Posted in Alumni, Global Academy

Jen Lucero – Alumnus in Nonna’s

I love it when I go into any establishment and someone from the kitchen will say hi to us because they are a Global Academy Alumnus. A few weeks back, we ate in Nonna’s Pasta & Pizzeria in Solenad, Nuvali because my boys love pizza and pasta and we were surprised to find out that one of our graduates is working there.

Thank you Chef Jen Lucero for making our family time and meal there extra special that day. We are so proud of you!
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Posted in Global Academy, Internship

Internship Diary #28 – Cherry Ann Chiu

Name: Cherry Ann Chiu

Course: GD Batch 16

Branch: Alabang

Internship Venue: Park Avenue Desserts

Cherry Ann loves sweets since she was a kid  because her mom used to bake for the family and that’s where she got her love for desserts. When she had the chance to choose whether to be placed in a hot kitchen or pastry, she didn’t think twice about choosing the pastry kitchen because it is where she would like to be working at, particularly a commissary.

Cherry spent her internship in Park Avenue Desserts because she knew that it’s one of the best commissary in the metro.

Excerpts from her Journal:

Some of her tasks

– Cut plastic used as dividers for pre-sliced cakes and was taught how to insert them.

  • Helped in boarding Mango Madness and Cheesecake for starbucks.
  • Assisted in cutting cornuts
  • Made cream cheese frosting
  • Taught by Chef Buddy to make red velvet cupcakes and small cakes how to check doneness.
  • Helped line ring molds with aluminum foil
  • Iced red velvet cakes

– Assisted Chef Buddy in making the chocolate coated orange peels.

  • Baked small red velvet cakes
  • Finished concorde with meringue logs
  • Garnished blueberry cheesecakes with blueberries
  • Assisted in making 4 trays of chocolate sponge
  • Assisted in making foccaccia bread
  • Assisted in filling ad rounding ensaymadas

“I guess practice really makes perfect. Doing something over and over again is the only way to do it well.”

 “I had a conversation with Chef Buddy once. He told me that we may be doing things over and over again, but the most important thing here is when you leave, you take with you the knowledge of the basics in baking which is the most important of all because once you know the basics by heart, learning the more difficult tasks will be a lot easier for you.”

 “With all these skills and knowledge that I’ve gained through my schooling and internship with Chef Buddy, I really hope and pray that in the near future, I will be able to start my own business similar to Park Avenue Desserts and become successful with it.”


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Posted in Global Academy, Internship

Internship Diary # 27 – Kim Solejon

Name: Kimberly Jane Solejon

Course: DPCA

Branch: Timog

Internship Venue: Hyatt Regency Atlanta, GA

Kim is one of our students that had her internship abroad and she had really good insights that I would like to share because I believe that you can learn from them and that you can get inspired by her.

These excerpts are taken from her internship journal:

“Coming to America alone was far beyond what I expected, truly different from the movies. I’m a million miles away from my family and loved ones – I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know how to start. All I had in mind was I wanted to work, learn and conquer this battle.”

“As soon as I stepped into the kitchen with my knives, side towels and my young brave heart I knew that this would be the start of my great journey. At work, they didn’t treat interns as babies or sweet little kiddos. They treated me like a regular employee or should I say kitchen warrior.”

“I started working in SWAY RESTAURANT, which is a full service restaurant that operates during breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was first assigned to the cold side of the PM shift. From there I learned how to set up my own station be responsible for my Mis en Place. My co-associates never tried to spoon feed me. They only taught me once and then they expected that I should be a able to understand and execute it all by myself.”

“Somehow cultural diversity was one of the greatest challenges for me but I had to learn to deal with it and adjust. As days passed, I was able to master and own the pantry station. From there, I jumped over the hot side and the chaotic scene. Despite all of that, I was always excited to got to work even though it’s tough, tiring and frustrating at times. I always feel genuine happiness while I was at work.”

“After 4 months, I moved to the morning shift, for the breakfast and lunch service. The workload was more uncompromising and demanding, as we needed to prepare for about 400 covers on a normal day.”

“I worked in Sway for about 7 months. I am very grateful that I started in this outlet because I learned how to be competitive and I was able to push myself to my fullest potential.”

“My next outlet was 22 STORYS, which is one of the most famous bars in Atlanta. This time I became faster, more efficient and tougher. The bar was different from Sway because food was expected to come out of the window in 7 minutes, which was a very quick pace. Speed was not the only important factor, but also you have to stay focused and driven during the service. You always have to be particular with the doneness of the protein, especially when you have 10 burgers in the grill at the same time with different request for temperatures.”

“From time to time, I was asked to help out in Banquets especially whenever they have big functions. We were feeding 2,000 people in our Banquet rooms. The experience was extraordinary!”

