2014 Certified Master Pastry Chef® Exam

The title of Certified Master Pastry Chef® (CMPC®), presented solely by the American Culinary Federation, is the highest level of certification a chef can receive. It represents the pinnacle of professionalism and skill. Today, there are only 11 CMPCs and 67 Certified Master Chefs® (CMC®) in the nation. Only one candidate passed the exam in 2005. On Aug. 16–23, 2014, four accomplished pastry chefs from the U.S. and Canada vied for a chance to join the ranks of the elite group at the eight-day practical exam at Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte Campus, Charlotte, North Carolina.

During the eight-day exam candidates had to demonstrate well-rounded expertise by passing each daily test with a minimum passing score of 70 points out of 100. Candidates may continue with the examination if they fail one segment, but they must maintain a cumulative average score of 75 percent or they are ineligible to continue. The eight segments are: nutritionally balanced baking, the artistic heart of baking, creative composition/freestyle and contemporary pastry mystery basket, classical tortes, symphony of plated desserts and presentation of pastry arts buffet, chocolates and petits fours with centerpiece, international pastries, and grand buffet. Scores are tallied based on kitchen skills and presentation, and tasting. Candidates were evaluated by ACF-certified peers during each segment.

Unfortunately, no additional CMPCs were added at the conclusion of the eight-day exam, but we would like to recognize the candidates for showing tremendous courage and strength. Let’s put our hands together for the following amazing chefs who went through the exam process.

  • Andy Chlebana, CEPC®, CCA®, culinary arts instructor/pastry chef, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Illinois; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter
  • Victoria German, CEPC®, baking and pastry arts instructor, SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary, Alberta
  • Susan Notter, CEPC®, pastry arts program director, The Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts–YTI Career Institute, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; ACF Harrisburg Chapter
  • Orlando Santos, CEPC®, executive pastry chef, MGM Grand Detroit, Detroit; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

“Embarking on the journey to become a Certified Master Pastry Chef is an accomplishment in itself,” said Ken Arnone, CMC®, chair, ACF CMC/CMPC subcommittee; and owner, KA-CMC LLC, Poughkeepsie, New York, before the eight-day exam, and we hope all the candidates keep this in mind.

Notter sums up her feelings about the exam in her Facebook post, “Thanks to Johnson & Wales for hosting the CMPC and all the hard work they put into the preparation for the test. Unfortunately, none of us met the criteria necessary to pass, but the friendship between Andy, Vickie, Orlando and I will prevail and we will continue to dedicate ourselves to the pastry profession and the development of the industry we love.”

Thank you to Johnson & Wales University for hosting the exam and the ACF-evaluators and apprentices for dedicating their time and skills.