World-renowned Pastry Chefs Open Pastry and Bakery Academy in the Philippines
World-renowned pastry chef Jean Louis Arnaud leads a group of acclaimed international chefs in opening a Philippine branch of the region’s top pastry school – the Academy of Pastry and Bakery Arts Philippines – this August 5 in Makati City.
The educational institution that they are establishing in Manila is a sister-school of the Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia, which Chef Jean co-founded with premier pastry chef Niklesh Sharma. Another branch of the school was recently opened in India. Incidentally, this year, Chef Jean is one of the judges for the World Food Expo (WOFEX) competition here.
Chef Niklesh, the Academy’s managing director, shared that many students, including Filipinos, go to Europe or the United States to undergo pastry training, where the courses can be very expensive.
“We feel the Philippines is a great destination to open up an academy looking at the number of Filipinos working in hotels within and outside the Philippines. We want to provide organized and structural training for students looking for a career in the hotel industry, pastry shops, and those who want to put up their own businesses,” he further said.
The training at the Academy, according to Chef Niklesh, prepares students to world-class skills Manila has never seen before. “We can provide an even higher level of training here at 40% of the cost students spend in other local pastry schools. In the next six to nine months, our students can be at par with seasoned hotel pastry chefs in the Philippines,” he said confidently.
The Chefs behind the Academy
Chef Jean has been granted an Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF) or “One of the Best Craftsmen of France” in 2000. The MOF by the French government as a recognition for one’s expertise. He has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants and hotels and has participated and won numerous awards in artistic pastry, chocolate showpieces, and sugar arts competitions His recipes have appeared in top pastry publications around the world like the Thuries Gastronomie Magazine and he has also participated in salon de chocolate, creating chocolate dresses for fashion shows.
The award-winning chef has also served as Technical Director of the Ecole Nationale Superieure dela Patisserie (ENSP), which is recognized as the best pastry school in France. He came to Malaysia in 2009 to serve as international consultant for brands like Fonterra, Haagen-Dazs, Club Med group, and the Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia.
Chef Jean, in partnership with the Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia, in 2013 opened JFA Consultancy, which offers training in pastry and bakery arts at affordable rates. Theirs was the first consultancy company in the country to feature a formidable lineup of guest chefs from all over the world.
Chef Niklesh, meanwhile, is the former Executive Pastry Chef of The Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel. He started his career in 1997 at the Rajvilas, one of the best resorts in the world, and has been an opening team member of luxury hotels and resorts in India. He is very well-traveled and has trained under some of the best pastry chefs, MOFs, and world pastry chef champions in the world.
He is also a multi-awarded chef and has worked for top hotel and resorts groups like the Oberoi Ressorts, Carlson Group, Tai Fort Aguada Hotel, Tai West End Hotel, and The Renaissance Kuala Lumpur.
They will be joined by other multi-awarded chefs from Asia and Europe.
The Academy of Pastry and Bakery Arts Philippines are offering full-time and part-time (weekend) programs.
The full-time program includes a three-month certificate course in Pastry & Bakery, a six-month diploma course in Pastry & Bakery. Both programs will run for twelve weeks and graduates will receive an international certification from the City & Guild London.
The part-time weekend program will run for 12 weekends with a new topic to be covered each week.
“The program is cyclic, so that if you miss one, you can take it up later in the next cycle. This makes it very convenient for working people,” Chef Niklesh concluded.
*Check out the Academy of Pastry and Bakery Arts Philippines Brochure for more details.
Special thanks to Bopeep Espiritu (mobile 09276522086 | 09423850084) for the official event photos.