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2017 Certified Master Chef® Exam

The title of Certified Master Chef (CMC), presented solely by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) in the U.S., is the highest level of certification a chef can receive. It represents the pinnacle of professionalism and skill. Today, there are 68 CMCs and 10 Certified Master Pastry Chefs® (CMPC) in the nation.

Congratulations to the 2017 American Culinary Federation Certified Master Chefs: Gerald Ford, CMC; Joseph Leonardi, CMC; and Shawn Loving, CMC, CCA.

2017 CMC Exam Successful Candidates

To apply for the CMC exam, a candidate must be a Certified Executive Chef® or Certified Culinary Educator®, provide two letters of recommendation from current CMCs or CMPCs, and have completed education courses on sanitation and food safety, cost management, management and wine. The candidate must also secure funding for the cost of the exam process including the exam fee, travel expenses and practice materials.

During the eight-day exam, candidates must maintain an average score of 75 out of 100 points to be eligible to continue. Scores are tallied based on kitchen skills, plate presentation and taste. Candidates are tested on the following subjects by ACF-certified chefs:

  • Healthy cooking
  • Buffet catering
  • Classical cuisine
  • Freestyle cooking
  • Global cuisine
  • Baking and pastry
  • Continental and Northern Europe cuisines
  • Market basket

The 2017 ACF-CMC Exam took place Sept. 30 to Oct. 8, 2017, at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. Visit the ACF Flickr page for daily photographs from the exam.

Meet the 2017 CMC Candidates

Chefs from across the U.S. prepared for the ultimate test. Learn about the candidates.

Meet the 2017 Evaluators

The ACF Certification Commission would like to thank all the CMCs who have volunteered their time to evaluate the 2017 CMC® Exam Candidates.

"This eight-day exam will test the very limits of each candidate’s skill and endurance," said Ken Arnone, CMC, WGMC, owner, KA-CMC LLC, Poughkeepsie, New York. "These chefs have committed to a challenge that requires a combination of determination and expertise for a chance to attain the highest professional distinction available. We wish them the best of luck in accomplishing their goal of becoming a Certified Master Chef."