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

NIcu Dalman

 

 

Chef David’s

When I started to look at culinary schools to attend, AHA didn’t really stand out compared to all of them, I chose to attend AHA because of the only thing that made them stand out, their International internships…. But what I didn’t know at that time is the number of things that made them the perfect choice.

 

In the kitchen, if you’ve ever worked in a professional one, or have seen memes around the internet, then you’ll realize that it’s not a fairytale story, nor is it an “easy” course to choose for the students leaping from high school to college.

 

AHA’s methods are unorthodox.  But they will groom you as a future chef and as a human being.  The culinary classes are as real as it gets.  You’re under so much pressure with regards to your preparedness from your uniform to your equipment and your knowledge, up to the amount of time they give you to prepare the dish.

 

They also test your creativity, challenges you, pushes you to your limit, and when you’re at that point, they’ll push you harder. Why?  Because that’s life in the kitchen.  It’s not a 9-5 job, say goodbye to normal holidays, birthdays, or whatever.

 

It was hard, for sure.  But it paid off.  As soon as I left the safety net of the school, I was mentally and physically as ready as I could be.  In this field, you learn basics in school, that’s it..  Everything else you learn thru mistakes and anticipation.

 

I don’t think there’s any other school better than AHA in this country that could test you if you’re dedicated to the field.  Because dedication and passion is what will drive you to get through their tests, and those tests will groom you to be a person who’s attitude would be completely different compared to when you first walked into their doors.

 – Chef David Laumond

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