Master Chef Test

Chef showed us a video in class yesterday that followed the 10-day testing phase of becoming a certified Master Chef through ACF. It was interesting to watch – scary, intense and fascinating. The statistics were astounding; I didn’t write them down, but remember the ratio of executive chefs who have tested and failed was high, and the list of CMCs was male dominated. Chef said he could only think of one female chef that passed, and he wasn’t sure if even that was accurate.

Watching the video, it was easy to recognized where Top Chef, Next Iron Chef, and the myriad of other competitive cooking shows found their inspiration. The video was still full of drama, but sans the sarcastic Alton Brown commentary.

After class, I took a look at all of the testing guides on the ACF web site to see what I might qualify for, if anything, or might be ready to take. On paper, the guidelines for a certified culinarian (the first certification) seemed reasonable — cut mirepoix, cut up a chicken to show your boning and butchery techniques, make chicken broth, saute a chicken breast. But when a time constraint is put on those tasks, they became frightening to think about. I don’t think I could do all of those things perfectly in 2.5 hours while keeping control over mise and cleaning and organizing. Not yet, anyway.

One of my classes for next semester is called “competition class.” It’s the one class that will force me to practice my knife skills, charcuterie, butchery mise, and organization skills, with consequences if I don’t do well. I hear it’s one of the toughest, most demanding classes, and it’s one of the classes I’m looking forward to most.

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            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
            • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
            • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
            • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
            • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
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            • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
            • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
            • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
            • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
            • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
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