For aspiring chefs and food entrepreneurs, success entails having a strong level of commitment, passion, hard work, and clear career goals.
It pays to gain inspiration from those who have chartered their course in the business, too, like two of the country’s brightest culinary talents – Chef Mitchie Sison and Chef Winston Jerome Luna – who gladly shared to The Sunday Times Magazine their personal journeys and proven recipes for success.
Commitment is the main ingredient
Celebrity Chef Mitchie Sison began to explore and develop her culinary and entrepreneurial skills back in her teens. She started with baking and selling brownies in school as she also enjoyed cooking at home or at her friend’s house.
Her desire to be a professional cook led her to study HRM in College of Saint Benilde. Sison slowly but steadily solidified her career working at an Australian ice cream franchise where she acquired a good grasp of being professional in the food business, especially when it comes to customer service and store operations. Her biggest career break came when she was chosen to be one of the chef hosts for a TV cooking show, Katoque, in early 2000s.
“It was an eye-opening experience for me to be put on the spotlight early in my career. It really motivated me to hone my craft more,” mused the lady chef.
Currently a consultant for restaurants, food companies and Jolly brand ambassador, Sison proudly says her meaningful career stemmed from gained experiences, and good professional relationships with colleagues in the industry.
”I’m very grateful for having supportive friends and industry leaders who believe in me. Many of them have been instrumental in opening opportunities that led to unforgettable milestones in my career,” she added.
“Commitment, professionalism, and staying true to your work standards are important in this industry. I’m also looking forward to launching my own food business by next year,” she stressed.
Passion and determination are the icing
Chefwix Catering Services CEO Chef Winston Jerome Luna began his career journey with a passion and determination to succeed by tinkering with recipes in the kitchen at age six – experimenting on snacks, main dishes and desserts which he happily served to members of the family.
His calling to pursue a culinary career came only after finishing his graduate studies, though, as he decided to take up formal culinary studies at the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management.
“Being a professional chef is a destiny for me. As a chef, my goal is to constantly achieve perfection and excellence in everything I do. Professionalizing the career came spontaneously as a result of smart work, perseverance and commitment,” he shared.
While he also pointed out to positive attitude and academic training as essential factors, Luna stressed success also takes root in partnerships, be it with people, organizations, or brands that share mutual advocacies, as these can greatly help one achieve one’s desired career goals.
“I always look up to the Jolly brand. The quality of the product speaks for the remarkable comments that we get from our clients. Jolly has been a partner towards each success that we achieved. We love Jolly and will
make sure that we will move forward ensuring it’s with us,” he continued.
Besides his regular stint as TV guest chef and reputation as one of the country’s most promising food entrepreneurs, Luna said he always cherishes the fulfilling rewards of his career and catering business.
“Creating magical moments is not easy. Marrying a masterfully crafted event with an exquisite dining experience is our commitment in delivering a memorable experience. Seeing happy faces and joyful remarks lift us up and inspires us,” he remarked.
Both cfhefs also pinpoint grit, open-mindedness, as well as having a humble disposition as key traits to possess if one wishes to achieve long-term career success, including the use of Jolly, the leading canned vegetable brand in the country, sharing easy-to-do recipes and kitchen tips.