Jose Luis (Papu) DE LA CRUZ
“I came across FERRANDI through friends. It’s a school for people who “are in the know”, people in the food scene know about FERRANDI Paris. I liked the alumni and I idolized Bertrand Gribaud and I found out he had gone there.”
Jose Luis - known as Papu for all his classmates and Chefs - trained at the hardest business school in the Philippines before working in finance IT for Sunguard, a Fortune 500 company. Within 6 months, he quit that job and started working in a restaurant that hired cooks without any experience or formal training! He stayed there for 3 years and progressed from bartender to line cook and then junior sous chef. The restaurant wanted to promote him but Papu felt he needed to train in a proper school, to equip himself with the building blocks to be a professional chef.
“I wanted to go to FERRANDI because I wanted to go back to the basics. FERRANDI hefs explain. Every day there were practical classes and we gained muscle memory required to work as a professional. The Chefs instilled both knowledge and discipline.”
Being only 12 in class meant Papu and his classmates would learn about the different stations. It also meant it was harder to hide! “We were forced to do better and not be the weak link, “ he says.
Papu graduated from the Intensive Professional Program in French Cuisine in 2018. He completed his internship in Paris at Septime. While the internship was very difficult, he worked in a small team and was able to see and learn a lot. “The menu items changed every week so you always had to think on your feet and it pushed you to be very adaptable,” he shares.
While working at Septine, Papu met another Philipino Chef who encouraged him to apply to The Moment Group, a restaurant group with over 42 restaurants in the Philippines. Papu has been working at the Moment Group for 3 years and is in charge of crafting the menus for the restaurants, sourcing menu items and quality control.
But Papu is already thinking about the next step in his career - opening a French fusion restaurant in the Philippines with a fellow FERRANDI Paris classmate and friend! His advice to fellow foodies? “Never stop learning! Wherever you can pick up information, take it!”