[Sca-cooks] Professional Certifications

Christine Seelye-King kingstaste at mindspring.com
Wed Feb 20 12:12:23 PST 2008

Selene asked:
OK, who actually certifies one as a "Chef" anyway?  Is it an advanced 
degree of the culinary schools?  Granted after grad work and 
"internships" and "residencies" like a medical doctor?  I want to know.

The American Culinary Federation offers certification.

 This is the organization that I served my apprenticeship through in the
early 80's (I was the first woman to graduate from the program in the
SouthEast, way back in 1984).  I had recently considered getting new
certifications, looking at Certified Secondary Culinary Educator or
Certified Personal Chef, but the practice meals (5 run-throughs were
advised), application and testing fees looked like they would run into the
$2,000 range, and I can't swing that right now.  I can't see getting jobs
over the next five years where those certs would net me that much extra
change anyway, but that's because of the sort of teaching I'm doing now.  (I
already hold those jobs, being "certified" wouldn't get me more money.)

Just doing a quick web search, several of the culinary schools come up under
Chef Certifications, but then when I look at their site, they do their
certification process through the ACF.  The big schools like Johnson and
Wales offer Associates, Bachelor's, Masters, etc. in Food Service and
related fields, but they don't give the big "c" title with those.  There is
something called the "US Personal Chef's Association" which I've never heard
of, but evidently you can get them to certify you as well.  

Again, the certifications only come after filling in all the requirements
anyway, and that involves holding the job and the title for set amounts of
time.  It is a HUGE deal to become a CEC, (Certified Executive Chef) and
that certainly does net you the big bucks.  As you can see from the ACF site
though, there are many levels of Chef certs.   None of them are easy to get.


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