2009 CMC Assessment at Midwest Culinary Institute

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) hosted a successful two-day cooking assessment at Midwest Culinary Institute, Cincinnati, for culinarians interested in participating in the next certified master chef (CMC) exam. The 14 candidates completed the classical and freestyle portions of the CMC exam while receiving feedback and instruction from six current CMCs.

As in the real exam, candidates had less than 24 hours after receiving their classical cooking assignments to develop their china and food requisitions. They began the classical assignment—10 portions of soup, fish course and entrée, all prepared for Russian service—on the first morning of the two-day session. The classical cuisine assignment was designed to demonstrate the ability to understand, interpret and execute the philosophy of Auguste Escoffier and classical cuisine as prescribed in the Le Guide Culinaire. Candidates had a four-hour preparation window and a 30-minute service window. CMC evaluators were on hand during the process to work with candidates during the preparation time.

The second day featured the freestyle portion of the CMC exam. Again, candidates were given an assignment, with less than 24 hours to develop a menu and requisition. The freestyle assignment is designed to demonstrate a candidate’s skills in relation to the construction and preparation of a menu. The freestyle assignment featured the development of 10 portions of an appetizer or soup, fish course, salad and main course.

Each day ended with a lecture recapping the day’s events. Evaluators reviewed pictures of each of the plates produced during the day, and critiqued all plates for the candidates.

Overall, the assessment offered candidates a realistic understanding of the rigor and level of quality expected during the CMC exam. Candidates were given open and honest feedback that they could use to prepare for the CMC exam in the future.

2009 CMC Assessment Evaluators

Brad Barnes, CMC, CCA, AAC
Joachim Buchner, CMC
Steven Jilleba, CMC, CCE, AAC
John Kinsella, CMC, CCE, WGMC, AAC
Edward G. Leonard, CMC, AAC
Ferdinand E. Metz, CMC, WGMC, AAC, HOF