Ducasse Education's Chef Jerome on making it in the culinary world
Ruth Sindico (The Philippine Star) - March 5, 2013 - 11:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Excellence in practice.

That’s what Ducasse Education's Chef Jerome Lacressonnière would like those who are embarking on a career in the culinary world to remember.

It is a “mission statement”, so to speak, a principle, that the seasoned chef has learned from working under THE Chef Alain Ducasse, the multi-Michelin chef who has 21 Michelin stars under his name.

“I think it’s very important that you work hard in this industry to make all your dreams happen. You have to work hard and be very humble,” said Chef Jerome, who oversees the curriculum at Ducasse Institute Philippines, the first Ducasse Institute outside France. Ducasse Education is the academic partner of Enderun Colleges for its culinary program which is offered under its International Hospitality Management course.

Chef Jerome joined the Ducasse restaurant team in 1999 after his stint as personal chef for the French Consul General in Hong Kong. He served as sous-chef for the Essex House in New York until 2004 and later on became executive chef for Beige Alain Ducasse in Tokyo.

He returned to France in 2010 to become the consultant and instructor for Ducasse Education. At the recent Chefs on Parade at the SMX, Chef Jerome shared a recipe from his first book, Nature Babies, which feature baby food recipes.

Chef Jerome said that being in the culinary world gives one the opportunity “to go overseas and discover culinary techniques all over the world.”

“So don’t hesitate to push yourself and it will help open doors,” Chef Jerome advised to would-be chefs.

Just recently, for example, a group of Enderun Colleges students went to France for an internship under Ducasse Education and had the opportunity to spend an hour with Chef Alain Ducasse himself.

“He spent an hour giving and sharing some advice to them,” he said, adding that the French chefs were very happy to have the students around.

Enderun sends students for internship in France twice a year.

“In the beginning, it’s quite tough for them,” Chef Jerome said.

This is because this is the first time for some of the students to travel overseas.

“Second of all, the French people don’t speak great English so it takes time for them to understand French words. It can be difficult.  But then afterwards, they become comfortable and already become part of the team. Two weeks ago, they already had a staff party with Alain Ducasse himself,” he said.

Chef Jerome lauded Chef See Cheong Yan, culinary head at Enderun Colleges, and Chef Marc Chalopin, executive chef of Ducasse Institute Philippines, for making sure that the students “stand out.”

Chef See has over 20 years experience in the field of culinary arts worldwide and have underwent training at Ducasse Education in France.

Chef Marc, meanwhile, was handpicked by Ducasse Education for Ducasse Institute Philippine “to maintain the standards of Alain Ducasse and ensure that the philosophy, culinary principles and techniques are properly transmitted to students.” He has 25 years of kitchen and teaching experience.

“He (Alain Ducasse) is always pushing us on the top level. Even though something is good, he believed that it could be better tomorrow. We always need to improve ourselves in terms of education,” Chef Jerome concluded.

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