Hotties in a hot kitchen

Hunks can cook! CCA students JM de Jesus, James Torres and Charles Zabala

Hunks can cook! CCA students JM de Jesus, James Torres and Charles Zabala

15-minuter ‘Kitchen Stories’ shines spotlight on young chefs
Three top students of the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA, Manila), the country’s pioneer institution for culinary learning, are now sharing their skilled moves over a hot stove via a 15-minuter cooking program on GMA News TV, titled Kitchen Stories.

On Thursday, The Manila Times visited CCA’s well-appointed demo kitchen to find out why there is suddenly so much buzz over “another cooking program,” albeit a very short one at that.

Apparently, the featured trio of student-chefs is not only talented in the kitchen, but also happen to be good-looking guys—even in aprons!

Meet JM de Jesus, Charles Zabala and James Torres, who are heating up Saturday afternoons by sharing the joys of cooking, and other valuable lessons that can be applied to daily living.

Each 15-minute episode features the young student-chefs who have been tasked to accomplish 13 mini web-cooking shows as a return of good deed to their school. They deal with situations that are commonly encountered in the household kitchen, among them how to prepare food for a housewarming event; easy-to-cook healthy alternatives; and finding ingredients for budget-friendly dishes.

The TV series aims to target a young demographic of 15 years old and above, which has easily been captured by JM, James and Charles not only because of skills and looks, but also because of their easygoing ways.

The Manila Times discovered that James, who is most comfortable in front of the camera among the three, was a former Star Magic artist, and has had some TV exposure in the past.

Somewhere along the way, he realized a passion for cooking, and opted to be a chef instead of becoming a celebrity.

“Somehow though, with this opportunity given to us by our school, I can make my two interests come together. I won’t deny that having a cooking program some day didn’t cross my mind when I decided to go full time in CCA,” he smiled a TVC-perfect smile.

Certainly, the Kitchen Stories gang, which will also include lady student-chefs in the coming episodes, may just produce the next Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri or Giada de Laurentiis for the Food Network very soon.

Mark Reyes 5th, film and television director from GMA Network directs the show, with CCA chef-instructor Mira Cruz as consultant. It is produced by Cravings eTV, which is affiliated with the Cravings Group of Companies, including CCA.

Kitchen Stories airs on GMA NewsTV, a free TV channel, from 4:55 pm to 5:10 p.m. every Saturday. For updates, log on to



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