ACF Standard of Excellence:  celebrating 40 years of culinary certification Certification Designations

ACF offers 14 certification designations each requiring specific qualifications.

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Cooking Professionals | Personal Cooking Professionals | Baking and Pastry Professionals | Culinary Administrators | Culinary Educators

Cooking Professionals

Certified Culinarian® (CC®): An entry level culinarian within a commercial foodservice operation responsible for preparing and cooking sauces, cold food, fish, soups and stocks, meats, vegetables, eggs and other food items.

Certified Sous Chef® (CSC®): A chef who supervises a shift or station(s) in a foodservice operation. Equivalent job titles are sous chef, banquet chef, garde manger, first cook, a.m. sous chef and p.m. sous chef.

Certified Chef de Cuisine® (CCC®): A chef who is the supervisor in charge of food production in a foodservice operation. This could be a single unit of a multi-unit operation or a free-standing operation. He or she is in essence the chef of the operation with the final decision-making power as it relates to culinary operations.

Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®): A chef who is the department head usually responsible for all culinary units in a restaurant, hotel, club, hospital or foodservice establishment. In addition to culinary responsibilities, other duties include budget preparation, payroll, maintenance, controlling food costs and maintaining financial and inventory records.

Certified Master Chef® (CMC®): The consummate chef. A CMC® possesses the highest degree of professional culinary knowledge, skill and mastery of cooking techniques. A separate application is required, in addition to successfully completing an eight-day testing process judged by peers. Certification as a CEC® or CEPC® is a prerequisite.

Personal Cooking Professionals

Personal Certified Chef™ (PCC™): A chef who is engaged in the preparation, cooking and serving of foods on a “cook-for-hire” basis. Must also have knowledge of menu planning, marketing, financial management and operational decision making. Has at least three years of cooking experience and one full year of Personal Chef experience.

Personal Certified Executive Chef™ (PCEC™): An advanced chef who is engaged in the preparation, cooking and serving of foods on a “cook-for-hire” basis. Must also have knowledge of menu planning, marketing, financial management and operational decision making. Has at least three years of Personal Chef experience.

Baking and Pastry Professionals

Certified Pastry Culinarian® (CPC®): An entry level culinarian within a pastry foodservice operation responsible for the preparation and production of pies, cookies, cakes, breads, rolls, desserts or other baked goods.

Certified Working Pastry Chef® (CWPC®): A pastry chef who supervises a pastry section or a shift within a foodservice operation and has considerable responsibility for preparation and production of all pastry items.

Certified Executive Pastry Chef® (CEPC®): A pastry chef who is a department head, usually responsible to the executive chef of a food operation or to the management of a pastry specialty firm. A CEPC® has supervisory responsibility as well as administrative duties.

Certified Master Pastry Chef® (CMPC®): A CMPC® possesses the highest degree of professional knowledge, skill and mastery of cooking techniques as they apply to baking and pastry. A separate application is required, in addition to successfully completing an 8-day testing process judged by peers. Certification as a CEC® or CEPC® is a prerequisite.

Culinary Administrators

Certified Culinary Administrator® (CCA®): This is an executive-level chef who is responsible for the administrative functions of running a professional foodservice operation. This culinary professional must demonstrate proficiency in culinary knowledge, human resources, operational management and business planning skills.

Culinary Educators

Certified Secondary Culinary Educator® (CSCE®): An advanced-degree culinary professional who is working as an educator at an accredited secondary or vocational institution. A CSCE® is responsible for the development, implementation, administration, evaluation and maintenance of a culinary arts or foodservice management curriculum. In addition, a CSCE® demonstrates the culinary competencies of a CCC® or CWPC® during a Practical Exam.

Certified Culinary Educator® (CCE®): An advanced-degree culinary professional, with industry experience, who is working as an educator in an accredited postsecondary institution or military training facility. A CCE® is responsible for the development, implementation, administration, evaluation and maintenance of a culinary arts or foodservice management curriculum. In addition, a CCE® demonstrates the culinary competencies of a CCC® or CWPC® during a Practical Exam.

All applications are available on the Resources page.