MANILA - For 19-year-old chef and businesswoman Angelica Rañeses, passion, determination and self-reliance are the key ingredients in the recipe for success.
The teen chef, a graduate of Professional Culinary, Baking and Pastry Arts at Global Academy, admitted that it was those traits that got her through the daunting first years on the job.
Global Academy Grand Diploma alumna Chef Angelica Rañeses poses with co-founder, CFO and president, Chef Benny Ledesma Jr. Handout
"As a neophyte in a five-star hotel kitchen, I faced challenges day in and day out. But these trials were made easy with the kind assistance of my mentors who demonstrated constant guidance," said Rañeses. "I learned how to be strong, determined and self-reliant."
Rañeses, encouraged by her mother, started baking at a very young age. She claims to have read volumes and volumes of cookbooks, watched hundreds of cooking shows, attended numerous seminars, and met different renowned chefs.
"I have always been fascinated with food. That’s when my dream of becoming a professional chef started," she said.
Rañeses was first offered a full-time job at Makati Shangri-La at the age of 17. But since the company could not legally hire her just yet, her employment was postponed.
"Instead of being idle for a year, I decided to make use of my time by experimenting in the kitchen," said Rañeses. "I baked and cooked almost every day and had my friends and family try my creations. When Christmas season came, the news spread that I was making various Christmas-themed goodies."
According to Rañeses, orders came pouring in and more people began to inquire about her products.
One of her most in-demand products, the Meringue Cupcake, is the favorite of local celebrities such as Carla Abellana and Geoff Eigenmann, members of Urbandub, Jimmy Bondoc, and international author Lang Leav.
The sudden popularity led to her small but budding baking and pastries business called Geli Deli -- a home-based online bakeshop.
"I find great interest and happiness when I cook. Nothing beats the great sense of fulfillment that I feel when I see a smile in the face of each person I cook for,” Rañeses said.