Monday, November 9, 2009

Experiencing Dégustation at the Academy for Inernational Culinary Arts (A.I.C.A.)

Almost two weeks ago, my wife and I finally experienced Degustation courtesy of The Academy for International Culinary Arts (A.I.C.A.) and their 22nd and 23rd batch of graduates. Degustation is a culinary term meaning "a careful, appreciative tasting of various foods" and focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art and good company (according to Wikipedia). Dégustation is more likely to involve sampling small portions of all of a chef's signature dishes in one sitting. Usually consisting of eight or more courses, it may be accompanied by a matching wine degustation which complements each dish.

The Academy for International Culinary Arts Logo

Part of the program of The Academy for International Culinary Arts or A.I.C.A. for their culinary course for a Diploma in International Culinary Arts and Professional Kitchen Management is what they call the hell week. In this final part of their 9-month program, graduating students take part in real restaurant setting for one whole week and the degustation is the climax of this week. This course includes local and international on-the-job training.

The dégustation experience was new to me and tasting the different samplings of the eight courses served made me discover some new tastes that I have not tried before. I felt like I was Remy's cousin in the movie Ratatouille having his taste buds awakened. The graduating student of A.I.C.A. or the Academy for International Culinary Arts did an excellent job in exercising my taste buds that if I wasn't told that they were just students, they would have passed as professional chefs for me.

Having our photo taken with Ms. Nora Daza at The Academy for International Culinary Arts

I also enjoyed learning a bit of science behind culinary arts as things were explained by Chef Jerome. We had the opportunity of getting our photo taken with the big name in Filipino culinary arts, the great Nora Daza. This experience of dégustation at the Academy for Inernational Culinary Arts was truly any eye opener that I am looking forward to doing it again.