Chef Vic writes about his continuing education in CIA – part 1

The Path Towards Culinary Education Excellence:

Global Academy’s Continuing Education Program (Part 1)

Victor P. Sanchez

There are 84 roads that lead to the Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph in Paris, France)…” I will never forget this phrase that Chef Dieter Doppelfed, one of my chef instructors in the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), told our class. “There are so many ways to achieve one’s goal if he is creative and would find ways to attain the objective’’ he then expounded.

Global Academy’s goal to excel in the field of culinary education for the Filipino has driven the institution to develop its Continuing Education Program. It aims to further enhance the quality of the existing impressive team of chef instructors. I am very fortunate to be one of the recipients of the program.

On March 9, 2012, I was sent to the CIA, Greystone in St. Helena, California to attend classes in their Professional Development Program. The classes that I was enrolled in were: Sous Vide; Small Dishes, Big Flavors: Appetizers and First Courses; and Advanced Sous Vide and Contemporary Culinary Techniques.

On the very chilly day that I first set foot on the campus, I was partially immobilized, somewhat paralyzed, by the mere magnitude of the castle-like structure, which stands on what used to be a vineyard in Napa Valley. With a pestering jetlag, I had to compose myself to take the next few steps. I then registered and set forth to the dining area to meet my classmates in my Sous Vide class and to have breakfast. The array of my professional chef classmates were very formidable – male executive chefs with vast experiences in exclusive luxurious country clubs, fine dining restaurants, big catering companies all across the United States. And then there was Chef Molly Brandt, a female, who works for a cruise line and has won Top Chef Texas. The group or the new brigade, as I saw it, went along so well, as if we had been together for years. It was the combination of the respect for each other, eagerness to learn and the guidance from our instructor, Chef Patrick Clark who motivated everyone.

Sous Vide literally means under vacuum. The class gave me a new insight on this contemporary cooking technique – its potentials for pre-determined portions, even doneness of meat, less shrinkage equating to higher profit margin, among its other benefits. As an instructor, I tried to observe more than the lessons in class. I saw the demeanor and the high level of professionalism among my instructor and classmates. It was amazing!

This is just one path or road that Global Academy let me take to achieve our goal of commitment to culinary education excellence – it was not easy but it was all worth the time and effort.

I will be posting more photos and the other parts of Chef Vic’s experience in CIA so stay tuned!

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