Junior MasterChef: Pinoy Edition's Ferns Aracama reveals that there are lots of job opportunities nowadays to those with culinary skills.
Chef Ferns Aracama confessed that serving as one of the judges for Junior MasterChef: Pinoy Edition is a nostalgic experience for him. Seeing how the kiddie contestants showcase their amazing cooking skills, Ferns couldn’t help but look back on his childhood when he dreamt of becoming a chef someday. “The whole idea that something liquid becomes solid, and it becomes the most delicious thing that you can eat. That was the first time I was in awe when it comes to cooking. And back then, we did not have pancakes for breakfast. We usually have it for merienda.”
Chef Ferns grew up in Bacolod and he shared that watching both his parents cook various dishes in the kitchen inspired him to work on his dream. In 1990, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration at the University of the Philippines. He went on to study culinary arts at the prestigious New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, USA. Currently, he serves as Executive Chef and Owner of several Manila-based establishments and acts as a member of Les Toques Blanches Philippines National Culinary Team. The team topped the 2007 HKICC Gourmet Team Challenge in Hong Kong, winning the Gold Medal and The Best of the Best awards. They also participated and won medals in 13 categories at the 2008 Food and Hotel Asia competitions in Singapore. They joined again at the 2009 HKICC Gourmet Team Challenge in Hong Kong and won Silver Awards just last May 2009.
With tons of cooking shows and competitions on TV nowadays, many are getting inspired to also take up culinary arts. Chef Ferns called the young people of today luckier because of the numerous schools across the country offering culinary courses. “Ten or fifteen years ago halos walang culinary school, pero ngayon sobrang dami na. ‘Yung mga chefs na nakapag-aral at maraming experiences abroad, marami sa kanila ang umuwi na at nagtayo na ng kani-kaniyang restaurants at nagtuturo rin sila. They have set the pace. I’m seeing na in a couple of years the course will rival nursing as the most popular to the young people rito sa Pilipinas.”
He pointed out how being a chef and having culinary skills nowadays can be a very lucrative business. “There are schools [where] after you finish the course, you are allowed to work on cruise ships. Many jobs now are looking for chefs and those with skills in food and beverage. Sila ang kinukuha mostly for many jobs abroad.”