Meet Reymar Casareo, a new student who is already a graduate of BS psychology. He was taking pre-med when he decided to pursue his love for food and cooking. Follow him at @reymarcooks.
What was your Amazing Race experience like at CCA?
It was really fun. It was a bit confusing at first. The funny thing is it’s a small building compared to big universities. I thought it would be a breeze cause I could get around. But, for some reason, we got lost. There were a lot of corners. And my group did not have the best sense of direction. It looks small from outside. But the moment you get in, it’s a lot bigger than it looks. That was a big surprise. It’s like a Harry Potter magic biggity bop. It’s actually a pretty big school and quite nice.
The activity allowed you to meet the CCA community and your fellow students. Who did you enjoy meeting and why?
I loved meeting the staff around the whole school. They were really nice and accommodating. First of all, you got Miss May, Sir Reymark and Sir Rheine. They had a lot of energy and were so happy. Same thing with all the support staff. It was also great to talk to the security guards even if they were not part of the Amazing Race. As I was passing them, they were nice when you greeted them. Of course, meeting some of the chefs on the way. At first, I was nervous because they were chefs. I didn’t want to mess up on the first day of meeting them. But they were actually chill and nice. But now I know, they are a strict. They are stern but lovable. There’s a great balance between discipline and having fun. And, they are just really great mentors and teachers that I love learning from.
What are the interesting lessons you’ve learned being in a culinary school?
When I enrolled, you primed me that there would be mostly lectures on my first level. But I didn’t think that there would be so many lectures. It was a bit tough because of the one week suspension due to the Taal eruption. It was tough to digest the information in the short time period. Thanks to the chefs. They were really understanding and great at lecturing. They helped us to digest the lectures a bit faster. The lectures were really useful and I know how it can be helpful in my, hopefully, future career as a chef.
Do you have a teacher that striked you?
I like all the chefs. I really appreciate all the lessons. The more you study the more you realize how important every single aspect is. It’s hard to pick a favorite. For example, Chef Jasper, he is really fun. When he gives his lectures, he is able to connect with the students in a way that he can be casual but respectable. His experiences are incorporated in the lectures with the way he talks about real life in the kitchen. Chef Kerwin – he is strict and stern. But, he is very kind. When the time comes when we have exams, he is very strict, of course, in the proper sense. He has to be. Because if we mess up in the real life kitchen, hindi lang kami ang madadamay. Ang customers ang madadamay. I understand his strictness when it comes to cooking.
I really love green chefmanship. It’s a great subject. It should be taught by more people. Sustainability is important. I know a lot of people that really don’t care about global warming. People are not worried because they always think its going to take years. In reality, I don’t see the point of why we wait. It will be too late. Prevention is better than cure. Green chefmanship is a beautiful subject that I love studying.
Lastly, chef Migz, the fact that he studied nursing is interesting. When he teaches food sanitation, it was useful when he shared his experience in the medical field from explaining bacteria to fungi. You know, I was pre-med. The reason I left it was because it wasn’t for me. I didn’t enjoy it. With Chef Migz, he made the topic digestible and understandable.
Level 1 students participate in First Day High: Amazing Race Edition. Here, they take a selfie with CCA Manila’s marketing manager, May Pacia.