Worn out shoes worth 200K Swiss Francs

My Kevin's Chef Shoes, worn out but stayed on for 3 years.
My Kevin’s Chef Shoes, worn out but stayed on for 3 years.
Roll your eyes and raised your eyebrow!


I jumped and raised my hands with a full smile and tears in my eyes..


this is the dream that we chased and owned and will continue to do so


Term 7 is finally done! Waiting for September to seal the degree of Bachelor of Culinary Arts and off to Santa Catalina Island Company , USA as Culinary Arts Management Trainee.

Wow! My emotion is soaring high, I won’t tell you how many times I edited and deleted my words because I know my Chef Kevin doesn’t like drama and flares, he rather take in, all the positivity and let the negativity inspires him to move on. But I would like to share with you that it wasn’t an easy ride for both of us.

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them. and you will have them. ” Mark 11:24 

My budget was only for two years and I told him, if in any case I can’t send you anymore to finish your Bachelors degree, please find a job and continue to pursue your dream. There’s no point of stopping! We tightened our belt, closed our eyes to the things that we don’t need and can afford to do without. I borrowed money from here to there. While others are building their mansions and buying properties,acquiring signature bags and jewelries..I am working hard, saving every amount I can. Every salaries ,it only took seconds in my hand, it goes to pay bills and debt. Kevin was able to adjust to the standard of living and not to the luxuries of other students who has both parents to pay the bills. It was not only financial problem but also adjusting to the new environment, to the new system ,meeting and dealing with different people with a different culture. Being alone in a foreign land without a family to run to every time a mishap happens was a difficult if not the saddest part of being by yourself. I won’t bore you to go on details the low and high moments of what happened in three years but I can share a few :-)..I know..i can hear MOM!!! hahaha

Look at this shoes..this is love..this is hard work..this is the future..

200K tuition fees for 3 years, living expenses, ticket fares etc
200K tuition fees for 3 years, living expenses, ticket fares etc
– going to College at a tender age of 17, knowing the budget is only for two years, the uncertainty..the pressure of finishing on time doubled or even more..

– finishing the full 7 terms in three years, leading to Bachelors Degree is an incredible journey and an awesome accomplishment. My eldest son quotes that stayed on my mind when he was giving his advise to my youngest son.

“Make your own mistake and learn from it , DON”T COPY OURs “

– getting sick all alone by yourself especially the car accident, losing money to bad people, travelling alone with only less than 20 Swiss franc or sometimes only 20 Saudi riyal ūüôā  unfortunately at times, we blamed credit cards that doesn’t work!

– working hard on the job training, sometimes you don’t share because you know the weight on my shoulder are already too heavy to carry by one person only.

– and on top of all the difficulties, there was also Dad’s infidelity rumours, those sharp tongue came like sword lashing every strength I have (gossips of mindless people). With your pale lips, trying to smile and gave me comfort, I saw a brave man mightier than I thought; you gave me an extra boots to let it go.  There were also people who were so envious of sending you to Switzerland and made an obnoxious remarks of where will I get money? Are you serious? duh! am I committing a sin?  Switzerland? If a normal office clerk man can send his son in UK what about a Cosmetic Dentist mom? Does this make sense?

With all the adversity….you took it with profound sanity..pound by pound,moment by moment..

My son, Kevin, I am proud of the young man you’ve become, finishing College at age 20! You showed courage ,confidence and dignity that every parent would like to see in their young adult son or daughter. I am honoured to be a part of your journey and I know in every chapter of your life there is always a new beginning. And this is it!  another country, another culture, another experience and I wish you all the happiness and good luck to a new adventure; my nomadic Chef! Explore the world, gather all the spices, make a fusion of each continents’ dishes and make your own signature dish, your own secret spice and conquer the world’s cuisine! Whoa! dream BIG! its free ūüôā

This is how you begin your journey at a age 17.
This is how you begun your journey at a age 17. One day will come that you will be standing in front of your own restaurant or bistro ūüôā
Ladies, did your eyebrow dropped and your mouth opened with an “O”?, don’t worry I won’t take it against you, because I took it as a challenge and not an obstacle and I can assure you, slowly and surely we will hit the goal!

” I rather spent my money in my son’s education and see a good future ahead of them..than spent It in a beautiful house with an empty mind.”

To my real friends and my special friend..Thank you for all your support,drying my tears and joining my craziness  ūüôā to my 2 brothers here in Jeddah, my boss and staff, thank you for always standing by and to my princess patient who always give a good tip ūüėČ for my Chef Kevin.

