Monday, April 21, 2014

CCA Manila Young Chefs Boot Camp 2014

Summer is a good time to let our kids spend some time in the kitchen. In my house, I have assigned my oldest to cook dinner for the family once a week for the duration of summer. Not elaborate meals, but just a simple “one ulam dish” that will add to what is already on the table.  I also assigned the girls to make a breakfast item every Monday, the one requirement I have is that is should hold up well in the fridge (muffins, granolas, pancakes, etc) so we can have it as our breakfast or merienda for the next 2-3 days… such a time-saver on days when this mama is pressed for time.  My kids are such big eaters and are always hungry so having something in the fridge all the time is a requirement in this household.

Since I am also in the kitchen a lot, this doubles as our bonding time, too.  So far, J has already made beef with broccoli florets in oyster sauce, and quite successfully so!  Her red velvet cupcakes, lemon glazed rhum cake, and choco chip cookies are also so good.  We are both collaborating on what she can cook to make sure that the recipe is easy that she can do it on her own successfully and not feel overwhelmed.  Because nothing can make a beginner lose interest quickly than feelings of frustration and inadequacy.  So I let her take baby steps until she can develop the skills and confidence.

If your kids love to spend as much time in the kitchen as mine does, you will be happy to know that the Center for Culinary Arts, Manila (CCA Manila) is now offering the Young Chefs Boot Camp 2014 (YCBC).
My girls and I were invited to try out a sampling of what to expect for this year’s Young Chefs Boot Camp a few weeks ago.  I wasn't able to post right away since we left for our Japan vacation 2 days after. But here are all the details about the event.   It was held at the Grand Kitchen of CCA.  Even the name of the huge kitchen sounds so professional, di ba?
We were welcomed by CCA's Redge Lopez, and Chef Anne Anatacio.

The kids were asked to prepare 2 dishes for that afternoon, Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Hungarian Sausage and Chocolate Crinkles.  Before the kids were assigned to their own workstations, Chef Anne demonstrated how it should be done first.  
The demo is an important part of the process because after that the kids are expected to do everything on their own.  But for the younger kids, there are teacher assistants per workstations to make sure that all the kids are safe from the knives, stove and oven.  My kids are older and quite used to their way in the kitchen so minimal assistance was needed.  

But even for kids with advanced cooking skills, going to a professional cooing school still has its benefits because Chef Anne finds time to explain the reason behind certain procedures.. mala Alton Brown ba!:) For instance, she explained to the kids why sugar was the only dry ingredient that was mixed with the wet ingredients when the kids were making the chocolate crinkles.  The explanation given was so that the sugar would be able to dissolve in the liquid, ensuring a batter that is not grainy.

At the end of the session, the kids were also taught how to package their finished goods.  

Here are the reasons why I recommend CCA's Young Chef Boot Camp to parents with young kids who want to hone their culinary skills this summer:
1.  The grand kitchen is spacious and complete with several professional workstations, with each one completely furnished with oven, stove, sink, and everything else that is needed in a functional kitchen.
2.  Participants are ensured of the best individual hands-on learning experience because each workstation will only accommodate a maximum of 4 kids.
3.  Food safety, presentation and packaging are also included in the module.
4. There are several age-specific cooking programs to choose from.
5.  There are teacher assistants per workstation to assist the younger kids and to keep them safe from knives, stove and oven.

And for parents who might want to wait for their kids while they are doing the sessions, there is a Cravings restaurant on the ground floor which offers free wifi to all customers.

The YCBC is an existing summer program of CCA Manila which was started over 10 years ago. It is a 5-day series of cooking classes designed for young culinary enthusiasts, from age 5 to 16 years old. It offers participants the opportunity and the fun of practical hands-on learning, including valuable insights on food, kitchen safety, and preparation.

The YCBC age-specific cooking programs are classified under the following categories:
Junior Culinary & Baking Essentials (12-16 years old) for tweens and teens who are serious in taking up a culinary degree for college, as this class provides an extensive glimpse of the culinary and baking world;
Cooking my Way through Asia (7-16 years old) wherein learners get to master various flavors of Region, from the trendy Korean Pop to the sacred Thai Cuisine;
My Ultimate Comfort Food (7-16 years old) for easy-to-prepare meals and snacks;
Baking 101 (7-16 years old) for beginners who love to know more about their favorite oven-made goodies;
Little Chef (6-9 years old) for the youngest set of budding cooks

Classes begin on March 24 and will run until May 26, 2014. One module consists of a 5-day session, and is only P8,500.  The fee is already inclusive of the following: aprons, toques, side towels.  Recipe handouts and certificates will also be given during the duration of the course.

For inquiries on the Young Chefs Boot Camp and other diploma or short courses, get in touch with CCA
Phone: at 426-4840
website at  

CCA, Manila campus is located at 287 Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Application is ongoing.