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Mats Loo

Having begun his career at the tender age of 14 in his native Sweden, Mats entered another stage in his life when he founded First Gourmet Academy with his partners. As an instructor, he is recognized for his strong grasp of culinary fundamentals and global standards, a result of honing his skills in several Michelin star restaurants around the world such as the Villa Källhagen in Stockholm, Westra Piren in Gothenburg, Sweden and Le Meridien in Piccadilly, London. At the Restaurant Akademin in Sweden, he worked with the academic head to offer further educational courses for restaurant professionals. He then mastered the nuances of mass production, purchasing, food chemistry and international flavors working as an Executive Chef in several cruise ships for 10 years, including the MS Endeavour and MS Polaris. He shares his knowledge and passion with future culinary artists through his First Gourmet Academy classes.

Pablo Ramirez

Early in his career Pablo decided to work internationally in some of the top hotels, resorts and restaurants across the globe.  A talented and highly motivated professional with many years of culinary expertise from his native Argentina, Uruguay, The United Arab Emirates, Turkey as well as The Philippines.

Pablo brings with him experience from some of the top establishments in the world, including 3- star Guide Michelin restaurants as well as Bocuse d'Or.

Now, through his classes at First Gourmet Academy, he shares all his combined knowledge, his expertise and enthusiasm to the graduates of First Gourmet Academy, who are looking forward to a global culinary career just like Pablo.

Francis Marcaida

Cocoi began his culinary career at the Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, where he was absorbed, soon after completing his on-the-job training. After gaining knowledge and insights from Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, Cocoi became a Sous Chef at Crab n Crew Restobar where he is in charge of developing recipes, enhancing kitchen service, managing people, and more.

Cocoi continued his culinary career as a Line Cook at three more restaurants before moving to Saudi Arabia where he spent years working in a well known restaurant. After six years of working land based, he joined the culinary sector at sea, where he worked in the Kitchen Department of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, honing his culinary skills even further.

Having over 6 years of experience in the Culinary field, he took another leap for his career into teaching students who wanted to be part of the culinary industry. He is now capable of leading and is currently one of the many Internationally experienced Instructors at First Gourmet Academy.

Robert Spakowski

At an early age, Robert was keenly interested in the pure magic that is brought about by good food shared. As he matured, it became evident that this was something he wanted to pursue, and this magic has followed and inspired him throughout his life and culinary career.

Robert began his first culinary-related job as the executive chef of a now-iconic restaurant bar. After obtaining his Diploma in Culinary Arts and Technology Management, he pursued several consultancy jobs working for several restaurants in Manila for several years. He gained a mountain of know-how and inspiration working in several restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai including Capone’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar and Planet Caviar.

Craving more knowledge and experience, Robert returned to culinary school to pursue his Grand Diplome in Spanish Culinary Arts at the International Culinary Center in New York City. He then brought this rich experience to these shores, taking over a Spanish restaurant as its executive chef and operations manager.

To date, he has been working in multiple managerial roles in the food and beverage industry and restaurant consultancy for 24 years. He has also received a number of recognitions, and is a member of several prestigious chefs organizations both in and out of the country.

At the moment, he is creatively using his knowledge, skills and talent, teaching our aspiring chefs here at First Gourmet Academy.

Thomas Paul

He has been in the field of Culinary Arts for 40 years which makes him probably the most experienced instructor in The Philippines. He started as a Commis de cuisine at Hotel Intercontinental in Frankfurt. After being a cook in The German Army he studied, and became a certified culinary instructor at a young age. He continued with his career, worked and at the same time traveled the world through food. Some of the countries and places he has worked in are Canada, and Afghanistan. He has also worked in The USA for years at for example Treasure Island, Bellagio, The Shore Club, Mandalay Bay and The Mansion MGM Grand.

Ziggy Segunial

Asian cuisines as well as healthy food and nutrition are something that Ziggy knows a lot about.
Ziggy has been in the culinary profession for almost 20 years. His previous work at Philippine Airlines Inflight Catering developed his skills in preparing special food (based on different diets), wellness and balanced meals, as well as individual preferences. He has also done a lot of consulting jobs for Asia Pacific and Far East Hotel Consultancy Company. His culinary career also took him to South Korea and Vancouver, Canada to work for a well-known Korean international restaurant chain which specializes on the standards of fast food business and franchising. At the moment, he is handling our Fundamentals of Culinary Arts short course, Asian cuisine courses, and courses focused on healthy food.

JC Gonzales

JC is one of the students from our very first Diploma course in Baking and Pastry. After her schooling at First Gourmet Academy, she began her first culinary career as a Pastry Chef and owner of "The Pastry Kitchen", a home-based business where she makes custom cakes, cupcakes, and other pastries based on the orders of clients.

She later landed a job as a Chef de Partie at the Constance Halaveli, a five-star luxury resort in the Maldives, where she was in charge of the island's exquisite desserts. Aside from acquiring new skills, she was able to develop her communication and leadership skills while working at this five-star luxury resort.

She later returned to The Philippines and began working as a Chef de Partie at Crimson Hotel, where she spent five years improving and refining her baking skills. Simultaneously, playing a bigger role in facilitating  the hotel's pastry department.

She is now the Baking and Pastry Instructor of First Gourmet Academy, where she will share her knowledge and earned talents with students who share the same aspirations as her.