World-Famous Pastry Chefs Gather for 1st Master Class Series in Manila

By Tet Bachmann

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Academy of Bakery & Pastry Arts Philippines recently kicked off its first Philippine Pastry Forum via a series of Master Classes running until May 17.

Stephane Treand is one of the four pastry masters, who are coming to teach at the Academy of Pastry and Bakery Arts Philippines. The four pastry masters carry the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (M.O.F) or the “Best Craftman in France”, which is the highest honor given by the President of France to a professional in an individual trade.

Each four-day workshop features an award winning European chef, who is a recipient of the title Un des Meillerus Ouvriers de France or MOF (One of the Best Craftsmen of France).

Niklesh Sharma is the Managing Director of the Academy of Pastry and Bakery Arts Philippines. He is in-charge of managing the operations of all the branches of the school in Malaysia, India and the Philippines.

The first Master Class featured Modern French Pastries and Travel Cakes by Chef Jean-Francois Arnaud (MOF), co-founder of the Academy. Students underwent an intensive hands-on program, which culminated in a showcase of their pastry masterpieces last April 30.

Kim Lopez-Beckley used to work with Resorts World Sentosa before moving back home to become the Director for Operations of the Academy in the country.

According to Managing Director and Executive Pastry Chef Niklesh Sharma, the Philippine Pastry Forum is the first Master Class Series in the country offering courses that are all conducted by MOF chefs.

“It is a rare opportunity for the Academy to host four visiting MOF chefs in the same year. Students can expect to gain exposure on how a chef of this caliber conducts a class. It also gives them the chance to observe the MOF chef’s working style and cleaning habits, and appreciate the passion he exudes for his craft. Filipino students no longer need to leave the country in order to be trained and mentored by the best pastry masters from Europe and Asia,” he said.

Chef Niklesh shares that the Academy offers a unique concept for a learning institution, wherein the teachers teach the students, and the master chefs train the teachers. “We provide continuous education that allows students to upgrade their skills and learn new techniques. The industry is changing at such a fast rate, and we need to cope up with these changes, as well asmeet the current demands of the market,” he added.

Sebastien Chevallier M.O.F. is one of the world’s best pastry chefs. He travels all over the world giving training classes for professional pastry chefs, bakers, pastry schools and bakery shops.

The second leg of the Philippine Pastry Forum will feature a Chocolate and Sugar Display class by Stephane Treand (MOF) from May 6-9. Upcoming workshops include Artisan Bread and Viennoiserie by Sebastien Chevallier (MOF Baker) from May 10 to 13; and Chocolate, Pralines & Candy Making by Frederic Hawecker (MOF Chocolatier) from May 14 to 17. All classes are held at the Academy, which is at the Fourth Floor of the Metro House Building along Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati.

Frederic Hawecker is known as a master chocolatier. A native of the south of France, Chef Hawecker opened his chocolate shop and patisserie in 2002 in Chateaurenard, France.

The Academy of Bakery and Pastry Arts Philippines opened its doors on August 2015, and initially offered full-time and part time programs. The three and six-month diploma courses aim to develop the skills of full-time students and professionals, while the part-time (weekend) programs are for enthusiasts who wish to learn techniques in basic pastry and bakery arts.
Established in 2011, the Academy of Bakery & Pastry Arts operates world-class facilities in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), New Delhi (India), and Manila (Philippines). For more information, visit or email

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