CCA, Manila, “Philippines top culinary school” unveils first restaurant-school; bringing to the country the next wave in culinary arts.
A splendid celebration of local seafood cuisine and Filipino expertise will highlight the opening of Oceana, the CCA, Manila Restaurant School and Events Place. This is the first restaurant-school of the country’s top culinary school, the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA), Manila.
Located at the plush hub of Seaside Boulevard and within the vibrant SM Mall of Asia complex, the opening of Oceana on March 25 along with its innovative concepts, will once again raise the bar of culinary arts education in the country.
The 800-sqm modern facility will house a restaurant school, open kitchen, dining area with a 60-pax capacity, and an events area that can accommodate up to 350 guests. It is a grand collaboration of the different companies under the Cravings Group which include CCA, Manila, C2 Classic Cuisine, and C3 Events Place.
As a restaurant-school, Oceana will offer the unique “Fast Track-Pro Chef Program” – a six-month course highlighting the application of French techniques on the preparation and service of various cuisines.
6-month Fast Track-Pro Chef Program
The program was developed for career shifters, culinary and restaurateur enthusiasts, who will get the opportunity to familiarize themselves with theories and skills while applying these in an actual full-service restaurant environment.
“We are responding to the market demand for a culinary arts program that can be completed in six months for those who cannot go through the rigors of our two-year diploma course,” said Ms. Ma. Veritas F. Luna, Ph.D., managing director of CCA, Manila. “There is a huge demand from hobbyists and career-shifters who want to engage in the culinary profession, such as those planning to open their own restaurant or coffee shop, or want to pursue more lucrative opportunities in the culinary industry here and abroad.”
The school shall have 6 intakes per year, with each batch composed of no more than 15 students.
While learning about the theories, the students will also get the chance to actually engage in the restaurant operations. The work will entail the assumption of duties on a rotation basis covering the various areas of restaurant operations from food preparation, restaurant service, customer interaction, banquet and events planning. These activities will allow the students to earn actual experiences through work integration in the restaurant-school.
Competent and seasoned Chef Instructors from the hotel and hospitality industry will likewise be coming in to provide diligent supervision and guidance of the students. Dr. Luna referred to this practice as a Career development guided mentoring approach to learning.
“Our partner institutions in the industry will be coming in to work with our students depending on their objectives. For those who want to be a chef, they can work closely with the chef instructors who will share their expertise. For a restaurant owner who wants to put up a catering component in his establishment, he can work with the expert in banquet sales. We assess all our students prior to acceptance in our program and we help them achieve their goals by the end of the six-month course,” Dr. Luna said.
The Pro Chef program is open to everyone, with a minimum educational requirement of a high school diploma. There is no age limit as long as the student is physically fit to engage in the rigors of the usual work demands of a restaurant operation. An admission test is conducted by the school to assess the applicants aptitude, readiness and maturity to undergo the program.
Among the initial chef instructors who will mentor the students are Chefs Menoy Gimenez, Kim Santos and Annali Mariano, all from CCA, Manila.
The application period for the first batch begins on March 19 at the CCA, Manila Katipunan Campus on a first-come, first-served basis. The first day of class is on April 13, with the second batch and so forth coming in after every two months. Class schedules will be set at a minimum of six hours per day at five days per week, at 20 days per track. The total minimum contact time of learning is 768 hours with theories (96 hours), skills (480 hours) and practicum (192 hours).
Students will also get a chance to earn while studying, with eligibility to paid practicum.
The introductory price of the program is at P185,000 per student, which comes inclusive of three Chef’s jackets, one service crew uniform, two skull caps, two aprons, and a Basic Knife Kit (three pieces, namely boning, chef and paring knives) plus learning materials. Students will likewise be granted access to the CCA Library in the CCA, Manila Katipunan campus.
Enrollees for Batch 1 who can make it before March 31, 2009 will receive a special 18-piece Deglon Class 4-Junior Knife Set.
