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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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 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!!!

Vic Curso
Chef, Sofitel Dubai
Alumnus, Associate in International Culinary Arts 2014

Vic Curso

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

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Chef Rej Casanova, Executive Sous Chef, Marriott Hotel Manila

The “AHA Philippines way” is one of the core values that I have been using in my day to day culinary journey starting from my first job as a cook and up to the ladder now as the Executive Sous Chef of Marriott Hotel Manila.

AHA Philippines  is the best place to learn about the industry, perfect your skills and knowledge, and become the culinary professional you want to be. When we were students, our chefs treat us as if we are professionals , which helped us a lot in preparation for this very challenging culinary world.

Another best thing about school is that they   provide you with every opportunity to be successful both personally and professionally. I must say that  my Internship at The Ritz Carlton Naples, Florida is one of the genuine experiences that I can truly be proud of.  Thank you AHA!

Chef Rej Casanova
Executive Sous Chef
Marriott Hotel Manila

 

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