Angelica Nulud and Paul Faraon are a young couple that started La Kalidad, a small-batch bakery serving artisanal brioche bread and pastries in San Francisco Bay Area. They were featured in San Francisco Chronicle, “It’s been a long time coming: The Bay Area’s Filipino baking scene is more exciting than ever.”
After graduating from the Diploma in Culinary Arts & Technology Management program, they moved to the US for the experience. They initially worked in hot kitchens and bakeries, but they started their own bakery business due to the pandemic. We spoke to them about their culinary journey so far:
1. How did you meet, and what brought you to the US?
2. What was your experience like at CCA Manila?
3. What was it like finding work after graduating?
4. How do you look after your mental strength?
5. What’s your advice for culinary students?
6. What made you start your business?
8. What is your favorite product so far?
How did you meet, and what brought you to the US?
A: It’s funny. We met in school. We were classmates back then. I actually moved here with my family right after graduating, but he followed me.
P: Yeah, I moved two months after she moved.
A: We were classmates turned friends, and then yeah, two lovers after.
What was your experience like at CCA Manila?
A: A lot of sacrifices. I had the best time when I was in CCA. It was my first time away from my family because I’m from Pampanga.
P: I’m from Bicol. I had a great time with my classmates. And actually, ako ang isa sa pinakamagulo sa class namin (I was the naughtiest in my class!). And they didn’t expect me to graduate. But I did.
What was it like finding work after graduating?
A: Unlike my classmates who went through training, I was looking for a job to start my career. After CCA, I was looking for line cook roles. So I went for several stages with Michelin-starred restaurants in the Bay Area.
I’ve always loved baking. So, I started staging at a bakery in San Francisco. That was when I realized I would do this [baking] for a living.
P: Right after graduation, I applied to fifteen places. Only two companies responded to sponsoring my visa. So I worked in a two-Michelin-star restaurant for a year. That was the most challenging experience I’ve done.
We’re grateful for our chef instructors (Chef Kerwin, Chef Mira, and Chef Annali) who prepared us to work in the kitchen.
How do you look after your mental strength?
A: It’s okay to have breakdowns. Kailangan mo yan maranasan (You have to experience that). But you have to fight through it.
P: Take a rest if you need to. It’s tiring to do 12 to 16 hours of work.
What’s your advice for culinary students?
P: Keep pushing every day. Learn something new.
A: Take your time and appreciate everything the school does to prepare them for the real kitchen. It’s not the most glamorous industry. And it’s not the easiest job. It takes a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. But don’t forget to enjoy it too.
What made you start your business?
A: Just like everyone else, we were pandemic born. We started baking. We got back from the Philippines a week before. At that time, everyone was into ube cheese pandesal.
We were fortunate that we were not laid off. But, we were not doing a lot of things. So we had all this time to ourselves. So we just joined the bandwagon and kept baking.
For some reason, we got into sourdoughs, country loaves, western bread, and ensaymada pandesals. My family members were my taste testers.
A: We were baking from our tiny kitchen at home. What started from nothing as our pastime then turned into the word of mouth of friends and family. So that’s how it started. And now we’ve been doing pop-ups.
What’s next for you?
A: Last year, we aimed to put our name out there. That’s why we did our best to do as many pop-ups as possible. I just quit my job to do this full-time.
P: We need to put Filipino food out there. This year, we plan to build a brick-and-mortar store.
What is your favorite product so far?
A: Champorado pie.
P: Turon brûlée pie.
Keep in touch with Angelica and Paul.
If you have a similar culinary dream, check out the Diploma in Culinary Arts & Technology Management or talk to us.
Strawberries and Cream Roll Cake
1 tsp Salt
78 Pastry Flour
500g Heavy Cream
1 tbsp Vanilla bean paste
1 cup Strawberries (chopped)
To make the genoise: start by preheating the oven to 350F. In a small pot, combine butter, milk, and salt. Heat until the butter is melted, and then set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together yolks and egg until light and fluffy (ribbon stage). Sift the flour over the whipped egg yolks and fold until combined. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until soft peak.Slowly add the sugar and continue mixing on medium speed until the meringue reaches stiff peak.
Fold meringue over the yolk mixture until 70% mixed, and then pour the hot milk-butter and continue folding until everything is combined with no lumps.
Pour over a lined sheet tray and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Combine heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until medium stiff peak.
Scoop the whipped cream on top of the cooled genoise, and using an offset spatula, spread the whipped cream evenly.
Sprinkle chopped strawberries over the whipped cream and gently roll the cake tightly. Trim the ends and garnish with more vanilla whipped cream and strawberries.