To deliver cutting-edge academic training to aspiring chefs and food business entrepreneurs, the country’s pioneer and top culinary school, the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA, Manila), in partnership with prestigious institution Institut Culinaire Disciples Escoffier of Hong Kong (ICDE), recently achieved this mission with the successful first run of the CCA-ICDE flagship French cuisine program in the Philippines.
An internationally accredited program, CCA-ICDE recently welcomed its pioneer Escoffier batch who earned two internationally recognized certifications — the Escoffier Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts from ICDE, the National Diploma in French Cuisine from the French Ministry of Education — and a diploma in French cuisine from CCA, Manila. The nine Filipino graduates are now members of the Escoffier alumni network, which has over 25,000 members in 26 countries.
Apart from an intensive curriculum, international credentials and global industry connections, CCA-ICDE credited this recent milestone to its dedicated and highly eligible French masterchef-instructors. To build on the flagship program’s success in the Philippines, ICDE has brought in Chef David Contant.
Students who wish to embark on global culinary careers or want to learn classical French cooking techniques, culinary heritage, and various kitchen disciplines to enhance their skills will gain both and more mentorship advantages under Chef David, who is a Master Chef at ICDE and a member of Disciples Escoffier International. With over 30 years of experience in the fine dining industry, his various roles took him from Michelin-star restaurants in France to luxury palace hotels around the world.
Chef David began his apprenticeship at le Rempart, a Michelin- starred restaurant in Tournus, France. He later went on to work at the Hotel de l’Abbaye de Talloires, a fine dining Relais Châteaux restaurant ranked 16/20 by Gault & Millau. Other culinary experiences included working at the Château de la Jonchère in Bougival, the domain formerly offered by Napoleon Bonaparte to his wife, Empress Josephine de Beauharnais.
He left France to join Chef Jean-Paul Bondoux at La Bouguogne, a Relais & Châteaux in Punta del Este (Uruguay), ranked among San Pellegrino’s Latin America’s Best 50 restaurants. He later moved to Germany, where he opened the Alter Oper restaurant with Chef Alois Kopf (2* Michelin), and later became senior sous-chef at the Sheraton in Frankfurt, voted Germany’s Best 5* Hotel at the time.
Chef David then became Head Chef at la Brasserie and le Relais (ranked 16/20 by Gault & Millau), supervising a staff of 55 at Badrutt’s 5* Palace Hotel in St Moritz, Swtizerland.
More recent roles took him from being an executive chef in luxury hotels to consultancy roles for F&B groups such as Metro and Maison Rougié. Yet one of David’s most memorable experiences was working as a Chef at George Blanc’s legendary 3* Michelin restaurant in Vonnas, France, and later being instrumental in launching an international concept by George Blanc.
Chef David holds a French CAP Diploma in Culinary Arts, and was a finalist in the “Best Apprentice of France” competition while completing his studies. He also holds a Professional Bachelor in Hospitality, as well as HACCP and ISO certificates in hygiene, quality, vacuum cooking and management systems.
With Chef David’s credibility and demonstrated success in the field, upcoming students of the CCA-ICDE program can look forward to learning from him the strong foundational insights needed to become knowledgeable, ethical, and professional Escoffier apprentices.
ICDE is the professional culinary school of Disciples Escoffier International, a non-profit organization that is guided by the standards established by legendary Chef Auguste Escoffier who revolutionized the fine dining industry and pioneered commercial kitchen systems worldwide.
Enrollment for the second batch of the Escoffier French Cuisine course is ongoing. For more information, call 218-8566 or 0917-5059370 or email: talktoccamanila@gmail.
com, or visit: www.cca-manila.edu.ph. CCA Makati is located on H.V. Dela Costa Street, Makati City.
** Stay tuned for my THE CHEF’S TABLE by Master Chef David Contant — An intimate sit-down dinner **
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*Disclaimer: Photos and Info from CCA-ICDE. This is NOT a paid review.*
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