19 March 2014

CCA Manila's Young Chefs Boot Camp

If there's one thing that I could hopefully pass on to my daughter aside from her wit and charm (ahem), it's definitely my love for cooking. Every time I get busy in the kitchen, whatever her role will be; though she'll only take a sip to taste the sauce or something, I always make sure that she'd be involved. I want her to be acquainted with how her food was prepared so she'll know the hard work that was put into it. These days, I can see that she's slowly grasping the concept. The effort to finish the food on her plate is commendable. And lately, whenever I'd ask her to "assist" me in my home chef life, she doesn't complain. So when we had the opportunity to take part in Center for Culinary Arts (CCA) Manila's exclusive class for moms, dads and kids as their way of promoting CCA's Young Chefs Boot Camp, to say that I was excited is an understatement.

The class was held in the grand kitchen of CCA Manila in Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City on March 15. Chef Anne Atanacio taught us mom bloggers and our kids on how to cook Hungarian Macaroni and Cheese and to bake Chocolate Crinkles. We shared station with Janice of Roller Coaster Ride. She was with her little misses and I really admire her for raising such calm and sweet girls. Peg ko na sila for Pia! Wish me luck though. Hehe. Moving on... 

You'll notice in the photos that Pia was very hands-on. Yea, she helped with everything, except from slicing the sausages. According to Chef Anne, during a real class, they don't usually allow younger kids (around 5-9 years old) to hold knives. Prevention is always better than cure! She also said that they don't let the kids get too near the stove/flame to avoid getting burned. But this hard-headed momma gave the wooden ladle to Pia so she could stir the sausages. Isn't she adorbs? Oh well, if you were with us in the kitchen, you know that that was not the real scenario. She got a little cranky here and there, most probably because of the heat in the kitchen, but try asking her if she enjoyed it, you'll be surprised with her answer. Her favorite part? Dishwashing! Haha! Chef Anne also told us while she was giving us a demo on how to roll the chocolate dough balls into the powdered sugar that they also teach kids on how to CAYGO, as in Clean As You Go. So when Chef Anne told us to clean our stations, my little girl did her best to wipe it. Funnily, she soaked our hand towel in soap and slather it into the stainless table. She was very proud of it!

What I like about the class is that the kids were given equal opportunities with the usage of oven, stove, pots, pans and ingredients. CCA Manila's Young Chefs Boot Camp (YCBC) reinvents its recipes for this year's summer workshop primarily because CCA Program Director Chef Melissa Sison believes that the times have changed. "Children who are interested in cooking can search on the website on a favorite recipe or simply watch TV. So, we developed recipes that are more ‘in tune’ with the trends and are fun to cook with their friends. The recipes will allow the participants to use their creativity in developing the recipes further."

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) - learners get to master various flavors of Region, from the trendy Korean Pop to the sacred Thai Cuisine 
  • My Ultimate Comfort Foods (7-16 years old) - 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 program (6-9 years old)

I posted on my personal Facebook account that I realized that cooking may not be for my daughter after attending the exclusive class. However, while I was putting watermark in the photos, I saw her curious, busy and seriously-cooking face that I didn't see on that day. Perhaps, I was too preoccupied to make her want it and that I felt like Nigella Lawson in my black maxi skirt that I didn't get to enjoy it with her. 'Di bale, I still have lots of years to make bawi and really let her go to my kitchen! ♡


For inquiries on the Young Chefs Boot Camp and other diploma or short courses, call CCA, Manila at 426-4840 or e-mail: talktoccamanila@gmail.com. Visit their website at ccamanila.com. CCA, Manila campus is located at 287 Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Application is ongoing.


  1. Awww, thanks for the mention, Denise, and for making my daughters your peg for Pia. Haha! :) It was nice sharing a station with you! See you in another event soon. :)

  2. I love CCA's big kitchen! It's great that they teach kids how to clean up too. Cleaning up the kitchen and washing the dishes after cooking is always the hardest part for me : )