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Ilocos Norte uni to launch 2-year culinary arts program inclusive of overseas internship

LAOAG CITY – Addressing the need to equip more Ilocanos with skills that are in demand globally, the Northwestern University (NWU) in Laoag City will officially launch its Culinary Arts Program (CAP) this Monday, September 3, 2018.

Despite the upcoming start of term, the University is still accepting applicants or enrollees into the program.

The CAP involves two years of study, including academic subjects, laboratory activities, instruction from local and international culinary experts, and a one-year internship abroad.

Ilocano Chef Marco Dela Cruz, from the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA) Manila, heads the CA department. He was grand champion of the first Ilocano Cuisine Cook-Off hosted by the Provincial Government in January 2011.

Other instructors will be coming from the CCA, the Center for Asian Culinary Studies (CACS), and the Global Academy, as well as nationality-specific chefs when students begin studying different cuisines.

“Of course, Japanese cuisine should be taught by a Japanese chef,” said Dela Cruz. The program will cover Southeast Asian cuisine, including Singaporean-Malay-Indonesian and Thai-Vietnamese dishes; East Asian cuisine with Japanese and Korean food; and American, French, Italian, and Mediterranean cuisine.

He added, “Aside from cooking, we have business subjects: marketing, human resource management, financial management, accounting, and business communication. That’s what overseas employers want to be incorporated in a culinary program: hindi lang cooking – they want them to be professionals.”

The CAP was an initiative of the NWU administration after seeing the demand for culinary professionals abroad, particularly in the United States (US) and Australia. “It’s not enough that you have a certification from TESDA [Technical Education and Skills Development Authority] – they want you to have a culinary degree,” explained Dela Cruz.

Students will undergo training in a professional kitchen in the University’s newly-constructed Culinary Arts Building alongside the International House, with event simulations such as restaurant wars, banquets, and degustation.

Dela Cruz also emphasized, “We have a money-back tuition fee guarantee for students who would not be able to get a US visa, but with certain provisions… We really want them to go abroad, para mahasa talaga.”

Acting Marketing Officer Mr. Ancher Anthony Cua IV thus encourages Ilocanos interested in pursuing a quality culinary degree to inquire and enroll in the program, saying it is open even to senior high school (SHS) graduates.

“As long as they are within the age bracket of 18 to 35 years old, pwedeng-pwede silang mag-apply for the program,” he said.

By the end of the CAP, graduates will have a diploma in culinary arts; an international internship certificate; TESDA certificates in Baking and Pastry, Cookery and Commercial Cooking; and a ServSafe certificate from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) in the US.

Dela Cruz also shared that the NWU is offering complete scholarship grants to the program. Inquiries should be forwarded to the Marketing Office at [email protected] or Contact No. 0966-322-0733. (PGIN-CMO)