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Japanese cuisine

Newbie chefs complete Japanese culinary training

Japanese cuisine
Japanese cuisine

MANILA, Philippines – Tempura, sukiyaki, soba and katsudon are no longer as alien as they were to the 28 Filipinos who recently finished Japanese culinary training.

“Now, they can whip up the dish and serve them to their families, or use the new learning to earn a livelihood or work in Japanese restaurants,” Secretary Joel Villanueva, Director General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), said.

TESDA, in partnership with the ABC Cooking Studio of Japan, sponsored the free training on the traditional Japanese cuisine or “Washoku.” The training will have 11 batches and will last until August this year.

Last July 7, the 28 individuals who completed the training were recognized at a graduation ceremony. They comprise the first three batches of the trainees.
Of the 28, seven were local household workers; six were returning overseas Filipino workers; nine were eatery owners; and six were graduates of TESDA.

“We have budding chefs in our midst, and we hope the training will help them find a successful career in cooking,” Villanueva said.

The training focused on Japanese cuisine “Washoku” which has been famous for its healthy eating style and its rising prominence around the world. The students were introduced to “Washoku” through an assortment of delicious dishes created by utilizing flavorful food and incorporating skillful techniques.

Among the dishes introduced to the trainees were tempura and soba, katsudon, onigiri, tamagoyaki, nikujyaga, gyoza, ramen, takoyaki, gyudon, sukiyaki and bread and pastries.

Known for its simplicity of presentation and healthy image, “Washoku” was named last year as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The cuisine is traditionally a meal of soup and three dishes — mainly vegetables and fish — with a bowl of rice.

Founded in 1985, ABC Cooking Studio is the most popular in Japan with 127 studios in Japan and six studios in China. It offers lessons in Japanese and in English.

Attending the graduation ceremony were former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, TESDA’s Adviser, Gender and Development Focal Point System; Chef Pablo “Boy” Logro of GMA Network’s Kusina Master Chef and one of TESDA’s career ambassadors; Mr. Yokoi, founder of ABC Cooking Studio Intl. Limited; Hiroyuki Enoki, First Secretary and Labor Attache of the Embassy of Japan to the Philippines; Ms. Wakako Sakurai, President and CEO of ABC Cooking Studio Intl. Limited; Director Marta Hernandez of TESDA’s Public Information Office; and Maria Clara Ignacio, Center Chief of the TESDA Women’s Center.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.