Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Global Academy & The SoMoms Cooking Workshop

To be honest with all of you, when I got married I did not know a single thing about cooking. I don't even think I stepped foot in the kitchen when I was single. My mom had a very good Kapampangan kusinera who cooked for us everyday until the day she passed. I remember, my parents did not even need a caterer for parties at home. Ate Aida was able to handle daily cooking and party fare with ease. She was so good that when I got married and moved to my own home, I would call her to ask for help. But she wasn't really very good with giving instructions over the phone. So I tried letting her write it down on a piece of paper... "konting bawang, isang dakot ng asin, tatlong patak ng toyo..."  My dishes turned out disastrously! Obviously, cooking didn't come intuitively to me. I needed specific instructions.

But with perseverance and resiliency borne out of my love for my own family, I was able to transform myself eventually into someone who can manage to find her way in the kitchen. I've come a long way from those kitchen disaster days. I can almost hear my husband heave a big sigh of relief! Teehee!

For homemakers like me, there's no excuse to NOT learn how to cook. After all, we can simply look up a recipe on recipe-sharing sites or just go to a trusted cooking/baking blog. But learning from a professional chef via a live demonstration is still the best way to go about it.

Chef Erika of Global Academy shows the SoMoms how to clean a fish. 
All of us haven't done anything like that before, so we are all eyes and ears... and camera!
Photo by Momma 'N Manila

SoMoms Exclusive Workshop

When the Global Academy offered to create an exclusive culinary workshop for the SoMoms, the 6 of us said we wanted to be a part of it immediately! I just knew when I said yes that this is one of the most fun events I would attend this summer.

Gloabal Academy offers diploma courses (4 - 12 months)  for people who are interested to go full-time as a professional in the culinary industry. On the other hand, the Epicurean Lab offers short courses for people who cannot commit to the lengthy time frame needed by the diploma courses offered by the Global Academy. It is also good to note that the Epicurean Lab is adding seminars for those entrepreneurs who aspire to go into the food business called L.I.F.E. (Lessons in Food Entrepreneurship).

Global Academy prepared a half-day demo and cooking workshop for us for the following recipes:

Roasted Fish with Herb Sauce
get printable recipe shared by Cai of Apples & Dumplings here

Citrus Braised Chicken with Turmeric
get printable recipe shared by Cai of Apples & Dumplings here

Carrot & Zucchini Muffins
get printable recipe shared by Cai of Apples & Dumplings here

Chef Erika spent the first part of the workshop showing us what to do.

The entire demonstration room actually looked this. Sort of like a mini lecture hall with elevated seats so that even participants seated at the back can be able to easily view what's going on in front.

The second part had us moving to the working kitchen for the actual cooking.  It was so much fun to be cooking alongside friends because there's so much chikka and joking around going on. But there were also times that we were serious and concentrated on the task on hand. Feeling nasa "kitchen stadium" lang.

We were assigned to group into 2s, and off we went to our own kitchen station' with the necessary tools and ingredients laid out already for us. My partner, Cai and I taking time to pose for the cameras inspite of the tight time schedule. teehee!

Benefits of Enrolling in a Cooking Class:

Attending a cooking class is not just for professional chefs and people who enjoy cooking. Cooking classes can also benefit people who wants to learn how to cook. Like what I mentioned already earlier, in Global Academy, there are many different styles of cooking classes for different levels, so there's a right fit of classes for all types of students.

1. Learn to Cook New Dishes & Work with New Ingredients to Serve Our Family Better Meals
One of the biggest benefits from taking a cooking class is that we learned how to cook new dishes and work with new ingredients. Learning how to cook a big fish from a professional chef will also help me cook it correctly in other recipes other than the one that Chef Erika taught us.

The best part about learning new dishes is we got to take home everything we did that day! Yay!

2. Learn Culinary Tips & Techniques from the Professionals
Sometimes the unknown can seem fearful. For instance, I've never worked with large fishes before. You can say they intimidated me. But when Coach Erika shared her tips and techniques with us, I realized that it wasn't so difficult, after all.

She shared that when we take off the scales of the fish, it is wise to put the fish inside a plastic cover so the plastic can catch all of the scales.

The great thing about learning new techniques when it comes to cooking is that we can apply them to our own style of cooking. Learning professional tips and tricks can give us the confidence to tackle what may seem to be a difficult recipe or help bring new life to an old recipe.

3. Save Money & Save Time 
It's true that taking a class will cost money, but in the long run we will be saving money by not having to eat out as much as we used to. For one, we can already make great tasting dishes at home that tastes as great as the ones in the restaurant, di ba? We don't have to deal with traffic pa!

It also saves us time because, let's face it, even if there are a lot of information available on the net, we still have to sift through the online content to check if the recipe seems complete and then we have to try each recipe to check which one is actually good. Sayang ang oras!

Chef Erika taught us how to plate our creations, as well. Pwede nang mag-date night at home!

