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Enderun Colleges recently conducted a webinar entitled, “Career & Business Opportunities in Pursuing Culinary Arts” that aims to instill awareness and inspire both parents and students to be involved in careers related to culinary arts. The event featured respected industry leader Joey Garcia, President of Eight-8-Ate Holdings Inc. - Conti’s Specialty Foods Inc., Wenphil Corporation (Wendy’s), and Masuma Food Industry, and a group of Enderun alumni namely Jeston Chua, Chef de Cuisine of Common Abode, Matthew Lim, CEO of Baked by Machew, and Managing Partner of Burnt Bamboo and CargoFish, and Danielle Millanes, CEO and Owner of Cafe Gorda, and Fetes and Folk.

As presented by Joey Garcia, the total foodservice sales in 2019 amounted to 3.3 trillion US dollars with Asia & Australia obtaining the highest revenue per region with 1,515 billion US dollars. He explained that the restaurant industry alone had an annual sales growth of 5.5% and it represents 418 billion US dollars in revenue from the Top 150 Global Chain Sales report.

He also discussed the global trends in the culinary industry where business owners could find opportunities to grow.  Garcia said that there is a huge growth in the plant-forward eating patterns as consumers tend to become more health-conscious. People are trying to look for alternative protein and the best option for their food as well.

A rise in coffee mixology concepts such as Starbucks and inventive ice cream approaches like Conti’s Mango Bravo have been observed where these particular innovations are created beyond artisanal preparations. “All-day breakfast will be something that every consumer will expect from any restaurant,” said Garcia.

Global consumers have positively transformed and have now become more digital, health-driven, eco-friendly, and price sensitive. Their purchasing behavior has evolved in becoming more attentive with organizations that provide sustainable efforts which will eventually benefit both the community and the environment.

Furthermore, he explained that in the last 18 months, there has been a surge in delivery efforts, and such a trend will continue. Garcia also pointed out the importance of continuously creating healthy partnerships with aggregators such as Grab and Foodpanda to keep the business running.

Garcia, with over 30 years of professional experience in the F&B sector, advised aspiring students, “Expand your horizons in many ways. Not only will it help you become a professional chef, but it will also give you a deeper appreciation for food as culture, food as art, your health, and more—all of which you can pass on to your customers through your culinary efforts.”

Driving factor to pursue the culinary profession

Jeston Chua shared that his family hugely contributed to his decision to pursue a career in the culinary industry. “Being in a Filipino-Chinese [family], it wasn’t the easiest choice to make. My biggest influence was my brother and my cousin. My cousin would always take me out and have me try certain restaurants and I enjoyed eating. My brother on the other hand would come home and would want to make [something] and I was quite fascinated by it and gave it a shot myself.”

Chua worked at Belon in Hong Kong with Daniel Calvert from mid-2016 to the beginning of 2019 and took up the role of Junior Sous Chef. During the time he was there, the restaurant was recognized as one of the 50 best restaurants in Asia for the first time and earned its first Michelin star. In 2019, he moved to Tokyo, Japan for a year to gain more international experience in both INUA and Signature at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo.

Choosing the right internship opportunity

Matthew Lim has worked with renowned chefs in Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee, a three-Michelin star restaurant in Paris. According to Lim, “If you work for international internships, it will land you a more suitable job. It’s a steppingstone for you to get the right career or choice in the future.” After graduating, he has worked his way up to become an Executive Sous Chef of a start-up restaurant for 4 years. Then he started his business in 2017 and is now managing two brands with branches in the cities of Taguig and Pasig while opening more branches in the coming years.

Chua adds that research is key in choosing the right internship. “When I chose to go to Pierre [in Hong Kong] I was able to do more, and it threw me into the fire. Don’t go for the name of the establishment, do your research and see what you think you can get from it.”

Significant educational imprint that remains valuable today

Danielle Millanes vividly recalls nothing but good memories in her college years. She strongly holds treasured relationships with her instructors that she still carries up to this day. She shared, “When I entered Enderun in college, everyone was so welcoming, and the students had really good relationships with teachers and staff. The population of the school is so diverse, the community is close-knit, and one of my most favorite things about it is that it's not your typical college campus. I still text [my teachers up to this day and these kinds of relationships] you bring after graduation when you start your real life.”

She had her internship in New York, USA at ABC Kitchen by Jean Georges Vongerichten and came home in 2019, to work for their family business in the restaurant, events, and catering industry. During the pandemic, she started home baking and started Cafe Gorda and Le Fou, a mobile bar for banquets. In the 2nd year into the pandemic, she has also started a gifting studio called Fêtes & Folk.

The event was moderated by Jose Gaerlan, Senior Manager of Enderun Extension and Chef Instructor at École Ducasse Manila at Enderun Colleges.

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