To my eldest son, Edgie thank you so much, I couldn’t do it easier and better without you on my side, thank you for being a confidante and an arbiter between us ūüôā

and to all the people around the world who in one way or another  my Nomadic Chef Kevin have had share moments, thank you for  the experience !

Thank you Cesar Ritz College ( Culinary Arts Academy of Switzerland)

God bless.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Window


Just one rainy day at Luzern, Switzerland ¬†taken a year ago. This is the day, my youngest son went to Cesar Ritz College to take up BS in Culinary Arts, a window of opportunity opens up for his future.He is now in his second year. Keep going son, handwork and determination…soon you will be at the vertex of your success!

Culinary Arts Institute of Switzerland
Culinary Arts Institute of Switzerland

My food trip with Chef Kevin

My Kevs with Ashley and Alexis Gabriel
My Kevs with Ashley and Alexis Gabriel

Spring break here he comes…my dear chef Kevin. I was excited to see my youngest son, so eager to know what had transpired from his 6 months studies in Culinary Arts Academy of Switzerland. I was looking forward for this moment, to see the changes, physically, mentally and gastronomically speaking.

I also braced myself by going to the gym everyday and get a balanced diet before this moment comes, because I know very well that our common ground is ‚ĶFOOD! huh..eating is fun but gaining weight is not ūüôā

So here it is, Enjoy our Food Trip:

salad preparation
salad preparation

First stop: Our Kitchen, though I have 4 burner stove at home, only two are working, with 16 guest¬†on Friday “brunch”, I was thinking he wont make it on time but I was wrong. First ,only one stove¬†works because one of our friend decided to show his expertise¬†in Lebanese cuisine.¬†Chef Kevin was very cool, answering all our questions, teaching us how to cut and do simple plating. At the same time he was also learning how to do lebanese¬†dish “wara¬†en √°b”(grape leaves with rice and meat). It was fun working with family friends and most of all-seeing¬†chef kevin¬†doing¬†his thing with gusto, I am relieved that he is happy where he is at this point of his life.

homemade sauces
homemade sauces
chicken/beef risotto
chicken/beef risotto
beetroot salad
beetroot salad
lamb chop with pasta
lamb chop with pasta

We are grateful to our family and friends and of course,to our guest server, Ashley Gabriel. Yes, they did survive all,… kidding aside, it was an enjoyable day!

homemade vanilla ice cream with kiwi sauce
homemade vanilla ice cream with kiwi sauce
Ashley – server of the day

kevsshowcase-15a kevsshowcase-14

and this how preparation of Wara enáb looks like:

improvised cooking…only in Jeddah

kevsshowcase-19a kevsshowcase-21a kevsshowcase-10a

¬†¬†¬†¬†Second stop: Being away for six months who would not crave for “Shawerma” ? An arabic sandwich stuffed with chicken or beef mixed with arabic garlic sauce,parsley ,tomato, pickled cucumber and french fries.


Third stop: Business Lunch at Outback steakehouse, situated along thalia road in Teatro Mall. The bread crust is dark chocolate brown in color , hard  but so soft inside was delicious, though Chef Kevin was not amused completely, he went along eating his steak. He commented that the soup is like an instant soup out of maggi bouillon cube.:-)

Outback steakhouse
Outback steakhouse


Fourth stop: Raj- Finest Indian Cuisine, located at Thalia road serving indian and continental cuisine. We opted for indian super spicy meal! yummy and chillin hot!

mix kebab,chicken tandouri, nan and beryani
mix kebab,chicken tandouri, nan and beryani

The fifth and last day of eating out, feeling already bloated and can not imagine the hours I will spend in the gym, once this is all over, huh!

Mayrig resto
Mayrig resto

Mayrig, is an armenian¬†restaurant serving armenian¬†and mediterrian¬†cuisine. He asked, Where is Armenia? oh well I really don’t know but according to my research :Armenia is landlocked in the South Caucasus. Located between the Black and Caspian Seas, the country is bordered on the north and east by Georgia and Azerbaijan, and on the south and west by Iran and Turkey.(Wikipedia)

Armenian Cuisine
Armenian Cuisine

Anyhow, the place is along Andalus district, it looks like a private villa restaurant, a refreshing site along the corniche area.I like the Armenian tabouli as cold appetizer.

Well that’s all folks, till Chef Kevin comes again!

