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Global Academy’s Chef Benny Ledesma, Jr.: Advocating affordable culinary education and healthy lifestyle

(Manila, Philippines, March 10, 2014) — Planning to get into culinary school but fear that the costs are too high? You are not alone. Many aspiring chefs are having second thoughts of enrolling in a culinary degree because of the expenses. But as more precise techniques arise in the industry, cooking school has become more essential for those who want to seriously pursue their dreams.

For Chef Benny Ledesma, Jr., co-founder, president and chief financial officer of Global Academy, it was the lack of affordable culinary schools in the Philippines that hindered many to truly excel in the career path.

“I was fortunate enough to study culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Australia. I  had a high standard benchmark to strive for and even improve upon—from the quality of the ingredients, instructors and course implementation—when we decided to open up Global Academy,” said Ledesma. Global Academy is an award-winning culinary academy recognized for its world-class excellence and competitiveness.

Ledesma met Global Academy co-founder and chief executive officer, Chef Rob Pengson, when they were in grade school and have been close as far back as he can remember. They both dreamed to provide a wider range of their compatriots an opportunity to learn how to cook and bake professionally.

Today, Global Academy exceeds world-class standards including those set forth by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS). As the first in the Philippines and the seventh in Asia to be accredited by the prestigious association, Global Academy has proven the excellence of their curriculum time and again by topping many culinary competitions including last year’s Philippine Culinary Cup. The academy also offers professional courses for aspiring chefs, pastry chefs and hospitality professionals for affordable tuition fees.

“One of the biggest challenges we encountered was convincing reputable instructors to join our cause, because at the time, calling yourself an affordable culinary school was almost an oxymoron,” Ledesma furthered. “But we understood what the craft required and we adopted a very chef-friendly atmosphere, investing in their continuing education and focusing on their needs as culinary educators and as people.”

When you’re busy managing a culinary school, it’s not easy to balance a healthy lifestyle and fulfilling duties as a family man. But Ledesma manages to juggle the two very well.

“Weekends are definitely geared towards my family since I work on weekdays. But I also always make sure that I see my wife and kids every day during breakfast or dinner. My wife and I both go to crossfit and that’s been a great way to spend quality time for us,” shared Ledesma. “Honestly, my worst fear is dying before my time and not seeing my kids grow up. That’s what keeps me healthy and going. I want to be strong enough to be there and guide them.”

A career in the culinary industry means being surrounded by food, both healthy and unhealthy—sometimes, the most delectable meals can also be the least nutritious. But for Ledesma, health is wealth.

At the beginning of the year, Global Academy partnered with Pilipinas Go4Health to promote a healthy lifestyle in their institution. “For most chefs, it’s easy to get carried away with deliciously unhealthy meals. By being a part of the movement, Global Academy also aims to encourage its chefs and educate its students to live a more balanced lifestyle,” said Ledesma.

About Global Academy
Global Academy is an award-winning culinary academy recognized for its world-class excellence and competitiveness. The academy offers professional courses for aspiring chefs, pastry chefs and hospitality professionals for affordable tuition fees. As the first culinary school in the Philippines recognized by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), Global Academy is distinguished for its quality education and unmatched culinary standards. For more information, visit http://globalacademyph.com.