Alumni Trajectories: Duyen Ha, Intensive Professional Program in French Cuisine Graduate, Class of 2018

On his own words:


Key Takeaways from FERRANDI Paris

« I learned how to value ingredients and how to choose good ingredients, this is what sets apart a mediocre cook from a chef. During my time in FERRANDI Paris, as well as my internship in France, I had developed a better sense of organization in the kitchen and learned how to manage my time adapting to the context I am in. This is very important, specially at high-end restaurants. Having inspiring guest-chefs and being able to develop sophisticated culinary techniques was unforgettable »

Internship Experience

“I was able to do a 4-month internship at Ze Kitchen Gallery, a super prestigious restaurant in the heart of Paris. As I was in France during summer, I also worked at Kitchen Terre, from the same group, which helped me to see the differences between the two venues. At Ze Kitchen I oversaw preparations, and this allowed me to observe the Chefs and absorb as much as I could. Inevitably, I was able to develop a keen eye, that is, really focus on details – a necessary skill in fine-dining. After my internship, I went back to Brazil confident that I was on the right track.”

What do I miss most

“As cliché as it is, I learned to value things once they were gone. The pace in a fine-dining restaurant is really fast, so I miss the fun I used to have in the classroom and kitchen labs of FERRANDI Paris, as well as having a group of people who were in the same situation as me. We were students coming from several parts of the world and were lucky to find at FERRANDI Paris not only Chef-Instructors, but mentors who gracefully showed us the way to become real chefs”.

What do I do today

“While at FERRANDI Paris and my internship in France I really developed a new eye for the ingredients surrounding me and what we can make from them. I became fascinated with the French bouillon and with all that a good stock can offer. This was it: the idea that I hadn’t been using my business skills. In Brazil, homemade stock with real food ingredients wasn’t really popular as in France, most Brazilians are just familiar with industrial broth. I am convinced that a good stock is also key in building good habits for our health. I saw a gap in the local market and therefore an opportunity: it was time to bring

France’s tradition to Brazil. The result of this is GHEEK – smart food, available to both restaurants and individual consumers.”

Using the Skills I have learned

“I learned that there are processes to respect, and for somethings, there are no short-cuts. Doing things faster and losing quality is not the way to go, great cuisine requires time. You can adapt some things, but you can’t skip them. I also learned that ingredients really matter, so sometimes that means having to make higher financial investments and that’s okay. That’s what will lead you to a great dish or food product”.