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CAHMI chefs recognized for leadership, expertise

CAHMI chefs recognized for leadership, expertise

January 08, 2024

Chef Robert Hall, Lead Associate Teaching Professor of Culinary Arts at the UA-PTC Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute (CAHMI), received notification by the American Culinary Federation Jan. 4 of his election to the 15-member American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission. He will serve a two-year term, until December 31, 2025, and will be eligible for a second consecutive term.

At the conclusion of CAHMI’s accreditation site visit October 2023, Dr. Hall was asked to consider running for a commission position that would open the end of 2023. The Accrediting Commission and the National Office Commission Liaison was highly complementary of the organization of CAHMI’s self-study and preparation for the site visit. His research and writing about online/virtual culinary arts education was also discussed, as the commission will work on drafting peer review criteria for evaluating online programs seeking accreditation of certificates and degrees.

Dr. Hall will be required to participate in a number of site visits of other secondary and postsecondary culinary arts programs across the USA, Bermuda, Bulgaria, Peru, the Philippines, and Switzerland.

At the national level, the American Culinary Federation’s organization includes 10 committees, 2 commissions (the Certification Commission and the Accrediting Commission), and 11 taskforces, workgroups, and initiatives. Accreditation is the primary public symbol of legitimate higher education. Accreditation agencies regularly review and evaluate an institution and/or program providing a “stamp of approval” that standards of the highest quality are being met.

Accreditation by the ACFEF AC assures a program is meeting at least a minimum of standards for faculty, curriculum and student services and also assures future culinarians and bakers are learning and obtaining relevant industry skill competencies. Dr. Hall also serves as the Vice President and Certification Chairman of the Central Arkansas Chefs Association, the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation. See additional information at

Chef Jamie McAfee, Assistant Teaching Professor of Culinary at the CAHMI, was recently recognized with the highest level of achievement and certification in the culinary arts industry. Chef McAfee received global recognition as a Worldchefs Certified Master Chef, raising the number of Certified Master Chefs in Arkansas to 3.

CAHMI Department Chair, Dr. Robert Hall received WCMC certification in 2019; Dr. Jinnings Burruss (UAPB and Saracen Casino) and Chef McAfee were both awarded WCMC certification in 2023.

In addition to his working as a UA-PTC culinary arts instructor, he also manages food service operations at the Pine Bluff Country Club. With over 45 years of experience in the foodservice industry, Chef McAfee adds real-world experience to his classes and incorporates current trends in the many situations and scenarios he poses to his students.

There are fewer than 100 WCMC chefs in the United States and less than 600 globally.

Pictured, from left: Lead Associate Teaching Professor of Culinary Arts, Chef Robert Hall and Assistant Teaching Professor of Culinary, Chef Jamie McAfee

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