Hi! I’m Sheilla Lopez. I am a Cuisine and Pastry Chef, Culinary Instructor, Chef Consultant, Food Stylist, Food Photographer, Recipe Developer, Food Writer for Breakfast Magazine. I am also a mom to an amazing little boy.
My love for the culinary arts began while I was a student at St. Paul University where I finished a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. I loved to cook, bake and whip up new dishes for my family and friends. I turned them into my guinea pigs and they were more than happy to take on the role.
After finishing my degree in 2002 I worked for a 5 star hotel in Manila as F&B Cost Controller. I liked what I was doing but still, there was a void inside me and I grew restless. I longed to do something else…something that would make me live and breathe kitchen, food, spices, cutlery, pots & pans. I wanted to become a chef.
Being the daddy’s girl that I was (and always will be) I begged him to allow me to study the ways of the kitchen. After months of talks and negotiation with my lawyer/father, I won my case! He supported my dream and allowed me to go to London. I chose Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute as my foundation, a world-class learning ground for someone like me who aspires to become a chef. It was a whole different ball game and I gave it my all. I was so thrilled when I was awarded by the institution with a scholarship for basic pastry course! This is an honor given only to deserving students that show skills, passion, determination, and naturally are at the top of their class. I earned my Le Grand Diplome (diploma for both Cuisine and Pastry) and graduated with honors on my Pastry diploma.
Then it was time to face the challenges of the real world. Yes, studying in a prestigious school provided me with the education and credentials, but it was really just the beginning. I now had to put all that I learned into practice, and of course to never stop learning. I was so lucky to land jobs as Chef de Cuisine et Patissier and Chef Consultant at some of the hottest 5 star restaurants in London and in the USA. I loved every single second of work I did in the kitchen. Staying cool and composed came naturally to me in spite of the tough demands of the job. What a pleasant surprise it was to discover that I could perform with grace under pressure in the kitchen, so different from what is portrayed in shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Master Chef where yelling and anxiety seems to be the norm.
It is a demanding job but I love the challenges. Just being near the fire and seeing the food on the grill, oven, or on the pans gives me an indescribable excitement. The sights, sounds and smells of the kitchen invigorate me. The faces of satisfied customers and their positive comments about the dishes I create make everything worth it. I also want my staff to realize that being passionate about food defies all the challenges that this job can bring. I want to establish a working environment wherein chefs create their masterpieces with love and passion because this is exactly how I feel about what I do.
For over a decade now I have been learning so much about food and all its aspects. I am very fortunate to be in the company of people who enrich my mind and soul. I would love to share what I have learned with all of you!