The Academy of Culinary Arts was signed into being by Ms. Kristina Kuehnel (left) of the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and Pierre Tami of Shift360 at the Embassy of Sweden on 13 March, 2015. Sida is the Academy’s primary funding partner.


The Academy of Culinary Arts-Cambodia is the first venture of its kind in the country and aims to change the face of the hospitality sector.

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA: For the first time in Cambodia’s history, the public and private sectors have come together to birth a new institution that will directly address job creation and skills training in the country. The Academy of Culinary Arts–Cambodia (ACAC) is the nation’s very first public-private partnership. By offering skills upgrading courses for employees in the hospitality industry as well as certificate and diploma programs in the culinary arts, ACAC aims to raise the skill level of young Cambodians in the workforce. The Academy will train 200 professional culinary staff each year who will help meet the rapidly growing demand for skilled workers in the hospitality sector.  The Academy is funded largely by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) through its Embassy in Phnom Penh and in conjunction with an EIF Fund. Sida’s unwavering commitment to the vision of ACAC has made the project a reality.

“Sida has been instrumental in making the dream of Cambodia’s first Culinary Arts Academy come true,” says Pierre Tami, Chief Executive of Shift360. 

“We are grateful for their patience and commitment which has brought the project to life.” The ACAC reflects the ambition and dedication of Sida’s Director-General, Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, who is also head of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council Agenda on Youth Unemployment. Petri Gornitzka has called on the global community to take action on the issue of youth skill and unemployment. The Culinary Academy directly addresses this mandate.

“By support to ACAC, Sweden is able to contribute to the provision of high quality training in an area where there is strong demand for skilled personnel,” says Kristina Kühnel, Head of the Development Cooperation Section of the Embassy of Sweden. “It is our hope that this will enable more young women and men in Cambodia to find meaningful and gainful employment in the hospitality industry.”

Various public, private and industry partners have also contributed to starting the ACAC. The over 100 years old Swiss Hotel Management Academy Lucerne SHL, based in Lucerne, Switzerland, is the technical partner for the venture. SHL was founded 1909 and is a foundation in Switzerland, which is recognised by the Swiss Federal Authorities.