GCC Culinary Arts program earns WACS recognition

by Jayne Flores
Guam Community College

The Guam Community College Culinary Arts program has earned another badge of honor – this time from the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS).

Marivic Schrage, GCC Tourism & Hospitality Department chair, announced that the College had applied to be accepted into the WACS Recognition of Quality Culinary Education program last year. This week GCC received a formal letter from John Clancy, WACS Education Chairman/Director of Education, noting that “Guam Community College meets and in some cases, exceeds WACS Standards of Quality Culinary Education.”  

“On behalf of the World Association of Chefs Societies it is our pleasure to award WACS Recognition of Quality Culinary Education to Guam Community College,” Clancy wrote.

Schrage credits GCC Chefs Paul Kerner and Bertrand Haurillon, and former Tourism Dept. chair Norman Aguilar with assembling a successful application packet.

“This is yet another accolade for GCC’s outstanding Culinary Arts program,” said Schrage, who was the instructor for the two-time consecutive national champion ProStart team from Simon Sanchez High School before taking over duties as department chair. ProStart is GCC’s CTE program that feeds from the island’s public high schools into the Culinary Arts program.

“I want to thank all of our partner master chefs from the island’s hotels and restaurants,” said Chef Paul Kerner, GCC head Culinary Arts instructor. “Our program would not be as strong as it is without their tutelage and their interest in seeing our students succeed.”

Dr. Mary Okada, GCC president, praised the hard work of Kerner, Haurillon, and everyone involved in the program. “We have outstanding instructors, outstanding partnerships, and the most dedicated, outstanding students. They really look at food preparation as not only an art, but as a way to bring joy into people’s lives. Our culture revolves around food, and you see that in the care these students take in their creations,” she said.

Last year, GCC’s Culinary Arts program earned accreditation from the American Culinary Federation. The designation allows Culinary Arts graduates to become nationally recognized Certified Culinarians, which means they can start at higher employment positions.

“WACS recognition is the icing on the cake,” said Kerner. “No pun intended!”

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