The juniors work their tails off getting ready for the exams and competitions.
I've participated in several of their events throughout the years, directed/managed them on stage, hosted them at the farmer's market.....
So, to many there is validation in certification.
Paul Ashman CEPC
Panama City, FL
I've just begun looking into the certification process and I can see through the ascending levels of certification and their practical exams the value that an ACF certification must have in the world of professional baking.
ACF is not for everybody and does not insure that the accredited person is a competent culinarian.
I have a lot to say about this entity, and none of it is positive.
Perhaps I just got into the wrong chapter at the time. To much "good ol boy" mentality.
There are only app. 70 CMC's and app. 12 CMPC's in the U.S.A...
I have no idea how many CMCE's as I don't travel in those circles.
You can't be a CMC etc. just because you want to, You have to be recommended by 2 CMC's.
Just the same as being a "Free Mason" or "Skull and Bones," They ask you.
Plus it costs app.$6-$8K to take the exam and expenses. I have talked to several CEC who couldn't cut it and said they would not go through it again, it's not just paying dues, it's also politics. Most work for colleges and a lot are now retired.
General Qualification Guidelines
• Possess the practiced skills to perform culinary art to the highest standards.
• Have a foundation of quality experience and education in advanced level courses,
externships and/or competitions.
• Be physically and mentally prepared to perform eight days under extreme pressure.
• Secure funding to cover expenses: application fee, examination fee, travel, housing,
meals and miscellaneous based at approximately $4,000 - $6,000.
Specific Experience Requirements
• Level of practice documentation of a Certified Executive Chef (CEC), or Certified
Culinary Educator (CCE) in good standing.
• Letters from two CMCs recommending the candidate for the exam.
Fees, Payments, Refunds and Other Expenses
Once a candidate has committed to an exam date they are to respond to the notice and
follow the payment schedule as listed below.
The examination fee for the Certified Master Chef or Certified Master Pastry Chef is
$3,800 (subject to change).
The application fee of $300 is nonrefundable and entitles the candidate to be listed as a
preparatory candidate for the next three exams.
Three months prior to the start of the exam, the candidate is required to make a deposit
Two months prior to the exam, the candidate is required to pay the remaining balance of
I was very involved in the ACF in the latter half of the 90's. We did a lot of good things like grant about $15,000 in scholarships per year. We paid for these by holding two events. One was a brunch and one a sit down dinner. I was just waiting for my invitation to the AAC but figured I hadn't really been around long enough. (do you have to be like 60 to qualify?) ;) Anyway, it never happened. I moved, my new chapter was sorta blah, and I didn't renew my membership or my certification. Then we had a kid and I "retired."
Sometime around 1996 or 1997 the ACF changed the certification requirements. That was when the written test and continuing education along with experience became a requirement. Prior to that your title was based on participation points. You had to have a sponsor for membership and you were required to be a member to be certified. I think (IMO) the ACF made the right choice in having more and more stringent requirements.
Anyway it can fall into place for you if you have the right chapter. Even though the "good old boys" requirement has been minimized, a chapter with a great supporting cast of chefs who are really involved does help a lot.