CCA Manila marks 25th year with a five-day virtual event

For 25 years, Center of Culinary Arts (CCA Manila) has garnered accolades and credentials from around the world for its in innovative culinary education and advocacy in Filipino gastronomy. Through the years, the school has produced thousands of graduates who are now part of the culinary industry as chefs, entrepreneurs, and educators all over the world.

To commemorate CCA Manila’s “Silver Year of Cooking for the World,” the school has prepared several events to mark the occasion.

“We are excited and humbled at the same time to arrive at our 25th year. CCA Manila has endured through time and continues to be the leader in transforming Filipino talents in the kitchen into world-class culinary professionals,” remarked Dr. Veritas Luna, Chancellor for Education of CCA Manila, in a virtual event.

“We remain positive that the school will continue its role as a leader by celebrating this milestone,” she added.

One of the major events is a five-day virtual festival that will feature a series of webinars in which students, teachers, alumni, and food industry experts will get together to showcase country’s very own Filipino cuisine, gastronomy, and heritage.

“CCA Manila not only served as the pioneer in excellent professional culinary education in the region but has pivoted the food and tourism hospitality to a robust industry, through the generation of dedicated and competent culinary professionals. Going virtual is also one of the prompt changes that CCA Manila adapted as we digitized the business processes for better efficiency,” said Luna.

To kick off the five-day event on November 18, CCA Manila invited Rep. Toff de Venecia, chair of the Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts, and notable food industry experts such as Ige Ramos, Nicole Ponseca and medical anthropologist Mike Tan to talk about Filipino gastronomy and talent.

Known as the “original Asian fusion cuisine” across the globe, Filipino gastronomy is a mix of rich cultural history, diversity of flavors, aroma and colors. Filipino talents make this cuisine more special and exciting with their creativity and boldness to experiment.

Foodie and best-selling author Angelo Comsti with co-host CCA Manila’s PR and Business Development Director Ana Beatrice Trinidad, moderated the “Pambansang Chef” webinar, which was full of insightful discussions like ‘Filipino Gastronomy and Heritage Policy,’ ‘Sustaining Cravings for Filipino Food,’ ‘Pride of Filipino Gastronomic Roots,’ and ‘The Important Role of Filipino Diaspora on the Promotion of Culinary Heritage.’

To recognize the excellence of CCA’s “ambassadors,” there will be a demonstration of both modern and traditional Filipino dishes by the CCA Alumni on December 1.

The event is a cook-off between graduates of CCA Manila who are well-known in the food industry — Allan Briones, Chef de Cuisine at The Peninsula Manila Hotel; Migo Razon, Executive Chef of Sheraton Melbourne; Pauline Sarmiento, a proud owner of a bakeshop and home-cooked foods restaurant; and Sonny Mariano, Corporate Pastry Chef of Tasteless Food Group.

The next day, on December 2, will see one of the highlights of the 25 year celebration – the “Clash of the Clans: Culinary Competition.” Groups of CCA Manila students will compete among themselves in a face-to-face Filipino cuisine competition in these categories – meat, plant-based, seafood appetizer, and a cheese-based dessert.

Finally, on December 3 at 10 a.m., an Alumni Homecoming with special awards such as “Pandemic Hero”, “Culinary Social Media Influencer,” “Filipino Cuisine Champion,” and “Chefpreneur in The Time of Pandemic” will be bestowed to deserving recipients.

CCA Manila believes that coming together is the beginning, keeping together is a process, and working together is a success.

“As we celebrate and cheer the 25-year milestone of CCA Manila, we continue to nurture the chefs of the future by providing innovative culinary education that elevates Filipino cuisine in the global culinary arena,” Ana Beatrice Trinidad finally said.