Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®)

Education Requirements:

One of the following:

  • High School Diploma/GED plus 150 CEH
  • 250 Continuing Education Hours
  • Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts
  • ACFEF Apprenticeship Program

Mandatory Course Requirement: 30 hour course in Nutrition, Food Safety & Sanitation, Supervisory Management and Cost Control Management. Courses completed more than five years ago (except Cost Control), also require an 8 hour refresher in each topic. Courses are available through ACF approved providers or any academic institution. 30 hour course requirements count toward CEH education requirements.
Work Experience Requirement: Five years as a Chef de Cuisine, Executive Sous Chef or Chef in charge of food production in a foodservice operation. Must have supervised at least five fulltime people in the preparation of food. Experience must be within the past ten years.
Exam Requirement: Successful completion of written and practical exams.

Application Process

There are three steps in the application process:

Step 1
Initial Pre-Approval Application

Submit Initial Pre-approval application with proof of education, 30 hour courses and work experience. Employment verification can be submitted on the Employment Documentation Form or employer letterhead. Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing applications.

Step 2
Schedule Written & Practical Exams

Upon receiving approval for the Initial Pre-approval application, you are eligible to schedule your written and practical exams. Please visit the written exam and practical exam pages for scheduling information.

Step 3
Final Application

After successful completion of the written and practical exams, submit the Final application with exam pass sheets and application fee. Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing. Upon approval, certificate will be mailed.

All applications and exam preparation information can be found in the Certified Executive Chef Candidate Handbook.

Recertification Information

CEC® Certification requires renewal every five years. For more information, visit the recertification page.

Have questions or need more information? Contact the ACF Certification Department.