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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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 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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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

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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 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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