A new course program that will be offered by the Center for Culinary Arts, one of the top culinary schools in Manila, is Culinary Agriculture. The program is in collaboration with the UP Los Baños College of Agriculture and Food Science.

This was announced by Dr. Veritas F. Luna, chancellor of CCA Manila. She said that this interdisciplinary course aims to produce graduates who will be able to deliver ways on how to make sustainable, environment-friendly, and healthy food to the public as they will pave their own paths in the food business and agriculture industries.

She added that CCA Manila is now taking bold steps towards innovation “as we offer a culinary course that is relevant to the times; particularly, that which addresses issues on food security and protection of the environment.”

Growing microgreens in plastic trays for salad right in the home.

The program will be offered in January 2019. Crop Production Competencies, Techniques and Practice, Culinary Application Techniques on Produce, Entrepreneurial Skills, and Environmental Stewardship will be among the program’s core thrusts.

Aside from the fundamental culinary skills, the course will also dwell on topics such as food preservation, environmental stewardship, green economics, basic farm operations, edible landscaping, fast crop and high-value crop production, and farm production planning and development. Small farm and garden business operations, marketing and agribusiness will also be included in the curriculum.

“With excellent culinary skills and care for the environment, the course will equip students with the necessary skills on how to develop and manage small farms and edible gardens for sustainable food businesses,” added Dr. Luna.

CCA Manila and UPLB College of Agriculture and Food Science are now taking steps to further develop the program. In the meantime, the program will be offered as a one-year course. The course is designed for chefs and culinarians who own small farm lots and for those who would like to grow their own produce.

Vertical gardening in the urban area.

“CCA Manila met us to discuss how to innovate the agriculture sector in terms of the culinary perspective,” said Dr. Tonette P. Laude, associate dean for instruction at the UPLB College of Agriculture and Food Science during their visit to CCA Manila in December 2017. They discussed their participation in terms of conducting trainings, particularly on edible landscaping and SNAP (Simple Nutrient Addition Program) Hydroponics.

CCA Manila is now making
efforts in introducing agriculture to their students through an educational tour in UPLB. This is to let the students know where ingredients come from and to know other kinds of vegetables and crops that are not grown in urban areas. UPLB, on the other hand, is also planning to arrange an internship program for their Agriculture students to CCA Manila. This is to immerse the students on the culinary processes that involve agricultural products.

Many possibilities

There are many possibilities that the future graduates of Culinary Agriculture can undertake as a business that will generate profit and employment opportunities.

Processed products that have market possibilities in the local as well as the export markets can be undertaken even by small-scale entrepreneurs with the help of government agencies like the Department of Science and Technology in developing new unique processed products, and the Department of Trade and Industry in helping link the entrepreneurs to the world market. It could assist in developing attractive package designs that are cost-effective.

Growing lettuce together with flowers in recycled tires.

Commercial production of edible flowers targeting agritourism destinations is another possibility. Oh yes, there are as many possibilities as the creative people can come up with.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed last June 11, 2018 at UPLB by Dr. Fernando Sanchez Jr., Chancellor of UPLB; Dr. Enrico Supangco, dean of the College of Agriculture and Food Science; Marinela G. Trinidad, CEO of The Cravings Group; and Dr. Veritas F. Luna.

For inquiries, contact CCA Manila Katipunan at 218-8566 or email: talktoccamanila@gmail.com. Visit the CCA Manila main campus at 287 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s August 2018 issue.