“My last stop was POLARIS RESTAURANT. It is known as the rotating restaurant in Georgia. We change our menu every 2 weeks. For me, this was the highlight of my training. My Chef, Chef Rodney Ashley was so generous in imparting his knowledge and skills to me. He even asked me to create new ideas for our menus. Working with one of the top chefs in Atlanta was very overwhelming but I always seized the opportunity to learn from him. I never imagined that while I was still an intern, I’d move up and become a ‘lead cook’. I was the person in charge of everything – from checking stocks, managing the service when my Chef was not around, expediting things to meeting with the managers.”

“To boil down everything that I have gained from this experience, I realized the importance of my school, Global Academy, because I was molded to become a strong and enthusiastic cook, instilling in me the values and skills that I need to survive in the real kitchen environment. I am very thankful to my Chef instructors, Chefs Jun and Rich for believing in me and helping me chase my dreams.”

“As an aspiring Chef, I should always be the best cook in the building at any given time. The longer you spend time in the kitchen, the more you will learn and improve yourself. To become a better cook, we have to organize our time and stations better; this may seem so basic but plays an important factor in service and also in life. You always need to look and think of more efficient and productive ways to create food and improve your craft.”

“..A Chef inspires others. They are the first person to walk in the door in the morning and often, the last to leave. To put it simply, If you want it, you have to work for it!”

“To end this, I want to share with you my daily mantra that I kept telling myself whenever my body refused to cooperate with me. “This is who I am, who I want to be and no one can stop me”. Yes, not even the long hours of duty at work, which is 16 hours most of the time and 12 days straight. A dream doesn’t become a reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and hard work. I want to be a Chef and I will work hard for it!”

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Posted in Global Academy, Internship

Internship Diary #26 – Adrian Benedict R. Vivas

NAME: Adrian Benedict R. Vivas

COURSE: Grand Diploma

BRANCH: Makati

INTERNSHIP VENUE: Vask Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Pub

Excerpts from his journal:

“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists” – Japanese Proverb

“This quote proved to be right as I end my internship. At first, I was scared to go, wondering if I could do it, if I was well equipped with my skills and knowledge to compete and work in a real kitchen…if I could handle the stress..can I adapt dealing with people who have a greater kitchen experience? I just thought to myself, I was taught well in school, I do what is needed to be done and I hoped for the learnings and great outcome this would bring me after my internship.”

 “My first week felt like a month had passed, all the Spanish terms I had to be familiar with, all the set menus, all the dishes and all the components in all the dishes bombarded my head. Together with this was the adjustment with working time, working 8-12 or even 15 hours a day, having one rest day that will really be spent catching up on sleep and doing the laundry. Whenever I was transferred to another department, the nerves always got to me. The adjustment I had to make and the new things I had to be familiar with again. As days went on, I was glad that my body didn’t fail me, I was able to stay alert and active during Mise En Place (MEP) and service time–fortunately for me. I was able to memorise all the things inside the kitchen. It turns out that those challenges would make me more effective because I can swing by any department feeling confident that I will be able to perform well and both the physical (speed and alertness) and mental (not forgetting the line of orders and which one should be done first or in advance) training were worth it.”

“All the people inside the kitchen, both the fine dining and main kitchen, helped me in different ways. Others helped me learn techniques, how to properly do this and that in a fast manner, how to work cleanly by following sanitation procedures, how to be cautious about other people, how to listen, how to feel and use all my senses in cooking, how to be happy and how to just enjoy every moment of it. What’s good about Vask is that they treated us, the interns, like we were regular employees. What they do, we also do and whenever they get reprimanded for wrong doings we are also with them. They don’t underestimate us just because we are under their training program; it is an equal treatment for everyone.”

“I have a new found bond and respect for my co-interns from Global Timog–Paulo, Nino and Terrence. Our internship has brought us close and I hope that we all fly high as we try to reach our own aspirations.”

“Learning the techniques for molecular gastronomy took me quite an amount of time to be familiar with–proper ratio of algin and water for spherification, proper thickness of liquid that will be made into spheres, use of liquid nitrogen, fermentation of rice, use of syphon, making foams, making ice cream of different flavours that are both savory and sweet. All of these are made with the right proportions in order for them to work. It was a fun and exciting way of food preparation.”

“I like to summarize all my learning during my internship. You should believe and have faith in yourself, if you doubt your own capabilities before others then they will doubt you too-you will surely not succeed in life and your career. You should be able to bend yourself in dealing with people; others will like you, others will not care, others will judge you BUT what is important is that you will not be like them–you will continue to be a good person. Respect is essential in the kitchen, respect in different forms–respect for the food, the kichen, co-workers and customers. Team work should be done, it is not a one-man job. We are a team inside the kitchen and a team should be able to work harmoniously and effectively. The most important I’ve learned is to love what you are doing. Work in the kitchen may be repetitive but there will be a big difference on how you look at things if you like what you are doing. That feeling will eventually pop excitement every time we work and this excitement will start the urge for us to go to work everyday feeling happy even with the long hours.”

