Lyceum of the Philippines’ new Culinary Institute seeks to invest top-notch skills, work ethics and discipline in young professionals eager to carve out a career in the F&B world

Food has always figured prominently in the Filipino lifestyle. In fact, one can barely walk a few meters without running into a street vendor, carinderia or restaurant offering up a variety of delectable goodies. But it has been only in the last few decades that society has accepted cookery as an art, and the men and women preparing their delicious creations, as artists.

Several factors such as globalization and the popularity of celebrity chefs have influenced this change in mindset. However, one thing is certain – now, more than ever, Filipinos are considering the culinary arts as an exciting and viable career track.

All the high jinks and yelling in Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen should remind us that while this area can be a stimulating place to work in, it also has a fair set of challenges. To succeed in that environment, one needs top-notch skills, professionalism and discipline – three assets the Culinary Institute of the Lyceum of the Philippines University hopes to invest in its students.

A relatively new addition to the Lyceum of the Philippines University, the Culinary Institute shares its affiliate school’s commitment to nurturing graduates ambitious to succeed in their chosen fields.

To accomplish this goal, the Institute was built with all the accessories required to help a student hone advanced skills in the
culinary arts. Although located in old world Intramuros, the school features state-of-the-art kitchens and facilities, planned and executed by well known kitchen systems designer Imelda Silayan. Occupying four floors, the facility boasts clean lines and bright color palettes, an amphitheater, an extensive library and of course, the latest in kitchen technology. Everything from walk-in freezers, digital scales, well-stocked commissaries, a fruit and vegetable carving lab and even a restaurant simulation lab has been provided.

Ensuring students an environment that is comfortable and conducive to learning has also cemented the Institute’s reputation as “the Metro’s biggest and most advanced culinary school”.

That on its own may be remarkable enough, but there is more to the Institute than its facilities. Preparing the future of the culinary world is a staff of knowledgeable chefs who have not only trained and risen through the ranks in some of the top kitchens here and abroad, but also have the gift of mentorship and guidance.
At the helm is the Institute’s director and head of instructions, Chef Dan Basilio. A former certified chemical engineer whose aptitude in the sciences is still very evident in the kitchen, he specializes in pastry and baking arts as well as molecular gastronomy. Working with him is a 30-strong faculty and administrative team, culled from different culinary backgrounds.

The Institute promises an intensive curriculum developed with its international affiliate school, Dusit Thani College of Bangkok, that results in students graduating with either a diploma course in Professional Culinary Arts or a diploma course in Professional Baking and Pastry Arts. The one-year programs tackle the different levels of cookery or baking through classroom lectures, laboratory sessions, immersions and 600 hours of on-the-job training.

Each of the courses was meticulously designed so as to enable individuals, even those with zero cooking skills, to penetrate the culinary field, whether locally or internationally. No stone is left unturned – students go through everything including the most basic of knife skills, kitchen math and a restaurant simulation activity, which covers planning, pricing, shopping for ingredients and finally preparing a meal for guests. These take place before they go for their internships at various hotels and restaurants across the country.

Meanwhile, chefs, bakers and cooks, who wish to broaden their repertoire or gain more skills, may also benefit from the Institute’s two-month certificate courses. The Fundamentals in Baking and Pastry
Arts is ideal for those wanting to