Enderun’s Culinary Arts Bootcamp Ignited My Passion for Cooking

Cooking is a passion for me. I’m a software engineer by profession, but I love to cook. I usually watch Master Chef US, find recipes on the Internet and read cooking magazines and then cook them and let my family try them. So far, they’re still fans of my cooking.

When I heard that there would be a Culinary Arts Bootcamp at Enderun, I immediately signed up. The bootcamp is a French cooking class through the Ducasse Signature Series. The amazing thing about the class is that the recipes featured consist of techniques and creations from a chef that earned Michelin stars.

We cooked Cote De Porc with black olive chorizo stuffing, with Chef Martin Punzalan as our instructor. Yeah, I did not understand it at first until I got there, but it’s basically a pork chop stuffed with chorizo and with vegetables on the side.


Chef Martin’s Cote De Porc, Black Olive Chorizo Stuffing

Our class was divided into 3 phases. First, we made the sauce. Second, we prepped the vegetables and cooked them. Lastly, we stuffed the pork chop with chorizo, seared the chop and finished it off in the oven.

For the sauce, we browned some pieces of pork and tossed in garlic and sage as the aromatics before adding some butter. Then, we added some chicken stock to the pork, so that the flavor of the meat would be infused in the liquid. We waited for the stock to reduce before adding in some more.


Chef Martin explaining the components of the sauce

I learned that day that sauce is a very big deal in French cooking, and that sometimes, sauce is even more expensive than the dish it came with. That’s why we cooked the sauce first: because it takes time for the flavor to develop.


We then proceeded with prepping the vegetables. I learned the concept of trimming vegetables – a process of removing the edges of vegetables after cutting. This not only adds aesthetics to the veggies, but makes the cooking even for each part. We tossed them in a pot, positioned the pieces inside the pot, added some butter, and waited for them to get tender.

We got back to the sauce once again. When the stock reduced, we separated the meat from the liquid. We then continued to simmer the liquid to further reduce it and reach a thicker consistency for our sauce.


Chef Martin carving a hole for the chorizo

Lastly, we prepped the protein. We carved a hole on the pork chop, so that we could stuff the chorizo in. Next, we seared the meat to color the meat, sealed in the juices and rendered some fat. We then popped it the oven to finish it off, occasionally turning it for an even cook and basting it to keep the moisture locked in.


Popped the chop in the oven


Another look at Chef Martin’s creation

Of course, before we ended the class, we had to taste the dish Chef Martin completed. It was so good! The pork was tender and moist and the chorizo’s juices flowed out from the chop. The sauce added a very deep rich flavor to the chop.


The class sharing chef’s dish

It was a very fun day to learn a very complex and hearty meal. Learning from a great chef boosted my confidence and elevated my passion for cooking.


Here’s mine! Not bad for a first try. 🙂


Session 2 – Cote De Porc, Black Olive Chorizo Stuffing