Ryan Baxter
Ryan Baxter, CEC
Paul Kampff
Paul Kampff, CEC

2013 Final Exam Retake

CMC Exam Update: Chefs Baxter and Kampff Retake Final Day of CMC Exam on Feb. 23, 2013, to Vie for the Prestigious CMC Certification

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It was a full day of cooking on Saturday, February 23, at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. As a result of the CMC exam that was held in August 2012, two candidates met the criteria that allowed them to retake just the final day of the exam rather than the entire exam. If chefs pass all the segments leading up to the last day, then they can retake the two segments on the last day if they were not successful during the initial exam. Chefs Ryan Baxter, CEC, and Paul Kampff, CEC, choose this option and the exam was scheduled.

On Friday, the chefs met with Test Administrator Brad Barnes, CMC, CCA, AAC, for the exam review and to obtain their assignments for the Northern European Cuisine segment. They had two hours to prepare their food and china requisitions and then had time to meet and do some pre-planning with their CIA student apprentice.

Chef Kampff was the first chef to start on Saturday morning with a set-up time of 6:30 am and a cook time start of 7:00 a.m. The chefs had the same three menu items to prepare.

  1. Spain - Paella Verduras
  2. Germany - Weiner Schnitzel
  3. France - Coq au Vin

CMC Kitchen Evaluators for this segment were Chef Barnes, John Kinsella, CMC, CCE, WGMC, AAC, and apprentice evaluator Jason Hall, CMC. CMC Tasting Evaluators were Ron DeSantis, CMC, AAC, MBA, Joachim Buchner, CMC, and Thomas Griffiths, CMC. After the first four hour cooking segment, Chef Kampff’s service window opened at 11:00 a.m. Chef Baxter followed closely with his service window opening at 11:30 a.m. Four individual servings and one platter for six was prepared for each of the country’s specialties.

The scoring for the CMC Final Exam requires a minimum score of 70 in the morning segment to continue to the market basket segment. Also a minimum score of 70 in the market basket segment and a cumulative score of at least 75 for the day will result in a passing score.

After the scores were tallied for the Northern European segment it was determined that Chef Kampff would not be continuing in the afternoon.

After a 30 minute break period Chef Baxter was presented with his market basket. He then had five hours to develop and prepare a five course meal consisting of an appetizer, soup, fish course, salad and entree. Again, the service included four individual plates and platter service for six. Chef Baxter’s basket consisted of pork rack, pork tenderloin, smoked hock, red snapper, head on prawns and frog legs as the proteins. Other items included wild mushrooms, butternut squash, celery root, salsify, avocado, red cabbage, asparagus, poblano, radicchio, Belgian Endive, papaya, French Beans, beets yucca and Israeli Couscous.

Chef Baxter cooked strong all afternoon with Chefs Kinsella, Hall and the addition of Ken Arnone, CMC, WGMC, as kitchen evaluators. The same team of tasting evaluators continued in the afternoon. Chef Baxter’s window closed at 6:00 p.m.

Sadly, after the scores were reviewed no additional CMCs were added at the conclusion of the exam. It was a disappointing result for all involved. Chefs Baxter and Kampff are great chefs and true professionals.

Thank you to Chef Barnes and his team at the CIA. Thank you to CIA students Miranda Crenshaw and Matt Grunwald for serving as hard-working and loyal apprentices. Also, many thanks to the CMC evaluators, Chefs Arnone, Barnes, Buchner, DeSantis, Griffiths, Kinsella and Hall as this exam would not have happened without their time and expertise.

Above all, ACF extends heartfelt thanks to Chefs Baxter and Kampff for a job well done and for exemplifying the qualities of great chefs and true professionals. You have inspired and motivated many with your never-ending dedication and passionate culinary spirit.