From Istituto Culinario to Brasserie Cicou

Inside Istituto Culinario

It was my first time to learn more about OB Montessori as the culinary art school when I got the chance to attend the launch of Istituto Culinario and Brasserie Cicou last February.  I learned that OB Montessori has a farm and botanical garden in Alfonso, Cavite which is where they get their fresh produce to supply their needs in the school. They have a Brasserie Cicou which serves European cuisine and also were students of Istituto Culinario have their internship program. So basically, OB Montessori is a culinary art school, gets their fresh produce from their farm and they have a restaurant where culinary interns practice before working in the “real world”. A pretty wholistic approach, right?

Sharlyne making some ravioli at Istituto Culinario - 3

We were able to go around the campus and see their classrooms and laboratories. The classrooms are at the top floor (I think 5th and 7th floor). I was really fascinated with the kitchen! When they asked for a volunteer to make ravioli, I didn’t hesitate to try. I wanted to experience how it feels to be doing “hands-on” in their wonderful kitchen. I wish I have a kitchen like that. đŸ™‚

Inside Istituto Culinario's Library


Inside one of the classrooms at Istituto Culinario's

Audio Visual Room

I guess you have questions in your mind such as what courses are available and how much?

Well, Insituto Culinario offers:

  • 2 year Diploma Programs (TESDA): Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
    • In Istituto Culinario, they will allow you to continue your diploma program leading to a full 4 year bachelor’s degree.
  • 4 year Bachelor’s Degree Program (CHED): Bachelor of Science in Food Management, Major in Food Service
There is a strict ratio of 15 students : 1 instructor.

Inside Istituto Culinario's Demo Lab

As to how much? Let’s just say 2011 – 2012 tuition fee for a semester is more than PHP 100,000.

Outside Brasserie Cicou

Now we go to Brasserie Cicou, where the future chefs do real kitchen training with real hungry paying customers!

We actually got to tour the actual kitchen where the action happens. They allowed guests to roam around and see how they prepare the food that will be served to the guests. A lot of food were served, I couldn’t find the list I made but I can still remember my favorites.

Inside Brasserie Cicou

Since it was an event, there were cocktail tables but of course in normal setting there will be dining tables and chairs.

As to the food, everything tastes really good! I could really say this is quality food. It doesn’t taste cheap. I feel like I am in heaven. My taste buds are happy with different kinds of flavors. I love it!

I’ve described my favorites below.

Salad at Brasserie Cicou

Salad Nicoise

Pork Garlic Sausage at Brasserie Cicou

Pork Garlic Sausage


Egg Cocotte with Squash Foam at Brasserie Cicou

Egg Cocotte with Squash Foam

Bouillabaise at Brasserie Cicou


Bouillabaisse is basically fish stew. What i liked about Brasserie Cicou’s Bouillabaisse is that the stew itself is very flavorful. I immediately felt that strong seafood taste which does not have the fishy smell. Very nutritious.

Seared US beef with pasta coquilette cooked in bacon, mushroom and cream at Brasserie Cicou

Seared US Beef with Pasta Coquilette cooked in bacon, mushroom and cream

Marinated Sardines, Goat Cheese Epuma and Black Olives at Brasserie Cicou

Sardines with Goat Cheese Epuma and Black Olives

I think I ate 2 – 3 of this because I really enjoyed the “surprise” at the end of the bottom of the shot glass. The surprise is actually the black olive powder which really gives this dish a unique flavor.

I like to be surprised with flavors while eating and there was one dish that we were not able to take a photo of which is the Cromesquis of Sea Urchin. It’s like a croquette and when eaten you will feel a burst of icy juice which is the Sea Urchin inside your mouth. We were flabbergasted with this dish and were trying to determine how it was cooked. I believe that was the most in demand food at that time.

Pastries at Brasserie Cicou

Kouing Aman

This dessert section was my favorite. Koing Aman is the restaurant’s dessert specialty. It’s actually a sweet laminated dough which is caramelized with sugar.

Assorted pastries at Brasserie Cicou

Assorted Pastries  (Cannelle, Financiers, Madeleines)

I loved the assorted pastries especially the Financiers. What I liked about their desserts is that they’re not too sweet.

Bananas, Peanut Butter Ice cream at Brasserie Cicou

Homemade Banana and Peanut Butter Ice Cream

I’m not a peanut butter person but I appreaciated the taste of their peanut butter ice cream. I liked it!

Macaroons at Brasserie Cicou

French Macaroons

Brasserie Cicou
57 Annapolis St, Greenhills
San Juan City, Metro Manila

Leave a Reply