CCA MANILA: Furthering world-class culinary education via partnership with American Culinary Federation (ACF)
The Center for Culinary Arts (CCA Manila) is the country’s top culinary school. On the other hand, the American Culinary Federation (ACF), established in 1929, is the largest and foremost professional chefs’ organization in North America. Through the years, ACF has a certification program considered throughout the world as the standard for excellence in professional skills and knowledge in the culinary industry. As the leading professional culinary education institution in the Philippines, it is only appropriate that it also ties up with the world’s best.
In the latter part of 2019, CCA Manila was again the test site for ACF professional certification in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Since 2011, CCA Manila is the site of certification tests, both for practical and written examinations. To be an accredited test site, the institution should be recognized by the ACF through its ACFEF accredited programs. As of 2019, CCA Manila remains to be the only institution recognized by ACF in the Asia-Pacific region as an ACF test site,” said Dr. Veritas F. Luna, Chancellor for Education of CCA Manila. “Professionals come to CCA Manila for their certification tests due to confidence in our brand and proximity.”
The practical test took only about one to one-and-a-half hours, but the rigors of preparing to successfully hurdle the practical test took at least six months per candidate. Before a professional could take the test, an application accompanied with the evidence of education, qualifications, and industry experience and a pre-approval fee are submitted for review to the ACF Committee. Add to that, continuing education hours in nutrition, food safety, and supervisory management were basic requirements, and higher certification levels required additional education updates on beverage management and cost control management.
Upon approval of the application, test fees for the written and practical fees are collected. The test dates are mutually agreed on. As a general rule, at least 10 practices are required prior to the actual practical exam. Review sessions for the written exams are likewise available online.
“Our CCA faculty candidates worked hard for their certifications. As of the moment, 100% of CCA Manila faculty who pursued the practical tests have passed. The support of the school administrators and owners, including both financial and teaching load reduction, and recognition of the faculty’s positive and sincere effort on this endeavor, is a sure path to successfully acquire their ACF professional certifications soon,” added Dr. Luna.
Likewise, four professional chefs from Taiwan, Guam, Japan, and Cebu passed their practical tests at CCA Manila. Of the 11 candidates, 2 have been conferred their professional certificates. The rest are now preparing to take their written tests at CCA Manila this 2020.
“CCA Manila is officially affiliated with ACF through the ACFEF accreditation of the academic programs. Since 2006, CCA Manila has continually sought support from the ACF through accreditation of programs, as well as certification of its faculty chef,” explained Dr. Luna.
CCA Manila is now on its fourth round of program accreditation renewal – from 2006, 2010, 2015, to 2020. Through this effort, CCA Manila has assisted a total of 24 professional chefs in the certification at various levels.
“The partnership with the ACF is important to CCA Manila as it ensures compliance to international standards for quality culinary arts education. As the pioneer and leader in culinary arts education in the country, CCA Manila holds the responsibility of offering only the best education to its students for global culinary competence,” she said.
Today, many schools and institutions recognize CCA Manila as a template of quality curricula, as well as a source of academic manpower and culinary education pedagogy. As a result, many schools have followed suit in terms of acquiring ACF accreditation. The ACF is not only important to CCA Manila but likewise in raising the bar for culinary education in the country, if not the region.