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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            5 Program(s) Found
            • 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.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            • Offers career-focused programs in allied health, business, and computer technology, and more.
            • On-the-job training available through externships, internships, and clinical placements.
            • Graduates in good standing can take refresher sessions in courses at no additional cost.
            • Day and evening class options are available for flexible scheduling.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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            • First opened its doors in 1980 as the Academy of Medical Art and Business.
            • Students can choose from a variety of diploma or degree programs, as well as continuing education courses.
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            • 7.5 acre campus is located in the foothills of Blue Mountain, north of Harrisburg, PA.
            • Involved with many community service organizations, including the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank (CPBB), March of Dimes, and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            • Accredited
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