Who We Are

The Standard of Excellence for Chefs

The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), a professional, organization for chefs and cooks, was founded in 1929 in New York City by three chefs’ organizations: the Société Culinaire Philanthropique, the Vatel Club and the Chefs de Cuisine Association of America. Since our inception, little has changed in our principal goals. We are an organization based on promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels.

In 1976, ACF forever changed the culinary industry by elevating the position of the executive chef from service status to the professional category in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Official Titles. Since this change, the culinary industry and our organization have grown tremendously. Today, ACF is the largest professional chefs organization in North America. We are made up of more than 20,000 members who belong to more than 200 chapters in four regions across the United States.

The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF), ACF’s educational arm, is a nonprofit and is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service with a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. Donations to the ACFEF are tax deductible—please consult your tax advisor for further guidance. Entities under the ACFEF include apprenticeship, programmatic accreditation, American Academy of Chefs, Chef & Child Foundation, Senior Chefs and ACF Culinary Team USA.

ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation designed to enhance professional growth for all current and future chefs and pastry chefs. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and combat childhood obesity.

We offer culinary competitions, certification, a national apprenticeship program, regional and national events, publications and much more to help foster the growth of professional chefs and the foodservice industry. If you are not part of our organization, we invite you to join us and gain access to the best culinary resources available.

American Culinary Federation Strategic Plan

The strategic plan (3.1 MB) was developed by the Board of Directors of the ACF with input from ACF’s national office and contains initiatives and action items to move the organization forward over the next five years, 2011–2016.

American Culinary Federation Mission

The American Culinary Federation provides accredited educational programs, certifications, competitions and networking designed to enhance professional growth for all current and future chefs and pastry chefs.

American Culinary Federation Vision

To be the leader in professional and personal development for the culinary community, while promoting current culinary techniques and preserving the history and skills of our craft.