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American Samoa Culinary Academy on track for national accreditation says Chef Sualua

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The next milestone for the American Samoa Culinary Academy is getting national accreditation from the American Culinary Federation, whose officials are scheduled to be in the territory next year for an assessment of the first culinary school in the territory.

Speaking at last Friday’s second graduation for the school,  the academy’s lead instructor, Chef Sualua Tupolo revealed the upcoming accreditation review as well as urging local restaurant operators and owners to recruit the new graduates.

Sualua told the audience that the biggest issue for the school coming up —“we are now on the list for the American Culinary Federal, to arrive... on island on Apr. 19, 2012 to assess our program, to give us full accreditation.”

“And this is a big, big milestone, for us to achieve. Because it takes years and years of waiting and waiting just to get this accreditation committee to come on island,” he said.

The federation’s website says it provides accredited educational programs, certifications, competitions and networking designed to enhance professional growth for all current and future chefs and pastry chefs. 

The federation’s national office — located in St. Augustine, Fla., is responsible for coordinating its programs including regional and national events, certification, accreditation, publications and more, the website says.

During the graduation ceremony, Tupolo called on restaurants owners and operators to “give these folks a chance”, saying that the graduates are from “an entry level program” and they are not a magical chef or another Chef Sualua.

“But they will come to you with confidence. They will come to you with a good attitude. And they will come to you with a desire to go the extra mile because they understand that in order for them to not only, get in the door to get a job, but in order for them to keep the job, that they must have a good attitude, they must have confidence, that they must be willing to go the extra mile and that they must be willing ...to show the employers that they belong there,” he said.

Tupolo said this was his “topic” in the last several weeks with the students prior to graduation, adding that it’s the private sector that will help “mentor” the graduates in their future.