When you happen to visit the South, you might come upon this cute little house on Sulu street, one of the more modest streets in Ayala Alabang village. Other than its yellow-painted walls and a patch of herb garden in front, it may seem like any of the other houses on the street, except that it’s not. It’s where you’ll find Chef Len Santos-Ding and her Feed 5000 Kitchen Studio.
Chef Len Santos-Ding is a freelance cooking instructor whose recipes had been featured in many popular cooking magazines. She offers workshops ranging from kids’ cooking workshops to long-term classes in contemporary cuisines.
What makes Feed 5000 different from many other culinary studios is that it only accommodates a maximum of eight (8) students per class. Chef Len puts a lot of emphasis in student participation and hands on learning.
Trying out one of Feed 5000’s cake basics
I was thrilled at the opportunity to join Feed 5000’s Baking Essentials: Basic Cakes class last March. Chef Len invited Sinful Sweets’ Chef Joy Biado-Roxas to teach four eager students, me included, on how to make simple cakes.
We made Rum Cakes with two different glazes, a Banana Loaf, and Pineapple Upside Down cake, which we all agreed reminded us so much of the 80s.
We also made a Blueberry Coffee cake and Chef Joy’s Sticky Toffee Pudding with Rum Toffee sauce.
We tasted each of the cakes and asked a lot of questions. Both Chef Len and Chef Joy encouraged that we feel the cakes with our fingers to know if they’re done or if they still need a few more minutes in the oven. It was a highly interactive and enjoyable session!
Knowing the basics of cake-making is necessary
Chef Len said that many hopeful patissiers make the mistake of signing up for cake decorating workshops when they should have started with basic cake-making instead. According to Chef Len, learning the basic foundations in cake-making is very important.
Not that cake decorating courses are bad. In fact, they offer those workshops in Feed 5000, too. It’s just that there’s so much to learn in the basic class that’s necessary for those who want to hone their cake-making skills and be really good at it.
For instance, even though the package says the flour is already sifted, you need to sift it again with the rest of the dry ingredients such as baking soda, baking powder, and salt. It’s a simple but crucial detail any baking aficionado must know.
I was once told that baking is an exact science and that stayed with me for years. Chef Joy assured us that while we can’t change the base ingredients of the cake itself, we can still be creative with the add-ons.
“It becomes second nature to you as you keep baking,” she says, as she gave us pointers on how to make glazes and helped us ease into the procedures and ingredients. She told us to relax and enjoy baking.
A miracle waiting to happen
The workshop lasted four, hours but it didn’t seem that long. Maybe it was because Chef Len and Joy made our morning incredibly fun and memorable.
And the cakes were really good. We all packed some to bring home with us after the workshop.
Feed 5000 is such a wonderful kitchen to be at. I especially love the calligraphy on the wall that says: There’s always a miracle waiting to happen.
I think that’s what makes me want to go back the most. That sense of a miracle waiting around the corner as you put on your apron.
Feed 5000 Kitchen Studio
Contact number: 0917-8428496
Address: #43 Sulu street, Ayala Alabang village, Muntinlupa, Alabang
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org