Matteo Guidicelli couldn’t contain his excitement Thursday afternoon. The actor/singer and restaurateur took to Instagram to tell the world his wife, the extraordinarily talented Sarah Geronimo, has added another feather in her cap: she just completed The Essential Baking and Pastry Series from the Heny Sison Culinary School.
“Super proud of you my love,” Matteo wrote in his caption for his wife’s grad pics. “Officially graduated from baking school!! Congratulations! Yes ‘chef Sarah’ it is!! We are super proud of you! Your achievements are limitless because you always strive for excellence! I love you! #proudhusband”
Over the past months, Mr G. has been Instagramming some of the sweet treats Mrs G has been cooking up at home. There was the Cereal Tres Leches she prepared for his team. There was the Strawberry Shortcake baked for the Guidicelli family. And then the most recent one: a dreamy-looking dark chocolate cake with strawberries on top.
But it’s not only Matteo that Sarah has impressed with her prowess in the kitchen. “She was a very diligent, focused, passionate student,” Heny Sison, the well-loved and respected pastry chef and founder of the Heny Sison Culinary School tells ANCX. “She comes to class always prepared and she always practiced what she learned after the class. Magaling din ang kamay sa cake decorating. She is a fast learner.”
Heny is just one of Sarah’s three teachers in the culinary school. There’s also Chef Juan Carlo Estagle and Chef Patty Loanzon.
So is the Popstar Princess now officially a pastry chef?
The answer is yes, according to Chef Heny. “She passed with flying colors kasi,” she tells us.
Being a chef cannot be earned overnight, qualifies Sison. One needs to practice and master the fundamentals. With mastery, one can be fully called a chef. “In fact, the person can feel it,” asserts the veteran. “It is gained through the respect of your colleagues in the industry. You can also get a certification, for example by the American Culinary Federation or the Culinary Institute of America, by getting theoretical and practical examination before you get the title chef. In the Philippines, most chefs gain the title through experience. “In [Sarah’s] case, Chef Carlo, one of the chefs who helped me in teaching Sarah, announced during the grad ceremony that yes, Sarah is now a Pastry Chef because of her exemplary performance in the class. Also I agree with him.”
Sison’s school started in 1985 as the Heny Sison School of Cake Decorating and Baking. This was after her studies at the Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery in the US (she enrolled while in her honeymoon). In 2003, Heny decided it’s time her school take on its current name to signify the expansion of her courses.
According to Chef Heny, Sarah had special one-on-one classes in the Boni Serrano, Quezon City campus. The course ran for 23 days. “I got a call one day while I was abroad that she wants to learn,” says Sison who’s worked with the singer before, styling the food for the TVCs she starred in. “Since we’re in a pandemic and we do not offer face-to-face classes yet—but we were already vaccinated—I agreed on the conditions that we will practice protocols, like swabbing for my staff, the chef, and Sarah.”
It turns out Sarah has long wanted to study with Heny, as per the singer’s handler. “But maybe because of her busy schedule she was not able to do so,” says Chef Heny. “When the pandemic hit, she had more free time and we had more time too to handle her one-on-one class.” Once both parties’ schedules aligned, it was all systems go. “It worked naman both ways,” says the veteran pastry chef looking back. “It’s one of the blessings of the pandemic.”