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Why I Went to Culinary School

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

I was 26. Got my heart broken for the third time, and this time it was big. I was a lost soul. And then one day, while showering, something popped into my head.


Rushing outside the bathroom, I said, "Mom!!! I'm going to enroll myself in a culinary school!" And my Mom went, "Wait, what???" And this was how it all started. While I was taking a bath, I was continuously thinking what should I do with my life. My boyfriend broke up with me and my world revolved around him then. "So what do I do now?", I said to myself. And then out of nowhere, I thought of doing something I haven't done before: cooking!


Afterwards, I started to research (I totally love researching anything that comes out of my curiosity). I told myself, "If it's for me, then God will let it happen." So as soon as I typed the words 'Culinary School' in Google, the Manila Culinary and Hospitality Academy (MCHA) showed up, their enrollment was ongoing and the location was just near our house. "Maybe this is it!" I said. And indeed, it was meant to happen.


So how did I enroll? I sent a message to the MCHA Facebook Page and inquired about the process, how much would be the cost of the short course for Culinary Arts Fundamentals and when would be the schedule of classes. Surprisingly, I received an immediate response from them and they mentioned that I can pay half of the total cost first, then pay the rest during the course. I can also submit all the requirements on the first day of school and I get to have one (1) full set of uniform! It sounded like a good deal! So I confirmed my slot and prepared for this new endeavor. The tuition fee then was P30,000. I am just not sure how much it costs now, but you may inquire with them for the updated rates. Schedule of classes is every Saturday only, from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM and will run for 12 weeks (3 months).


And then I started to prepare and bought the must-haves:


1. Slip Resistant shoes (this is similar to Crocs, but of course, that's too expensive, so I bought a Duralite brand). Here's a sample:

Photo taken from Amazon.com

2. Two (2) white towels

3. White shirts

4. Black pants

5. Notebook and pens

6. Hair tie

7. Hair net



And then I was ready! So the first day of school came. I drove going there and I was early. I didn't know anyone but I was excited! You know that giddy feeling when you're doing something new? That's how I felt! Here's the photo I took:




We were asked to wait at the lobby until 8:00 AM before we can go up to the classroom. Then as soon as the clock hit 8, we went up. Funnily, I saw Chef Boy Logro's standee on the door, looking so dashing and smiling so widely. And I told myself, "Am I going to be the next Chef Boy Logro?" I could be, but then after three (3) years, I realized that I can't, or maybe it's just really not for me!


In the classroom, I had five (5) classmates. And I was surprised because some of them also didn't know why they were there, just like me! Then we were asked to introduce ourselves one-by-one and share why we enrolled. Some said they wanted to put up a small restaurant, some were lucky enough to be enrolled by their employers, and some, just out of pure passion. And as for me, I said "I enrolled because I was heartbroken, I needed to do something new." Then some of them laughed, including me!




After class, we were given our uniforms! My most awaited moment! I can finally look and feel like a Chef! As soon as I got home, I was so excited to tell my family what happened on my first day. They asked if I saw Chef Boy Logro, and I said "Yes, but just through a standee!" Then I tried to put on my new uniform and eagerly posed for a photo (I had to borrow Mom's ladles to complete the look!):



I was ecstatic! We had two (2) more classroom sessions before our actual session in the kitchen. They were quite long and a bit unexciting with short quizzes and recitations. I was looking forward to the actual kitchen experience, where I can finally feel like a real Chef!


And that day came and the giddy feeling went back. Our first agenda for that day was all about knife skills. A little scary but exciting! Apart from learning how to hold a knife and know when it's already dull, I learned how to cut vegetables according to the different types of cuts. Here are some of the cuts I made (sorry for the low-light photos!):


Brunoise (pronounced as /brun-wa/)

Paysanne (pronounced as /pay-san/)

Julienne (pronounced as /julian/)



Here's a photo of us and Chef Michelle (I'm the one at the back)

After that day, I knew I had to buy my own knife! I learned that a real Chef must have his/her own knife. And so I snooped around Mom's kitchen to check if I can get one of hers and take it as my own. Until my sister gave me this:


A knife from IKEA

I was happy! I finally own a knife! (Oops! Did that just sound too horrid? But I won't use it for anything else other than cooking, I promise!) I knew I can definitely take good care of it (and it's still as sharp three (3) years after!).


After a few more sessions, I tried to cook at home, here's my first ever cooking venture:



Sirloin Pork Steak Tagalog

It was yummy they said! But yup, it was a little short of soup! Hahaha, not bad for a first try I guess!


And it was followed by a few more:



Golden Salted Egg Yolk Chicken

Garlic Buttered Shrimp
Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Okay, I'm getting hungry now!


We also got to learn different cooking methods and techniques, how to make soups and sauces, and finally, pastries! Here's the cake that my teammates and I prepared:




And then it finally came to an end. During our graduation, I was emotional but at the same time happy, because I truly learned a lot from that short course. Plus I even acquired more friends. Shout out to my classmates, Kuya Dennis, Milbert, Joy, Pat and Kei!



It was another achievement unlocked! So in case you're thinking about doing something different, this one's highly recommended! Just trust that you can do it, and you will!


Now I'm off to eating again....


Cheers!


Leeny


#Cooking #ManilaCulinaryandHospitalityAcademy #MCHA #CulinarySchool #CulinaryArts #FundamentalsOfCooking #Cooking101

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