4. Have fun while learning a new skill
One of the primary reason why I had loads of fun at this workshop is because I did it with friends!  We all previously met with Chef Erika prior to this workshop, so there's a pretty relaxed atmosphere in the workroom. We were all just having fun in the kitchen. Talking, laughing, eating and taking photos - all while cooking! Parang home economics class in high school lang. Teehee!  But there was also a time when all of us turned serious and just concentrated on cooking.
photo by Momma "N Manila

5. An education from one of the best culinary schools in the country.
Global Academy has 4 schools located in Alabang, Makati, Pasig and Quezon City. Their professional facilities feature intimate, hands-on classes with attentive chef-instructors. The chef-instructors are encouraged to compete internationally and continue with further education so as to hone their skills and knowledge. They have also brought in cutting edge and modern techniques of cooking to complement the traditional methods that they teach through their science department called The Epicurean Lab. 


Out of all the three dishes I learned that day, the fish recipe is the one that I think I will be making often. The reason is this one can be made pretty enough for a potluck dish, or can me made less elaborate for a weeknight dinner. When I recreated it at home, I didn't have a whole fish available, I just used sole fish fillets. But the recipe was still well-loved by everyone in the family!

This is how my fish looked like when I made it for my family a week after the Global Academy workshop

Roasted Fish with Herb Sauce
Printable Recipe shared by Apples & Dumplings here

2 pieces whole Barramundi or any fish with white flesh, scaled and cleaned (in my case, I used 3 fillets of sole fish)
2 pieces large tomatos, cored and sliced
2 pieces lemon, sliced into round (I didn't have lemons, so I substituted with a mix of calamansi and orange)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch fresh parsely
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 pieces dried bay leaf
1 kilo potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8 thick rounds
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 450ºF
Clean the fish by removing the scales, the gills and any innards. Rinse well.
Inside the cavity, lightly season with salt and pepper.
Stuff the cavity with slices of lemon, tomato, and garlic and continue to stuff more with fresh parsley, thyme and bay leaf.
Line a baking tray with foil. Arrange a bed of sliced potatoes. Drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place the fish on top and rub some olive oil onto the skin.
Roast the entire stuffed fish in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving or cutting into the fish.

Herb sauce:
1/2 piece lemon, zested and juiced (I substituted with calamansi)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, optional
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 table spoon fresh chopped Parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste

To prepare herb sauce:
Gently warm the olive oil and butter in a small pot or pan. Remove from heat.
Add in the garlic and fresh herbs. Whisk in the mustard, lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust if needed. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
Serve with the herb sauce on the side.

I highly recommend attending a culinary class so we can get new ideas to revamp our dinner menu. It's also a good way to improve ourselves and our kitchen skills. To enjoy the class even more, gather a small group of like-minded friends and do this together. Promise, super saya!
The entire group: Jackie of Go Jackie Go,  Neva of Manila Mommy,  Me, Chef Erika, Cai of Apples & Dumplings, Mish of Momma 'N Manila, Michelle of My Mom-Friday

Global Academy

The Academy’s founders, Chef Rob Pengson and Chef Benjamin Ledesma, Jr., continue to work hard to uphold the vision of the school as an honorable organization that provides the highest standards of education and training for the benefit of its students, customers, partners and country.

The Academy opened its first branch in the Ortigas area in April 2007 with a mission of providing students with relevant education and professional training at modest rates in order to prepare aspiring chefs and industry professionals for the growing opportunities of the international culinary and hospitality industries. In order to service more people, Global opened its 2nd branch in Alabang Zapote road last 2008 and a year after it opened its 3rd branch in Quezon City. In 2010, Global has opened its 4th branch in Makati making them the only professional culinary school to have 4 branches in Metro Manila.

The Goose Station opened in 2009 and it is a 100% Global Academy staffed restaurant that advocates both traditional and modern techniques in producing world-class cuisine.

In 2012 Global Academy is the first culinary school in the Philippines to receive The World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) Recognition of Quality Culinary Education. This means that the school’s culinary programs have met WACS’ high quality standards of culinary education. With this new recognition for quality culinary education from WACS, it does not only bring the school to the next level but it also raises its profile in the international global culinary landscape.

To know more about Global Academy:
Webpage  |   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

To know more about Epicurean Lab



  1. This looks fun!(: Me too, up until today I still don't know how to cook. :( I hope I'll get to learn before my 1 year old goes to school

  2. Wow! You all did a really great job! I bet you enjoyed it.

  3. I so love ur pictures, phenomenal mama :) drooling here and i will try the roasted fish with herb sauce. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Any event that involves food looks so fun haha!

  5. I am married for five years and up to now I don't know how to cook, but my hubby loves to cook and we love to eat. Maybe someday I will enroll for a cooking class. You really had fun in your cooking class and you recipe is so yummy

  6. Everything on the table looks great especially the chicken! I can't believe na you don't know how to cook before you got married. Eh, parang you are so good at cooking savoury dishes.


  7. I have been meaning to enroll in a cooking school, but never got the time. This is actually part of my bucket list and your post rekindled that dream of me. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I have been meaning to enroll in a cooking school, but never got the time. This is actually part of my bucket list and your post rekindled that dream of me. Thanks for sharing.

  9. looks like you ladies really had fun i could tell. food in your pist really looks yummy made me craving for some gourmet-ish food..

  10. I've always wanted to take culinary and bread-making classes. But with two little girls and one nanny, medyo mahirap. But definitely soon :)

  11. Wow! Great job! And I can see that you have so much fun too.

  12. One of my faith goals is to take culinary at Le Cordon Bleu. Someday...

  13. Looks so much fun! I wanna learn how to cook too. Inaasar na ako ng asawa ko kasi sya nagluluto sa amin. Hihi!