Tessa Quiloña, a 25-year-old baker, was building her cafe in Batangas when she enrolled in the Fundamentals in Baking & Pastry Arts Course at CCA Manila.
She shared, “I came from a family of doctors. So, I was supposed to take the same path. But a few months ago, I decided to study baking. It was in CCA Manila I realized I still had so much to learn.”
She started baking when she was only twelve. Fun fact, she was part of Young Chefs Bootcamp in 2011 or 2012. She admitted, “I’m happier in the baking world.” Her first venture into entrepreneurship was selling Basque Burnt Cheesecake during her college days.
It has always been her dream to own a cafe, which is why she took the opportunity with the support of her family, “it was a risky decision. Because initially, we only opened up a small stall for takeout, and then I thought I wanted to put up a place where people can dine in.”
She said, “my main goal before I started a cafe was to create a comfortable place where you can have a variety of choices and where you can serve people. That makes our customers return to the cafe.”
She proudly stated, “everything is handcrafted and produced in the shop. We have our own bakery at the shop.” Some of her favorites are Bombolonis, Mascarpone Tiramisu, and Eclairs.
Korean pastries also inspire her.
When asked about her school experience, she said, “I felt no pressure in learning. The chefs were very gentle in teaching. There’s also a wide age gap among the students when you join. But, I didn’t feel the gap between my classmates. We all had fun. It was really a healthy environment for learning.”
When asked what her favorite part was, “what I loved most was the healthy environment where you learned. There are some schools where you get scared of learning. But when I was in CCA, I was excited to go to school every day. We were given a list of what we must learn in a week, and every day, I was really excited to learn them.”
She added, “I’ve tweaked some of our recipes from CCA Manila because they’re very good. I honestly loved all of the recipes.”
Tessa is proof that no matter what age you are, you can always take steps toward fulfilling your culinary dream. Most important is having a supportive network that helps you get there.
What’s her advice for those that have a similar dream? She said, “you have to trust yourself. If you want to try something out of your comfort zone, it would be better if you try it and have no regrets in the future.”