Chef Muagututia Tuala-Tamaalelagi is known in the industry by many as Chef T. Born and raised in American Samoa, Chef T’s journey as a chef began as a young boy. In the Samoan culture, men are the cook in the family and Chef T was raised to serve his family. He started his journey at a young age to help cook for family gatherings of 500+. During that time, he never knew that he would use his talent and skills to turn cooking into a passionate career.

In 2007, he decided to pursue the chef career further and attended Le Cordon Bleu Pasadena. While he was in school, he took up an opportunity to work for Wolfgang Puck as a line cook. After graduation, he made his way as a Sous Chef for Wolfgang for five years. For his next venture, Chef T worked at Ledlow for Josef Sentano’s restaurant in Los Angeles as a Chef de Cuisine before making the move to Sacramento.

Chef T started a family in Sacramento and soon took up an offer to be an Executive Chef for Marriott in Rancho Cordova. Before Covid, he was entered into the farm to fork challenge for hotel chefs and was placed first for plating. When Covid hit, he got laid off but took that as a blessing the same time, taking the chance to start his own catering business with his wife Jacinta, which they named Chef T’s Kitchen. Two years later they joined the pop-up world and named their pop-up Fresh Off da Boat. Here he brings the Polynesian food of his heritage to combine it with his fine dining expertise, ands introduces his passion to everyone from Sacramento to the Bay Area. What more fitting a name to represent who Chef T is as a Samoan chef to his Sacramento community.