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ACF Cert VS Assosiates

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am curently transitioning from a kitchen management position of 4 years to the sous chef position of a higher scale chain. My schedule will not allow for much free time for school, but i will be learning some more valuable skills. Here in Colorado Springs however there is a newer school called Paragon Cullinary. it is pretty pricy, but the curriculum seems amazing. they offer ACF certifications, but no degree? my question i guess is which would mean more in the market? by the time i get done with any sort of cert or schooling, i will have had 4+ years as a kitchen manager, and about 3+ as a Sous Chef. Should i go for the degree or the certs??
post #2 of 15
The only certification a school can offer is a CC, or Certified Culinarian. That's the entry level certification. If you can verify the experience you have, it's better that you go for CSC. Some people jump straight to CEC.

BTW, since you're in the springs, chef Sigi Eisenberger is awesome.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
would i just complete the ACF practicals then??
post #4 of 15
It's more than just practicals. You also need to take the written exams. You will also need experience and at least three education classes which are management, sanitation, and nutrition. Visit the ACF site for more info.
post #5 of 15
I was wonering the same thing is it better to get an assciates or get a certificate degree. THe difference is that ill be comming straight out of high school to go in to a culinary program.
post #6 of 15

AA, AOS The way to go!

I would say to definitely go for a Degree of some sort if it is a dedicated Culinary school like CIA or somewhere that offers culinary training like an Art Institute or Johnson and Wales. There are Le Cordon Blue schools popping up everywhere wherever you choose do your home work. Research the schools and financial aid option before choosing. CIA is the most respected by the "OLD HEADS." It's probably the only real school that is still "Hard KNOCKS"

Though all the other schools will teach you the basics, it's up to you to build on that knowledge!!!!!!!!
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
so.. does experience mean nothing without a degree?? If i have the knowledge of a kitchen , how to Chiffonade , Julienne, make a mathematically perfect Batonette,or how to make the best Creme Brule you have ever tasted. If I can work miracles with food and labor costs. Doe s myexperience not matter?? Do I really need the piece of paper?? I am not degrading the system.. i just dont want to waste any money that i don't have to. I have heard various different points of view on this subject and am just curious about the line which is drawn between the two. eg. if i had all of the same real world experience that a degree would offer, would i lose the job to an individual with the degree?? It seems to me that hands on real world knowledge would be more valuable than "school learnin'" but i am ignorant on the real world applications of this subject.
post #8 of 15

experience v/s education

I believe you are pointing to the classic battle of education v/s experience.

I firmly believe experience is one of the best teachers. However, education should not be undermined.

After all the degree/certi. is conferred upon by people who's opinion have mattered in the field.
Also, though the field is different - but so many times you are in a catch-22 situation in which you need experience to get a job and a job to get experience.

That way atleast having a degree/certi proves that this person is capable of doing something - atleast holding on their own if they are shown proper direction.

It will be like learning to drive (experience) v/s knowing how to read the signs and follow direction(education).
post #9 of 15
Certification is different from a degree. ACF certification takes into account experience, and for experience to count you must have been at the same job for at least one year, and you need a lot of it for your CEC. You can see the ACF holds experience in high regard. You can have zero education and pass the writtens just by studying. That's something to think about.
post #10 of 15

was confused

may be I was confused with the certificate courses as opposed to certification which I realize is a completely different story...

thanx kuan
post #11 of 15
To Rblum, No I am not saying that your experience doesn't matter I am trying to bring the point that with your experience and a formal education you will rocket through the ranks like no other! Coming from school you will be familar with food cost and labor control but will need assistance in applying that knowledge.

If another canidate with a degree from let's say CIA and the same number of years experience as yourself were to apply for the same position I would probably go with the grad. This would only be based on those two factors.

I would definitly have to take into account where theyre experience came from if you were to have worked for someone like Roland Henin or Palidan for a number of years or maybe Tom Catherall. Maybe the likes of Guenter Seeger or Joel of Ritz Carlton Fame. That would push you to the top of my "A" list. Ahead of a CIA Grad who maybe just worked for Marriott or a country club. Where you get that experience MATTERS!!!! :chef:
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
but can i get that experience without the degree or certs?? Will these chefs hire someone with the ability to grow and learn, without the degree/certs? I am looking forward to a long and rewarding carreer in this fied which i have , all too masochistically, come to love. I want to do what will give me the best track for increasing my knowlede of this amazing art. If it means dropping 30-50 grand on a formal education. But I also know myself. I can learn anything. I take to kitchens like a duck to water. I love the challenges faced by new menues, environments etc. As I type tis it seems that i am ,looking for answers to questions which io already know, but i need some help. I am far and away from the title of "professional chef" but line cook doesnt seem to fit either. Should i study from a school, or study under a chef?? Will a reputable chef even consider me w/o a degree/cert??
post #13 of 15

Spell Check! Soon

If I might add, I would begin by doing a spell check on anything I post among the threads.

Simply, I have done a ACF apprenticeship. It is very tough demanding work. However, if you have decided to complete the apprenticeship by all means go for it. However, be warned. I have heard lately that an associates degree is weighing alot heavier on an owners mind rather than a Amercian apprentice. This came from a conversation I have had in the last two days with bigtime owners.
post #14 of 15

Food Cost BS Jargon

Chefs and Future Chefs,

Let me break some important news to you. If you are working in a restaurant where the owner is controlling the labor and food. Math will not equate to nothing. However, knowledge is good power and so is school math.But.

As a restaurant Chef, luckly enough to work for an owner that makes millions per year. Let me give you some real world experience. Learn how to cook the best you can and write the best menus available. Then the owner will give you trust in ordering, labor, and scheduling. Do not be worried about labor food etc. Money is made by the owner, he owns the **** restaurant. He got the loan. He or she knows how to make money. They have alot of it. The owner will not need your help. He needs you help in doing quality control checks. Got me!
post #15 of 15
Did you go through a formal apprenticeship? From what I remember, an apprenticeship is three years of working/school done together.
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