©Copy rights protected

My Switzerland escapades:Cesar Ritz Colleges of Switzerland- a parent view (day4)

Cesar Ritz Colleges of Switzerland (Le Bouveret campus)
multi -cultural environment

This is it! August 30, 2011, the reason why¬†we’re here? To visit the prospective college Kevin is interested¬†to join, opppps… i¬†would say, I am more enthusiastic than him because he wanted to go to Florida, USA instead. When Kevin was in the middle school, I asked him what he wanted to be, He said with pride” I want to be a chef and open a restaurant for my dad” Although, he loves food and helps me in the kitchen, I did not take it seriously. He loves to play piano when he was small and now he loves to play guitar (he is passionate with music), I was thinking he might change his mind too, about being a chef. One of his passions too is Art, he is good in drawing, photography and recently attended an ID Tech Camp and took a short course in video editing. My eldest son was telling him to get a course that he is passionate about so ¬†he would enjoy his profession afterward.

Yes,¬†I believe that passion¬†creates vision…a beginning to follow our endeavor but sometimes it just doesn’t pay the bills. As the sayings goes, “make a business from your passion and money will follow”.Well, I am not a firm believer of this ,otherwise a lot of people who is passionate about playing tennis,baking, writing will all be rich but we all knew that it doesn’t¬†happened all the time. Having a profession that gives you a leeway financially and at the same time being passionate about it is a bonus in itself.

As a parent, it is also my duty to guide and help him to decide what path of studies he will be following, once he finishes his High School in 2012. So, My research begins, in Arts and Culinary. While Kevin is busy doing his” thing” in the kitchen, experimenting dishes, playing guitar and thinking to get a career in Film (documentary) huh! Sounds confusing… me too! Oh well, mostly of teens are not so sure¬†; a lot things in their mind, I want to get this, I want to be this..so on and so forth.

Lets break it, 123 passion; 1.Music,2.Chef,3.Film¬†making.Where to study?1. Philippines, 2.Switzerland, 3.USA. We’ve been to Philippines and USA many times but never been to Switzerland.¬†I asked him again, are you still interested in Culinary? Well, mom why do you think, I am always in the Kitchen cooking? Because you love food and want to eat!*wink* :-)Nice try mom! I want to know if I really enjoy doing it! Alright Kevin..I got it!

As I goggle the best Culinary School in Switzerland, Culinary Arts Academy of Switzerland, pops up…I read their curriculum and I found that on the 1st year, a student will earn a Swiss advanced certificate and will have 6 months paid internship, 2nd year Swiss higher diploma and another 6 months internship until they graduate on the 3rd year of Bachelors degree in Culinary arts, a total of 7 terms. Or you can take up Bachelor in International Business Management (Hotel and Tourism Management). They have¬† two campuses, Le Bouveret (Swiss-French border) and the German side (Brig). To find out more, please visit www.RITZ.EDU

On my point of view, this is a well planned curriculum, I am already 52 years old, I will never know if anything happens to me, will Kevin be able to earn his Bachelor degree? At least if he got his first year certificate and internship, he has something in his CV to start with. But of course, as long as I am able, I will continue to support him until he gets his Bachelor degree or even until Master degree, God willing. ūüôā

After discussing it with Kevin, I sent an e-mail and I immediately got a response from Ms. Laure Parfaite (International Admission Councilor) and received an invitation to visit from Ms. Jenai Oliveira (Area Manager) with outlined schedule of campus tour, classes and complimentary accommodation for him to have a better feel of how student life in both campuses.

along the road
walking from La Lagune rive bleu

Day 4,of¬† Switzerland escapades; walk…walk… with Kevin’s luggage from the Hotel to Cesar Ritz Colleges of Switzerland; It took us around 20 minutes, I was dressed white with blue blazer (2 years ago my most comfortable attire is shirt and jeans, Kevin would comment on some occasions “dress like a mom”) there you go, I am dressed¬†like a mom ūüôā another request from him, NO PICTURE pls!

good day!
overlooking lake Geneva

As we entered, we were greeted¬†with a smiling front desk officer, he took Kevin’s luggage and we were ushered to their bar lounge (they are after all..a Hotel School). Miss Laure, is a very young lovely lady who toured us around the campus, along the way, we met a lot of Professors, students, staff, executive chef who are all very hospitable and accommodating. Each one gave Kevin some pointers and advises on how to choose his path to success. What I noticed most , students are coming from different culture (Arab, Asian,Europeans etc) which is a¬† real practical experiences¬†for students¬†on culinary, academic and hospitality.

The kitchens are super, neat and clean; we had the chance to dine in, which was prepared by the students like we were in the real setting with real chef! Kevin was able to attend a class (Baking) with complete uniform, he really enjoyed the day and hang out with Korean students and stayed one night before we move in to another Campus in Brig.

Lunch with Ms. Laure and Kevin
chairs for unwinding thoughts

PS…Students takes 3 levels of French Language to pass the term! :-))

©Copyrights protected