CCA Podium Market Cafe weekend classes are like QTV’s “Secrets of the Masters” – only they’re actual, real-time, and hands-on.
What can you do inside a mall on a weekend When it’s summer In Manila?
Well, you could bond with your loved ones. Shop, wine, and dine. Watch a movie or two. Window shop and escape the intense heat outside while you’re at it. Or, you could learn from the best culinary and pastry chefs around with the weekend courses offered at CCA Podium Market Cafe.
CCA Podium students for the afternoon: Mrs. Susan Locsin, Annalyn (AKA “The Girlfriend”), and Mr. Henry Locsin
My girlfriend and I spent one Sunday afternoon learning Nonya cuisine from renowned chef Ogie Reloj at CCA Podium Market Cafe. Nonya cuisine, fancy sounding as it is, is basically the Chinese-Malay dishes prepared in the hawker stations littered across the city-state of Singapore. For simplicity’s sake, Nonya in this article refers to Singaporean street food.
Street food? Pfft. Learning Nonya will be easy. Or maybe not.
Chef’s advice: You have to use the freshest ingredients…
And don’t be shy to turn up the heat!
For the first half of class, Chef Ogie demonstrated his version of a Pork Satay-Nasi Goreng combination. While BBQ-ing pork may be pretty straightforward, Chef Ogie‘s preparation for the sweet, tangy marinade and sauce of the Satay was done with expert precision. (In other words, I do not think I will EVER be able to replicate his sauce – EVER.)
Chef Ogie doing the thing he does best.
Stir-frying the Nasi Goreng and plating the dish with such flair, we didn’t want to touch the finished product even if Chef Ogie said it was okay for us to eat it already.
I can only mimic Chef Ogie’s level of concentration when I’m EATING food!
Pork Satay and Nasi Goreng, with sunny-side-up quail eggs (thrice the yumminess of your everyday sunny-side-up, and apparently thrice the cholesterol also!) in between them.
Chef Ogie also demonstrated his version of a Nonya staple in Pot Laksa. The noodle soup was superb – sweet and flavorful at first and then the spiciness catches on – but adding the fried prawns and squid balls made the dish even more sublime!
Most of the Laksa I tried in Singapore were really yummy but weren’t exactly eye candy. On the contrary, Chef Ogie’s Laksa tastes as good as it looks!
And then, it was time for the students’ hands-on at CCA Podium Market Cafe…
Watching Chef Ogie whip up the first three dishes with such attention to detail, the students were half-excited, half-panicky when it was their turn to prepare the dishes. Though they had the option to replicate the dishes Chef Ogie prepared earlier, everyone decided to work with the remaining dishes – maybe for fear of comparison, more than anything else.
Each of the afternoon’s students were assisted by CCA Podium students who are taking the two-year diploma course in the culinary school.
Henry chose to prepare Po Piah or Nonya Spring Rolls…
Susan wanted to try Ayam Pongteh or Chicken in Soybean Paste…
And Annalyn was assigned the Bosomboh or Nonya Salad.
With the help and guidance of Chef Ogie, everyone pulled through with their dishes. It’s remarkable that four hours of the usual Sunday afternoon we spend lounging about can be converted into an opportunity for learning, having fun, and getting full from all the dishes we ended up cooking!
When In Manila, whether you’re a newbie, a casual hobbyist, or someone who enjoys cooking up a feast, it’s high time to upgrade your skills with the best in the business at CCA Podium! “Like” CCA Podium Market Cafe on Facebook to learn of their latest class offerings, promos, and discounts.
Aside from being a Pastry & Catering School, the Market Cafe also serves gourmet dishes and pastries. The site also has three thematic function rooms that are still offered FREE of charge as long as you order their main entrees. With the Ortigas Business Center as its backdrop, CCA Podium is the perfect venue to hold a business meeting or a casual get-together with friends.
CCA Podium Market Cafe
Level 5, The Podium, Ortigas Business Center, Mandaluyong City
Tel No: (+63) 2 696 9083