ICA Batch 7 students show off their special Reception Rites plates
“We’ve been bowled over by the phenomenal success of the Institute for Culinary Arts at La Salle”, said Br. Ray Saplido, president and vice chancellor of the University.
Speaking at the Reception Rites for ICA students from Batch 7 on Monday, Br. Ray explained the University took something of a gamble in 2007 when it decided to launch the new school.
“Chef Richard Ynayan, ICA’s director, made a strong case for bringing in only the best equipment. So, under his direction, we invested heavily and built two fully air-conditioned state-of-the-art kitchens designed after the kitchens of culinary institutions in New York and California.
“I’m pleased we followed Chef Richard’s advice. As the university’s Dr. Elsie Coscolluela, who played such an important role in launching ICA, has said on many occasions our facilities are on a par, and perhaps in many respects, better than you’d find in culinary schools anywhere in the world. And our fees are much lower thanManila and a fraction of New York or London,” he added.
Guest speaker at the Reception Rites was top Manila restaurateur Margarita Fores. Pictured with Br. Ray Suplido FSC president and chancellor of USLS (right) and ICA director Chef Richard Ynayan
Today, ICA is thriving with more and more Negrenses wishing to try their hand at cheffing.
Since its launch in January 2008, some 300 students have successfully completed the 12-month course. Some are now working on cruise ships or in international hotels. Others have opened their own restaurants while a handful of students simply took the course for enjoyment and to increase their repertoire of dishes at home.
Among the pioneer students in 2008 was British national and Bacolod resident Robert Harland. Harland, who, in 2010 became first foreigner to become the Negros Adobo Champion, signed up for the physically demanding course at the age of 61.
Top honors in Batch 7 went to Juanito Singbenco pictured here with Br. Ray Suplido FSC president and chancellor of USLS (right) and ICA director Chef Richard Ynayan
“It was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done. It was hard work, but very worthwhile”, said Harland, who today is a part-time teacher at ICA, “And it was great to work and study with so many enthusiastic young people.”
Another early student was Jazel Steinmann, who was only 17 years-old when she signed up. She’s now working in the UK.
Today, ICA’s alumni are working in the kitchens of restaurants and hotels around the world from Saudi Arabia to Mexico.
Founding chef and ICA director Richard Ynayan, who graduated with honors from the French Culinary Institute and the Institute for Culinary Education in New York and has been trained by French, Italian and American chefs, said the school’s main aim is to train world-class chefs, industry professionals and creative entrepreneurs in culinary arts.
Additionally, it gives an opportunity to career changers and teenagers who don’t want to pursue a bachelors degree.
The course includes a study of the fundamentals of classic and contemporary cuisine with the integration of Philippine flavours and approaches – including Ilonggo cuisine – as well as hands-on training in fundamental techniques of the culinary arts.
Students also get exposure to a variety of workplaces such world-class hotels, professional settings, cruise ships, resorts, restaurants, catering business and bakeshop management.
Students are under the direct supervision of Chef Richard and his team of highly-trained instructors. In addition, guest lecturers cover topics such as fine wines, Indian, Spanish, Japanese, Middle Eastern and Halal cuisine and baking.
On completion of the course, students undertake 300 hours of on-the-job training (OJT). ICA helps place students in hotels and restaurants in Manila, Cebu, Boracay,Hong Kong, Singapore and the US. After an OJT assignment in Malacañang, one ICA student ended up as a full-time employee cooking for the president.
“I’m incredibly proud of our students,” said Chef Richard. “They’ve already notched up numerous awards such as first place in the Cinco de Noviembre Adobo Festival in 2010 and 2011. They all work amazingly hard and with such passion. I know that many of them will go onto great things in the world of fine dining”.
Enrollment for Batch 9 and 10 is taking place now. Classes start on January 23 and June 18, 2012. For further information, please call ICA on 434 6100 local 401 and look for Ms. Maricon Vinarta.