Center for Culinary Arts, Manila (CCA) signs up with the prestigious Institut Culinaire Disciples Escoffier (ICDE)  to offer French cuisine classes in 2016.


French Cuisine is considered one of the first established culinary traditions in the world, and its contribution to other international cuisines has become the template for contemporary culinary training. With Filipino cuisine gaining attention internationally, it may be the right time to forge strong culinary partnerships to create world-class chefs.

signing photo
Held at the Epicurious in Shangri-La Mall East Wing, the agreement was signed by CCA, Manila President Susana Guerrero, CEO Marinela Trinidad and Chancellor of Education Dr. Veritas Luna;  ICDE COO Ben Grenier and CFO Thierry Muller. Witnessing the landmark signing were French Ambassador to the Philippines HE Thierry Mathou; CCA, Manila Program Director Chef Melissa Oreta and CCA, Manila Culinary Director Chef Sau del Rosario.

With the aim of establishing world-class culinary education in the Philippines, CCA, Manila and ICDE of Hong Kong have entered a groundbreaking academic partnership that will pioneer classic French Cuisine training in the country starting early next year at CCA’s new campus in Bonifacio Global City. Hong Kong-based ICDE’s partnership with CCA will be the first for Southeast Asia.

French Ambassador to the Philippines H. E. Thierry Mathou

Through the agreement, ICDE will be bringing in three of its chef-instructors and will handle all culinary classes and programs related to French Cuisine, starting with the Disciples Escoffier Diploma in Culinary Arts, a six-month program that could be expanded with shorter courses in French Cuisine for amateurs and professionals. All classes will be conducted at the CCA’s BGC campus, with state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities to accommodate its requirements.

Vincent Leroux, Program Director of ICDE (2)
Visiting Master Chef from Escoffier Vincent Leroux, who is also the Director of ICDE and President of the Disciples Escoffier, conducted a special one-day cooking demonstration, preparing Duck Liver Pan Fried with Cocoa Grue (cocoa nibs).

“With the partnership, we’ll be introducing different techniques and skills sets,” Grenier said. “There are not many French restaurants in Manila, and I think it needs to be encouraged. If there are more people training in classic French cuisine, then there is a foundation they can build on. Whether it’s Mediterranean or Italian or Western, you can still use the building blocks on classic French cuisine and go anywhere from there.”

Pan Fried Duck Liver with Cocoa Grue
Pan Fried Duck Liver with Cocoa Grue

The partnership with ICDE further strengthens CCA’s position as a prominent establishment for culinary education in the country with its progressive curriculum geared towards creating world-class chefs.

“CCA is always very true to its commitment to the development of its students, from the time they enter our kitchen doors till the end,” Chef Melissa explained. “We have a wide range of programs but we also have licensed courses. The Escoffier program is really meant to augment the existing programs we already have. The only thing different is that it will really be more stringent, the way they do their assessment. Everyone is fascinated with Michelin-starred [restaurants] nowadays in the Philippines and with the access to ICDE, we are elevating further our standards. We believe that if you enhance your training with the Escoffier program, you can improve and probably your restaurant will become the first one with the Michelin Star, who knows?”

Trinidad welcomed this milestone partnership. “This will not only boosts our standing as the leading hub of world-class professional culinarians but also strengthens our programs and efforts to create lasting, positive impacts on culinary education here in the Philippines. Clearly, CCA nurtures the chefs of the future!”

Founded in Hong Kong in 2014 by Robert Fontana, Chairman of Disciples Escoffier Asia, ICDE is affiliated with Disciples Escoffier International, a France-based non-profit organization that has more than 25,000 members in 26 countries, counting some of the world’s most respected chefs as members.

And because the ICDE is accredited by the French Ministry of Education and delivers a government-regulated National Diploma in French Cuisine (Certificat de Fin de Formation en Cuisine Francaise), course graduates will be presented with certificates recognized by the hospitality and fine dining industry worldwide.

CCA-Escoffier Program

287 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

Tel. (02) 218-5266

Email: talktoccamanila@gmail. com