2014 CMC Exam Updates

Congratulations to the newest Certified Master Chefs® (CMC). These two chefs were awarded the CMC designation on Nov. 2, after successfully completing the grueling eight-day CMC exam, Oct. 26–Nov. 2, at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles, Pasadena, California. The CMC certification is considered the highest and most demanding of ACF’s certification levels and we are proud of these chefs for their hard-won accomplishment.

The newest Certified Master Chefs are:

  • Jonathan Moosmiller, CMC, executive chef, Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Daryl Shular, CMC, director of education/executive chef, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta, Tucker, Georgia

We sincerely thank Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles, the CMC evaluators and the apprentices. Without this team of people this exam would not have been possible. We also thank the CMC candidates, as each of them displayed tremendous courage, as well as the qualities of a chef that make us proud.

Learn more about the exam in our media room, and on Facebook and Twitter. Photos will be available soon on Flickr.

Oct. 26: Day One (Healthy Cooking)

The 10 candidates arrived in Pasadena, California, at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles, Oct. 25, for orientation meetings prior to the start of the exam.

The 2014 candidates were: David Daniot, CEC; Kevin Doherty, CEC, CCA; Joseph Leonardi, CEC; Jonathan Moosmiller, CEC; Kevin Quinn, CEC; Timothy Recher, CEC; Daryl Shular, CEC; Kevin Storm, CEC, CCA, AAC; Randy Torres, CEC, AAC; and Percy Whatley, CEC.

The first CMC candidate entered the kitchen at 6:45 a.m. All ingredients were premeasured for the healthy cooking segment, and the chefs had four and a half hours before their service window opened.

The candidates prepared one of three different baskets, each of which contained three proteins, one grain, three fruits and a lettuce. From this, they prepared a four-course meal. One basket contained turkey, trout, bay scallops, amaranth, bananas, raspberries, oranges and arugula.

Thomas Griffiths, CMC, exam evaluator, said, “Healthy cooking tasks chefs to utilize vegetables and healthy ingredients to transform and enhance the flavor of any dish.”

Oct. 27: Day Two (Buffet Catering Preparation)

Day two had a shotgun start that began at 7 a.m. The candidates spent the next 12 hours preparing items for the following day’s garde manger program.

Stephen Giunta, CMC, exam evaluator, gave this advice: “Pickling from the flavor standpoint is a great counterbalance to the richness in traditional garde manger proteins.”

Oct. 28: Day Three (Buffet Catering—Plating and Service)

For the garde manger presentation, candidates sliced, glazed, built garnishes and laid out their platters.

In their cold platters, they were required to demonstrate competency in cold mousse, emulsified forcemeat, cured protein, cold salad, two standing garnishes and chemise.

Oct. 29: Day Four (Classical Cuisine)

On day four, candidates demonstrated their classical cooking techniques. They prepared a three-course meal of a consommé, a fish course using Dover sole and an entree, with accompaniments, that utilized either beef tenderloin, rack of venison or poularde.

Candidates had four hours and a 30-minute service window to prepare and then present their menu. Consommé Georges V, Filets de Sole Victoria and Tournedos á la Bordelaise were some of the menu items. All items were created with reference to Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire.

Oct. 30: Day Five (Freestyle Cooking)

The freestyle cooking segment gave the candidates the opportunity to be creative. They needed to find a balance between simplicity and elegance that highlighted their skills and also produced good-tasting food.

Proteins for the day included rabbit, whole flat iron, slab bacon, veal tongue and oysters. Vegetables and grains included bok choy, whole corn, globe artichokes and Moroccan pearl couscous.

Oct. 31: Day Six (Global Cuisine)

Eight candidates moved on to day six: Daniot, Leonardi, Moosmiller, Quinn, Recher, Shular, Torres and Whatley.

The first candidate entered the kitchen at 6:45 a.m. to begin four hours of cooking followed by a 30-minute presentation window.

Day six was all about authenticity, and candidates were tasked with choosing the proper ingredients to develop the flavors of each dish while remaining true to its origin.

Nov. 1: Day Seven (Baking and Pastry)

Leonardi, Moosmiller, Quinn, Shular, Torres and Whatley entered the kitchen on day seven.

Kitchen evaluators were looking for good technique and lots of creativity. The candidates needed to demonstrate different approaches to working with puff pastries, unique molds and good use of seasonal products such as pumpkin, apple and cranberry.

Throughout the day, the smell of fresh-baked bread and muffins filled the Le Cordon Bleu kitchen. The chefs had five hours to bake and prepare a hot dessert or a cold dessert. They also had to present a yeast-leavened product, a chemically leavened quick bread product and puff pastry. The chefs were able to present their bread items at any point during the baking time.

At the completion of day seven, Leonardi, Moosmiller, Quinn, Shular and Torres had the required cumulative minimum score of 75 to advance to the final exam day.

Nov. 2: Day Eight (Continental and Northern European Cuisines and Market Basket)

Day eight’s morning segment on Continental and Northern European cuisine required candidates to prepare three main dishes from three of the countries of this region. The areas of testing included cuisines of Switzerland, cuisines of Italy and cuisines of Scandinavia.

After presenting their dishes, the five candidates, Leonardi, Moosmiller, Quinn, Shular and Torres, advanced to the second segment of the day: Market Basket. The mystery basket included whole duck, monk and skate fish, sea scallops, avocado, papaya and butternut squash.

The chefs had 30 minutes to write menus based on the mystery basket ingredients and then five hours to prepare and 30 minutes to present their planned appetizer, soup, fish course, salad and main course.

After all scores were tallied, it was announced that Moosmiller and Shular passed the Certified Master Chef exam.