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Posted in Global Academy, Internship

Internship Diary #25 – Van Vincent Valmocena

Name: Van Vincent Valmocena

Course: GD Batch 17

Branch: Makati

Internship Venue: Indianapolis Marriott Downtown

Van Vincent, a Grand Diploma student from Global Academy Makati, had his internship in one of the finest hotels, Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, where he engaged himself in an aggressive and globally competitive environment.

On his first four months, he was assigned in the Banquet Kitchen, which was in the hot kitchen side and he was able to utilise the skills that he had learned from Global Academy. Conversion factor is one of the things he became very conscious of because they were dealing with bulk numbers of food so his knife skills vastly improved. He also got exposed to working under a different kind of pressure when he had to prepare and cook in front of guests because he had to make sure that he did everything well and fast.

He was moved to one of the outlets – Circle City Bar and Grille, a fine dining style restaurant after he had done a number of tasks in the banquet kitchen. His first training was on the Garde Manger side doing salads, desserts and sandwiches. They did a lot of preps, sauces, stocks, vegetables, starches and a lot more in the said outlet.

After the Circle City Bar and Grille, he was moved to Champions, a sports bar restaurant which do 100-250 covers per hour. It’s a fast-paced restaurant which naturally requires communication due to the right timing of food delivery. He was assigned in all areas from mid station (boiler and griddle), salad station (salad and desserts), fryer station and the grill station. Van Vincent certainly enjoyed rendering a service in this station because more tasks were given to him and thankfully he managed to prepare and send the right food at the right time.

Van Vincent was moved to a Bakeshop as well and was able to apply what he learned in baking in school. Overall, he really enjoyed his internship because he knew this honed his potential and this experience gave him the confidence and determination to pursue his dream of working in a professional kitchen.


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Posted in Global Academy, Internship

Internship Diary #24 – Aldous Clark Bonifacio

Name: Aldous Clark Bonifacio

Course: GD Batch 14

Branch: Alabang

Internship Venue: Indianapolis Marriott Downtown

Aldous started his internship at the bakeshop of Marriott Downtown and stayed in the kitchen area for 7 months. His pastry chef taught him the techniques on how to properly bake the pastries and to make desserts for the restaurant. He also learned from her how to prepare other baked goods like muffins, danishes, croissants, cinnamon rolls, etc… for the buffet, banquets, concierge amd In-room dining.

He was also assigned to work at the banquet kitchen and had the chance to work at both sides of the kitchen (hot and cold) where he learned how to prepare and cook foods in bulk. He was taught how to routinely clean proteins and produce, to properly store them and to accurately cook them in the right temperatures. As a result, these opened his eyes to different preparation methods along with cooking techniques that helped him do his tasks far easier and faster.

He was last assigned to work at the Champions Sports Bar where he worked as a line cook and had been assigned to different parts of the kitchen. He was able to experience doing hundreds of covers every night or up to thousands of covers per day.

Excerpts from his journal:

Marriott Downtown

  • Orientation day: They discussed the company’s policies and procedures. We were also introduced to our superiors, HR, Accounting, etc…
  • Chef Janet showed me how to bake Apple Crisp, Blueberry Muffin, Orange Muffin, Jalapeno Corn Muffins, etc… We had set up the Breads, Fillings, and Pastries for Breakfast Buffet.
  • We did a lot of things. We baked Muffins, Croissants, Danish, Set up Buffet, Pastries, set up in room service pastries with Chef Isela from Mexico.
  • We cooked Oats, Tomato Soup, Scrambled Eggs, Bacons, and Sausages. I peeled a lot of tomatoes, cut onions.
  • We prepared 3,000+ plates for banquet and I received a lot of commendations from the cooks and chefs. I cooked from 8AM to 7PM
  • I made Baked Crusted Pork Loin with Dijon Marsala Sauce, Spinach, and Kale Salad with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette and Grilled Corn Cub for 250 people. I’m glad that people liked it. My chef and everyone congratulated me and it felt so good. I’m glad that it ended well.
  • I made sure that I have a lots of flour tortillas on my station because we sell a lot of quesadillas. I changed the pans and made sure that everything is filled.
  • I had to stock a lot of ice cream, desserts, salad mix and stuff that I needed on my station for the Gen Con.

“In general, I had an amazing time working abroad. Not only have I learned a lot about other cultures but also it has distinctly sharpened my culinary and baking skills. Likewise, it helped me to be more confident and independent being far from my family, homeland, and other usual comfort zones. Consequently, these meaningful internship experiences helped me grow a lot as an individual to take any challenges head on and qualify for future opportunities that may come my way; thus, fully realizing my dream of becoming a successful chef.”

