A Second Look into BS REnt Four Years after Course Launch

November 08, 2021
Zcheri Ayn Margaret Suazo

BS Restaurant Entrepreneurship (BS REnt) is one of the newest offerings of the John Gokongwei School of Management. The program,launched in 2018, is a collaboration between Ateneo de Manila University and the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu International (LCBI), a famed culinary school based in Paris, France. 

The LCBI has produced many notable alumni such as Julia Child, Mary Berry, and Dione Lucas. It prides itself on its innovative approach to culinary education, offering a wide range of courses adapted to suit their students' times and needs.  

Chef Annalisa Mariano, co-program director for BS REnt, describes the anticipation and excitement that surrounded LCBI's collaboration with Ateneo. "The partnership was really something everyone was really looking forward to in the culinary field. As early as 2014, there had been talks about Le Cordon Bleu partnering with Ateneo."

She called the partnership unique in that it manages to meld the heart of Ignatian education with the specialized courses designed and implemented by LCBI. As a result, a student who chooses to study under BS REnt can earn both an Ateneo diploma and an LCB Parchment from a single 4-year-course, making it much more practical than most other options for culinary education.

The program was primarily designed to give students the tools and skills to thrive as food business entrepreneurs. Its spread of Kitchen and Restaurant, Business, and Entrepreneurship subjects reflect that goal.

This design ensures that only the best instructors and facilities are made available for the students. In addition, faculty members undergo stringent assessments to ensure that the teaching standards are up to par with the merit of excellence that LCBI is known for worldwide.

Main kitchen of Ateneo Le Cordon Bleu (Stock photo)

After instructors demonstrate the food preparation in demo rooms, the students then execute the dishes in state-of-the-art hot kitchens. Chef Annali explains that the program emphasizes practice, and as such, the facilities are designed to help students maximize their kitchen time. "The station-to-student ratio is one-is-to-one. The kitchen can fit 16 students, and each student gets their own set of equipment, their own set of knives, own four-burner stove, own ovens."

Of course, with the COVID-19 pandemic, adjustments had to be made to ensure the students' safety and the program's quality. For example, the kitchen subjects that have laboratories were shuffled later into the course to make sure that all the students get their practice in the hot kitchens. With talks of restarting in-person classes in the following year, the program directors and administrators for BS REnt have begun making plans for the re-opening. 

While these plans are still being finalized, some of the discussed measures include class size reduction, keeping of health protocols like physical distancing and wearing face masks and shields, and recording the food preparation demonstration.

"We are just getting ready for all possible scenarios," says Chef Annali.