F&B World pays homage to culinary star Sylvia Reynoso Gala who has gained success, not only as an exemplary culinary teacher, but as a true inspiration to her children, Morella and Ernest, who are following in her culinary footsteps.
A love for good food. A practical approach to cooking. And a passion and commitment for teaching. These three ingredients make up the successful recipe for the creation, and continued success, of the Sylvia Reynoso Gala Culinary Arts Studio since 1970. The candid, energetic tour de force behind this legendary school is Sylvia Reynoso Gala herself who, for the past four decades (and counting), has woken up each day, ready to teach her no-fail yet delicious recipes to countless students.
But this recipe for success is not complete without Galaâ€™s two greatest creations, daughter Morella and son Ernest, who now share teaching duties with their mother. Both claim their mother never pushed them to enter the culinary field, but one way or the other, the constant exposure to the kitchen from such an early age influenced them in their choice of career. With their mother as their first teacher, both were more than well equipped to excel in their culinary studies abroad.
Elder sister Morella graduated as class valedictorian from the prestigious IHMES International Hotel School in the United Kingdom. She took further culinary studies at the world-class Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in London. Since then, Morella has kept a busy schedule shuttling between Metro Manila where she teaches at her motherâ€™s school, and Baguio City where she also conducts cooking and baking classes.
Younger brother Ernestâ€™s culinary career is just as impressive. He gained his Bachelorâ€™s degree from the College of St. Benilde School of Hotel Restaurant and Institute Management. He further honed his culinary skills at the Thai Cooking School in the Oriental Hotel Bangkok, and the Town Gas Culinary Center and Oriental Culinary Institute in Hong Kong. Most recently, he steeped himself in European culinary techniques at the Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary and Pastry Arts in Calabria, Italy, and at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier and Ecole LenÃ´tre Patisserie in Paris, France, culminating with a stint at the famous Le Moulin de Mougins Restaurant in Cannes, France. Currently, he is the Culinary Director at the Culinary Arts Studio, and has a regular food column in the Philippine Star.
Morella and Ernest may have learned a lot abroad, but they continue to subscribe to their motherâ€™s no-nonsense and practical approach to the culinary arts. Sylvia Reynoso Gala declares that if a recipe is too complicated, she would rather find a way to simplify the procedure so that her students can replicate it at home. And the Gala family never holds back when it comes to sharing recipes, secrets and even suppliers.
Mother and children are truly committed to their students. Sylvia is proud that they never cancel the classes that they advertise, even if only a handful signs up. Sylvia recalls, with a laugh, that during the height of the EDSA Revolution in 1986, five students showed up for class. So, with tanks rolling just a few kilometers away, and despite her obvious nerves, Sylvia went ahead and conducted the class for her students. Now thatâ€™s true commitment!
Sylvia Reynoso Gala is indeed immensely proud to have her children by her side, helping keep her school ever young and in touch with new culinary trends here and abroad. But her children are also just as proud to have a mother like Sylvia Reynoso Gala who continues to inspire them to work hard and excel in their careers and in their lives.
A Feast for Mom
Celebrate every day like Motherâ€™s Day with these favorite seafood recipes from Sylvia, Morella, and Ernest Reynoso Gala
Â¼ kilo iceberg lettuce (or your favorite variant)
Â¼ kilo salad tomatoes
Â¼ kilo cucumber
4 hard boiled eggs
16 pcs kani (crab meat)
For the dressing:
1 cup all-purpose cream
2 tbsp corn syrup
2 tbsp onion
2 tbsp minced celery
1 tsp salt
Â½ tsp pepper
1. Wash the iceberg lettuce. Separate leaves from the core with hands, shake to dry. Refrigerate
covered with cling.
2. Wash, wipe, and slice the salad tomatoes into Â¼ inch thick rings.
3. Wash the cucumbers and make decorative strips on skin, slice into Â¼ inch thick rings.
4. Peel the hard boiled eggs and slice into rings.
5. Remove plastic of the kani. Slice each into 2. (Kani is available in the frozen seafood section of most
6. For the dressing, mix the cream, corn syrup, onion, and celery. Add salt and pepper. Serve on the
side with salad.
1 kilo pork caul/ pork leaf lard (uto sensal)
1 tsp white lihia (white wood lye â€“ available in the market and supermarkets beside the vegetables)
1 tbsp rock salt
Â½ kilo medium-sized shrimps (24 pcs)
1 tsp fine salt
Â½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp sesame oil
For the stuffing:
Â½ kilo ground pork or ground chicken
Â¼ cup chopped violet onions (shallots)
Â¼ cup spring onions
Â¼ cup singkamas (turnips)
Chinese or Japanese mushrooms
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp sesame oil
Â½ tsp pepper
Â½ tsp 5 spice powder (Ngo-Hiong)
2 pcs egg yolks
For the dressing:
1 Â½ cups cornstarch
2 egg whites slightly beaten
Â¼ tsp baking soda
1. Wash the pork caul and soak with enough water to cover.
2. Add lihia. It whitens and removes the smell from the pork caul.
3. Add rock salt. Leave for 15 minutes. Wash well.
4. Peel the shrimps, except one segment of tail. Slit at the back but not through, butterfly fashion.
5. Season with fine salt, pepper, and sesame oil.
6. For the stuffing, mix together ground pork or ground chicken, violet onions, spring onions and
singkamas, mushrooms, cornstarch, fine salt, sesame oil, pepper, 5 spice powder, and egg yolks in a
medium-sized bowl then divide into 24 balls.
7. For dressing the stuffed shrimps, add cornstarch, egg whites, and baking soda to give it â€œflakes.â€