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Posted in Global Academy, Internship

Internship Diary #23: Marlon Gopo

NAME: Marlon Gopo

COURSE: Grand Diploma


INTERNSHIP VENUE: Todd English Food Hall

Marlon Gopo finished his internship in Todd English Food Hall in SM Aura. Upon reading his journal, I was able to see the insights that he has gained during his training. It’s funny but the simple things that we usually take for granted are the ones that can be the most crucial when working in the kitchen.

Marlon realized that in order for him to be truly effective in the kitchen he had to do the following things:

  1. Practice his knife skills: he realized that majority of kitchen work is doing a lot of preparation of the ingredients to be used for the actual cooking.
  2. Be organized: he noted how important “Mise En Place” was at work because arranging needed ingredients and equipment will dictate your flow and pace during service.
  3. Be knowledgeable in Food Sanitation and Storage: he saw stocks and food were organized using the FIFO (First in First Out) System and how they were very aware of the expiration of everything that they used.
  4. Multi-task: peak hours had them handle huge orders that came in one after the other so he learned to have the presence of mind to be aware of all the things he was doing and to able to do them simultaneously.
  5. Be a Team player: he learned that communication is the best way to survive in the kitchen because it allows you to be in sync with all the other people so that all of you can have a successful service.

To end this he would like to express his gratitude to all his Chef instructors and Global Staff. Here’s a quote from his diary “I would like to say thank you so much to Global Academy especially to all the Chefs that guided and honed my skills, knowledge and attitude in the kitchen. Thank you so much to Chef Jun Manalo for being a very good mentor to me. Thank you also to Chefs Meg, Cho, Rushel, Kat and Rich and the whole staff of Timog Branch. I have all the respect in the world for them. Thank you to Chef Mike Yap from the bottom of my heart for making an excellent program for Global Academy. Lastly, I want to say thank you to Ms. Jainie for helping me out with my internship from start to finish.”

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Posted in Global Academy, Internship, Uncategorized

Internship Diary #22 – Dominic B. Toribio

Name: Dominic B. Toribio

Course: Grand Diploma Batch 13

Branch: Makati

Internship Venue: Hotel Villa Retiro, SPAIN

I believe that Dominic can inspire a lot of people who are serious about pursuing a career in a professional kitchen. He took his internship in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain for a year and he came home as a different person from everything he learned and experienced there. Other people can break under intense pressure while some will thrive. Dom was the latter as he is now more excited to take on more challenges after his trip to Spain.

Please take the time out to read excerpts from his journal:

“The road to higher education is paved with challenges – that was my guiding mantra when I decided to boldly take a one year internship in a Michelin-Starred restaurant in Spain. The first month of my stay there was my rite of passage to many different things with the highlight on kitchen work. It was tough having to learn the language, culture, kitchen routine and practices, and keeping up with the speed, perfectionist quality of products, all under the wearing down effect of working really long hours under the watchful eye of my supervisor. It was GRUELLING. But I knew exactly what I signed up for. Later on, I found working in a cut-throat, blood-shed type of kitchen a very rewarding thing.

Reward comes in many forms. One of the more obvious rewards is skill development. In my first week, I got to cut all sorts of vegetables and in bulk quantity. I literally owe it to this internship that I now can confidently julienne hundreds of kilos of onions in a fast and efficient way….

…My favourite part of all was when I started to be part of the restaurant service. I was working the starters section of the restaurant and the thought of plating these beautiful starters by myself and serving it directly to the customers gave me a rush of blood to the head. Soon, I got to run the aperitifs kitchen by myself doing all the mise en place and the service too. It was an amazing opportunity!

Above all these, I gained valuable insights on two very important things: ORGANIZATION and ATTITUDE. Time management is key to organization! A chef who got all the basic techniques nailed does everything at warp speed, sends the product to the customer on time but has crappy quality is a bad chef. A chef who knows his basics, takes his time making the dish look and taste perfect but sends the food to the customer 15mins late is still a bad chef. Everything should be put to balance, paced, guided and executed with the right amount of confidence. Attitude is an even more critical part. In a busy kitchen, I realized that sometimes the chaos will test your personality. Different people will react differently to stress and can really get in the way of your work. Over time, I learned how to adjust by pacing myself, concentrating on the work I do and never let emotions affect me. The cultural differences made it even more challenging, but in the end I turned into a tough cookie.

It was an incredible one year. One hell of a roller coaster ride that i’d love to do over and over again. I am now on another quest for new challenges. My plan is to further my career after graduation, find a job in another cut-throat kitchen with a rewarding atmosphere. I am confident now that I can make it wherever I want to be thanks to the training of Global Academy and my internship.”

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