Flavors of the sea
For its part, Oceana will celebrate the flavors of the sea with a menu of seafood delights, featuring modern renditions of classic Filipino cuisine. Its seafood dishes will play around Malay ingredients, including the use of ginger, garlic, local souring agents, and coconut ?to be melded with the bounty of the sea like fish, shellfish, and other seafood, Dr. Luna explained.
Oceana’s kitchen head, Chef Merrie Lim, meanwhile referred to the menu of Oceana as composed primarily of Indigenous seafood of the Philippine coastal line with a twist.
Diners can expect a rich diversity of seafood bounty with these new Oceana menu items: Cod and Fish Roe Stew, Tamarind Spice Crab, Sizzling Plate Seabass in Soy-Ginger Garlic Sauce, Fermented Shrimp Tortenelli, Clam and Corn Fettuccine, and Grilled Blue Marlin with Simmered Vegetable Hot Pot.
Aside from these must-try seafood dishes, bestsellers from C2 Classic Cuisine Restaurant will also be brought in to form Oceana’s menu. These include such favorites as Seared Tilapia with Coconut Emulsion or tender tilapia fillet served with pineapple salsa in creamy coconut sauce; Binagoongang Lechon Kawali or Crisp Pork Roast with Sauteed Shrimp Paste – crispy liempo topped with bagoong sauce served with grilled eggplant relish; C2 Adobo Classic – the complete Filipino adobo stewed chicken with egg, bananas, tomatoes and achara; Crisp Ribs Sinigang – beef ribs deep fried until crisp served on a sizzling plate with tamarind stock and native vegetables; Pinakbet at Bagnet or Fermented Fish Paste Vegetables Stew with Pork Cracklings – an Ilocano favorite, stewed baby vegetables in fish bagoong topped with crispy bagnet cubes.
C2’s popular and award-winning dessert, Bibingka Souffle will also be added to the dessert menu. It is dubbed as a “Light and fluffy blend of coconut custard, salted egg, quezo de bola and toasted coconut.”
Another favorite is the Turon Ala Mode ?crispy banana and ube spring rolls drizzled with langka sauce topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Catherine Ong from C3 Events Place also mentioned that the 350-capacity events area of Oceana is expected to emerge as a popular banquet venue for different social and corporate functions.
Inspired by the stunning view of the bay, architects Cathy Salda and Alan Casas of PDP Architects made sure that the events venue is bright and airy, with a predominantly white motif and clean, streamlined look to exude a day in the beach.
Accents on walls are reminiscent of patterns cut on pastillas wrappers while the ceilings are similar to waves coming to shore. Like in all restaurants, lighting is very important. Drop lights made of glass spheres are like bubbles that people blow when underwater.
Unlike typical restaurants with open kitchens, Oceana takes that concept to another level. Mosaic tiles are put on the walls, good lighting is employed and mirrors are hung from the ceilings and walls similar to laboratories of culinary schools. A show kitchen is located in the dining area, close to customers for them to truly feel that food are freshly prepared.
PDP Architects also designed the furniture that is distinct to Oceana alone. To provide contrast against the white and streamlined look of the restaurant, the tables have curved silhouettes and the upholstery of the chairs is in aqua.
The magnificent view itself is unveiled by a glass wall that overlooks the bay. One can truly have a beach reception without the hassles of long drives, heat and sand in one’s shoes.
The best of the best
The coming together of all these elements is touted to establish the Cravings Groups presence in the City of Manila through Oceana, after the conglomerate of companies experienced success in various places around Quezon City and Metro Manila.
“The opening of Oceana will enhance the image of CCA in many ways,” said Dr. Luna. We are constantly trying to expand our territories and be more visible so that we can offer our services to a wider market. This is a good exercise because we are able to integrate the learning of the students in an actual full-service restaurant. We also want the public to expect more satellite schools from us that will offer more relevant and innovative programs. This is all in line with our vision to maintain our position as the leader in culinary arts education in the Philippines.
For inquiries on Oceana and CCA, Manila, please call 994-2520/30/40, e-mail: email@example.com or visit the website at www.cca-manila.com .
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