2010 Certified Master Chef® Exam
The American Culinary Federation is the leading provider of culinary
certification in the U.S., offering 14
designations. The title of Certified Master Chef® (CMC®)
is the highest level of certification a chef can receive. It represents
the pinnacle of professionalism and skill. Today, there are 66 CMCs and
12 Certified Master Pastry Chefs® (CMPC®) in the nation.
It had been over four years since the last CMC exam but on Oct.
23–30, 2010, 12 accomplished chefs vied for the chance to join the
ranks of the elite group known as Certified Master Chefs. The eight-day
practical exam, sponsored by McCormick For Chefs, took place at The Culinary
Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y.
In addition to the exam, there was an inaugural Certified Master
Chefs Summit held on Oct. 29, 2010, which gathered CMCs from around the
country for the day.
What it Takes
In order to be accepted, each candidate had to document that he is a
Certified Executive Chef® or Certified Culinary Educator®,
provide two letters of recommendation from current CMCs, and meet
rigorous education and experience requirements.
On Wednesday, before the eight-day practical exam, candidates
received the protein for their healthy cooking segment. Within 24 hours,
they returned a nutritional analysis, menu and an ingredient list
approved by a registered dietician.
The practical exam was administered in eight segments: healthy
cooking, buffet catering, classical cuisine, freestyle cooking, global
cuisine, baking and pastry, continental and northern Europe cuisines,
and market basket, demonstrating that the chef is well-rounded. Each
category was graded in two parts: kitchen skills and presentation, and
tasting. The minimum passing score for the entire exam is 75 points out
of 100. If a candidate failed any segment, he was ineligible to
Meet the Chefs
Twelve chefs from nine states vied to be the next Certified Master
Chef. Read about the candidates.
Meet the Evaluators
Certified Master Chefs from across the country evaluated the 2010
You can read what happened each day during the 2010 CMC exam as well
as see ACF daily posts and photos. More
“It is the most intense examination in the world.”
—John Kinsella, CMC, CCE, WGMC, AAC
“They may be good chefs and cooks, but until they earn that
title, they aren’t master chefs.” —Edward Leonard,
CMC, AAC, WGMC