“I have a policy when it comes to my demos. Ang hindi gagalaw, hindi kakain [those who don’t participate will not eat].”
Given that lighthearted warning by Chef Jackie Ang-Po, you can imagine how active the media group was that joined the recent launch of Gourdo’s latest series of culinary workshops. After all, we all love to eat, right? Especially when you’re talking about crêpes whipped up by one of the leading pastry chefs in the country.
As it was, Chef Jackie, the charming proprietor of Fleur de Lys Patisserie and one of the hosts of TV’s Del Monte Kitchenomics, did not lack for volunteers as she shared her favorite sweet and savoury crêpe recipes, including a sweet crêpe, a ham-and-cheese crêpe made of buckwheat flour, and a samurai crêpe filled with mangoes and cream. Chef Jackie is one of three experts tapped by Gourdo’s to hold a series of workshops in the store’s SM Megamall branch, as well as the Living Well Workshop at The Podium. The other two are Chef Penk Ching and Chef Buddy Trinidad. The workshops are geared toward enthusiasts who are interested in cooking and baking but are not necessarily experts at it.
“Despite the big-name instructors, the modules were developed for first-timers, so experience is not a requirement for signing up,” says Susan San Miguel, Gourdo’s assistant general manager for merchandising. Gourdo’s has always been a gathering place for those with culinary interests, whether they are homemakers, professional chefs, restaurant owners or simply food lovers, and workshops like these foster the free exchange of knowledge and opinion between experts and beginners.
The front act
“This [series of] classes is for those who are not in the industry but who love cooking, baking, decorating, etc. It’s all fun and easy,” Chef Jackie says.
She discloses that crêpe-making is one of her go-tos whenever she wants to take a break during the holidays. “I do this during Christmas and New Year. I just lay out the ingredients and let them [her family] create the crêpes themselves.” Chef Jackie’s Sweet and Savoury Crêpes class is only one of five workshops she will be conducting for Gourdo’s and Living Well.
Calling herself the front act among the three experts tapped to hold the workshops, she opens her series with a class on Bars and Brownies today, May 27, at the Living Well Workshop at The Podium. The class will be conducted from 1 to 6 pm.
She will also hold classes at the same venue on Pies and Tarts (June 3); Cheesecakes (July 1); Sweet and Savoury Crêpes (July 22); and Cookies (August 12). All classes cost P4,500 (except for Bars and Brownies and Cookies, which cost P3,500) inclusive of certificate of completion and recipe cards. Equipment, supplies and ingredients (including the Ballarini pots and pans to be used for the class) will be provided by Gourdo’s.
Cakes as works of art
Those interested in creating edible works of art may enlist in Chef Penk Ching’s classes, where participants will be treated to the chef-artist in action.
Chef Penk, whose name has become synonymous with awesome cakes, like the inaugural cake of President Noynoy Aquino shaped in the likeness of Malacañang, will also offer up tips (like using vodka instead of water to dilute the Wilton gels and icing powders when painting fondant cakes) for participants. “Vodka helps the fondant retain the color of the paint. If you use water, you’ll notice that after a while, it has faded,” says Chef Penk, who has her own line of dusting powders that participants can try out during the class.
Check Penk’s series begins with Hand Painted Cakes on July 8 at Gourdo’s Workshop in SM Megamall. The hands-on cake-decorating workshop features on-trend techniques on how to paint on a layered fondant cake.
The class costs P4,000, inclusive of certificate of completion, dummy cake, brush set and mixing palette, as well as other supplies and ingedients.
She will also conduct a class on Edible Paper Flowers (July 15 at Gourdo’s). The hands-on workshop will feature different techniques of cake decorating using flowers made of wafers. Cost of the class is P3,500, inclusive of certificate of completion and all the supplies and ingredients.
The rock star as chocolatier
Unlike Chef Jackie, who mixes easy banter with cooking instructions, Chef Buddy Trinidad conducts his workshops with a lot of swagger.
Fitting enough for the former lead guitarist of a punk rock band. But it’s obvious that he knows his stuff, and punk rock’s loss is totally the culinary world’s gain. Those who join his class will only benefit from his expertise.
After college at the University of the Philippines, and upon the suggestion of his mother, he took up Professional Baking at the Los Angeles Trade Technology, later honing his chocolate and patisserie skills at the Valhrona’s L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat, and the Callebaut Chocolate Academy. He is currently president of the Pastry Alliance of the Philippines.
His classes are witty, humorous (“I learned how to make people fat”) and full of practical tips (from what mold to use to what technique is most efficient for tempering chocolate). At the very least, you’ll learn the difference between pralines and truffles.
Chef Buddy begins his series with a class on French Macarons on June 10 at Gourdo’s Megamall. The hands-on baking workshop will teach participants how to create the batter for macarons, to piping and assembling and preparing four kinds of fillings. Cost of the class is P3,500, inclusive of certificate of completion, recipe cards and all the supplies and equipment, including Chef Buddy’s signature mold: his Imported Dark Chocolate Callets.
He completes his series with a Chocolate Praline Workshop on June 24 at Gourdo’s.
Participants will be given step-by-step how-to’s on molding chocolate, from tempering to preparing four kinds of filling. The course costs P3,500, inclusive of certificate of completion, recipe cards and all supplies and ingredients.
Those interested in joining the workshops can call Gourdo’s 24-hour hot line 812-3022 or e-mail email@example.com.