything does not go according to plan. I have not yet achieved my dreams but because of AHA I know that I am equipped with whatever lies ahead.

 

Chef Patricia Azada
Corporate Chef, Breville Philippines
Associate in Culinary Arts, 2012

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AROUND THE WORLD, CHEF SACKIE SALVANA

AHA gives you the right culinary education and the right discipline to survive the very demanding culinary world. The school will train you well to be able to deal with any situation that may face you in the kitchen – be it a challenging technique in cooking, an unfamiliar recipe, or simply making it through a day’s work of shouting and intense pressure from your Executive Chef.

From the things I learned in AHA to my culinary internship in the U.S., I am happy to say that I have worked in many kitchens abroad as a chef! And much more, I have immersed myself to the many culinary cultures around the world – from the US, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean – all because of my work as a chef!

Thank you AHA for giving me the right training and attitude in this wonderful world of chefs!

Chef Sackie Salvana
Associate in International Culinary Arts Batch 2013

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ON AHA AND BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR, CHEF MONIQUE CRUZ

Being able to apply the knowledge and skills that I acquired throughout my AHA Philippines years is really something that I am thankful for. From learning basic procedures and honing skills up to developing personal character and growth, AHA got it all covered for you. It doesn’t just provide up-to-date lectures and trainings that you need for your course, but it also gives you the experience that you can extremely use in real-world situations. As of now, I’m a proud owner of a restaurant and I manage it competitively under pressure. With AHA, you create dreams and make it all happen.

Chef Monique Cruz
Owner, Culasa Pastry Shop
Associate Batch 2011

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DISCIPLINE AND CHARACTER, CHEF JASMIN JANET LIM,  SHANGRI-LA HOTEL Qaryat Al Beri Abu Dhabi, UAE

“Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.”

-Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

 

Cuts, burns, lifting heavy pots and reaching for high shelves. Heated arguments with colleagues, standing for long hours in the kitchen and customers complaining, these are all parts of the daily grind of this cutthroat industry. Sounds intimidating? Luckily, there would be mentors and teachers who would be very much willing to help us build the physical and mental stamina to endure all of those.

 

Funny, at the beginning of my studies in AHA, I would describe myself as the “slow duck”: quiet, scared of getting cut and burned and frightened by my chefs. But despite all of these, I had the ambition the one day; I would walk out of this school the proud chef that I aspire to be.  And AHA did not fail me in achieving just that and even giving me more, my mentors helped me breakout of that shell. They armored me with the right knowledge and technical abilities from food sanitation, to food costing to actual cooking and to everything in between.

 

But just like what Bourdain said, skills are necessary but are not enough. AHA taught us discipline, that if for example we show up late and unprepared for class, there are consequences, which is the same for the real world. They also taught us that hard work and determination is key to triumph, by letting us experience first-hand how to run a restaurant or to organize a big event. A once quiet student is now capable of leading her team to a successful service. We even had an internship here and in the USA! As I would call it, learning by experience or by practice.

 

Looking back, I am very much thankful to AHA for what I have accomplished. The slow duck has turned into a beautiful swan. I did not expect that I would achieve this much in a short amount of time with an added bonus of graduating with the prestigious “Culinary Distinction Award” and becoming a “Certified Culinarian” by the American Culinary Federation.  But it doesn’t end here, because of this; more career opportunities have opened for me for both in the Philippines and in abroad. And for that, thank you AHA and happy cooking!

 

Chef Jasmine Janet Lim

Shangri-la Hotel Qaryat Al Beri Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Chef Bandar Basang’s..

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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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