My Not-So-Junior MasterChef Moment

Moderne Culinaire Academy
“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” -- James Beard

My father was the kind of person who can whip up a perfectly respectable meal from the top of his head, no recipes required. I guess some people are just born that way: they know, instinctively, which pinch of this and which dash of what go well together.

Sadly, the cooking genes did not pass on to me. I’ve always wanted to make good food–the kind that my future bibis will wake up to in the mornings and make them think of home when they’re all grown up and have families of their own. I want to discover secret ingredients and subtle touches that make a dish stand out, and pass it on like treasured heirlooms. But having neither time nor the knowledge, I have to content myself with just looking around the Internet and bookmarking recipe after recipe, and kept telling myself that “these will come in handy, someday.”

Moderne Culinaire Academy
A different twist on cocktails

So you will understand why, when the opportunity to attend Moderne Culinaire Academy’s (MCA) opening presented itself, I grabbed the chance. I thought if I wanted to learn cooking good food from professionals, I might as well try and get my feet wet: learn which courses I can take, meet a chef or two. (Also, food!)

I was not disappointed. MCA’s building is in a strange-sounding village that sounded so far away but was actually pretty accessible (ride the MRT to Magallanes station, ride a jeepney going to FTI, and go down the village’s front gates. The school is a 5-minute walk from there). Everything looked new and the two kitchens we went to felt like something out of the Junior Masterchef’s set. I’ve never been in a real restaurant’s kitchen, but I think their Saffron kitchen in particular comes pretty close. They even have locker rooms where the students can leave their plainclothes (they have to wear a chef’s uniform when in class I guess).

We met with this amazing guy (Chef Billy Anislag) who can carve a whole freakin’ dragon out of pumpkins. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof:

Moderne Culinaire Academy
Fire and Blood (I just had to)

I don’t know how to eat such pretty food but I suppose these would look good on a table. I wonder what people do to these when the party’s over?

Moderne Culinaire Academy
Nobody dare move my cheese

Then came my favorite part: cheesecakes!!! Learned quite a few useful tips from Chef Kevin Mize on how to make the perfect cheesecake: how to avoid cracks on top, how to slice the cake perfectly. It sounds strange but the beer cheesecake he gave us tasted really good, and believe it or not, it’s not the strangest flavor of cheesecake he said he’s baked. I wanted to take a class right then and there. Imagine: cheesecakes on my birthday! Cheesecake for Christmas! Cheesecake for every freaking occasion in my life! If you can’t already tell, cheesecake is the only cake I really crave for–it’s one of the few sweet things I can eat without ever getting tired of.

UPDATE: You can try Chef Kevin’s cheesecakes at Midnight Mercato in BGC behind S&R on Friday and Saturday nights from 10:00pm to 3:00am. They always serve Dark Beer, New York Traditional, and the Chocolate Peanut Butter cheesecakes there. Chef Kevin says: “I always make one flavor of the week to add to them. Past flavors have been Hoisin Sauce, Avocado Lemon, Ginger Wasabi, and Chocolate Sili Labuyo. I am in the process of finding a good date for our next cheesecake class at MCA. I will post it on our facebook page as soon as I have a firm date.” Goody! I will attend the next class :D See you soon Chef Kevin!

Moderne Culinaire Academy
Chili Cheesecakes, anyone?
Moderne Culinaire Academy
Beer cheesecake is pulutan for the masses haha

We also got to taste some of the food made by the Moderne Culinaire staff. I didn’t get a chance to taste everything (the food was gone so fast!) but out of those I ate, I liked the Seasalt Trufle best. It’s just the perfect combination of bittersweet and salty.

Moderne Culinaire Academy
Seasalt Trufle - must try to make this sometime
Moderne Culinaire Academy
Banof ee Tartlets

MCA also offers some short courses on Spanish Cuisines, Introduction to Food Styling, etc. A full list of events and courses can be found on their website: Moderne Culinaire Academy

I think I’ll try a class or two…K will be eating some Thai food soon. :)


31 thoughts on “My Not-So-Junior MasterChef Moment

  1. I can cook, but I don’t experiment that much… I still rely on recipes. Beer Cheesecake and Chili Cheesecake? Wow, that is something I would really try if given the chance!

  2. Just like you, I bookmarked all the recipes I find interesting but It’s rare that I would perfect a certain dish. Darn! I’m so eager to learn to cook good food since I have 2 mouths to feed…well, plus me! I guess I should try culinary school? btw your photos are mouth wateringgggg…drools. And you said they’re all good, any recipes for those? hehehe! esp the seasalt truffle.
    Kaye T. recently posted..Revlon PhotoReady Liquid Foundation | Golden BeigeMy Profile

    1. They didn’t give us the recipe pero I found a couple of blogs who shared recipes of it..it doesn’t look the same though :D Try culinary school! Dream ko din yan eh

    1. Madami silang short courses na mura lang, mga 2k-2,5 each class. I won a GC for a Thai cooking class and I’m planning to take the Cheesecake making class din :)

      1. We are at Midnight Mercato in BGC behind S&R on Friday and Saturday nights from 10:00pm to 3:00am. We always have the Dark Beer, New York Traditional, and the Chocolate Peanut Butter available. I always make one flavor of the week to add to them. Past flavors have been Hoisin Sauce, Avocado Lemon, Ginger Wasabi, and Chocolate Sili Labuyo. I am in the process of finding a good date for our next cheesecake class at MCA. I will post it on our facebook page as soon as I have a firm date.

  3. The seasalt truffle looks good. In my family, our bunso, my younger brother, is the chef. How ironic that the only girl in the family cannot cook unless you count frying up bacon. I do, however, bake pretty well. I should attend a workshop like this to work on my non-existent cooking skills. :D

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge