Culinary balancing act

Global Academy chef sweeps numerous gold medals

Manila, Philippines — It takes refined culinary skill to balance four unique categories and rack up three golds and a silver at the 2014 Philippine Culinary Cup. But, Chef Brando Santos of Global Academy had just that which propelled him to the top of the competition.

Santos, business development manager and instructor at Global Academy, received gold medals in US Poultry, Dream Team Challenge and Amuse Bouche; and a silver medal for Butcher and the Chef. US Poultry, for which he attained the highest gold, was his only solo category. Santos worked with fellow Global Academy chef instructors Kat Pascual and Summer Salvador in Dream Team, chef instructor Abigail Almeda in Amuse Bouche, and program and faculty director Chef Mike Yap in Butcher and the Chef.

Santos’ achievements during the PCC helped Global Academy clinch the overall championship.

According to Santos, since turning professional, he has challenged himself with creative concoctions of his favorite fowl. During the debriefing for US Poultry, the judges praised his execution of the three different chicken preparations in a single plate, pointing out that it revealed a great deal of culinary expertise. In addition to the variety of cooking methods, the dish’s appropriate garnishes and outstanding flavors, modern plating and presentation, and Santos’ organized and clean work area all added up for the judges’ nods.

His Trio of Chicken is composed of bacon wrapped chicken roulade with dried cranberry-pistachio stuffing and port wine sauce; spiced chicken sausage with braised red cabbage; and chicken and mushrooms with truffle cream sauce on vol-au-vent, with glazed vegetables.

Santos crafted the main course of his Dream Team. “Cooking with a team reminds me that beautiful creations come from united passions,” he said. His dish was composed of sous vide MacDonald angus beef flank with Cirio balsamic vinegar-strawberry demi glace, petite beef pie with truffle essence, rolled saffron-infused Barilla spaghetti with mixed mushrooms and foie gras fricassee, and glazed vegetables. Salvador and Pascual accompanied this dish with appetizers and dessert, respectively.

For Amuse Bouche, a new category at the PCC, Santos prepared a chawanmushi and cromesquis of miso-infused foie gras inspired by the remarkability and vibrance of French and Japanese cuisines. “I wanted to break the ice for Global Academy in this new PCC category. It’s another high with the challenge to come up with small 12 portions each for a cold and hot appetizer,” he said.

“Global Academy has housed all these great culinary talents into one team. It has physically, financially, and emotionally supported every individual in the team in the desire to pit oneself against international competitors, and to be evaluated by the world’s best palates,” said Santos. “Global Academy is an organization of well-rounded, internationally-educated, industry-experienced, craft-dedicated, relentless individuals.This alone is a bringer of victories, and this is not only evidenced by the medals,” he added.

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Global Academy Chef Brando Santos’ gold-medal-winning Trio of Chicken

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Global Academy Chef Brando Santos (center) receives gold medal and certificate

for Amuse Bouche with teammate Chef Abigail Almeda (right).

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