Last Saturday, The Culinary School of Fort Worth hosted an American Culinary Federation (ACF) certification examination event for eight culinary candidates. The exam featured 5 candidates for Certified Executive Chef (CEC®) and one each for Certified Working Pastry Chef (CWPC®), Certified Sous Chef (CSC®), and Certified Culinarian (CC®).

Each candidate was given 30 minutes of preparation time to set up their exam station before their clock began ticking. CWPC® candidates were then given 4 hours to prepare their buffet style pastry items, CEC® candidates had 3 hours and 15 minutes, 2.5 hours were given to CC® candidates, and CSC® candidates had just 2 hours.

Throughout all candidates’ preparation, cooking, and plating time, they were evaluated by evaluators and apprentice evaluators provided by the ACF. Once the candidates were finished, their final plates and presentations were then graded on a separate rubric by these same evaluators.

When asked what the energy was like for the chefs during the day, Chef Jason Avelson CCC® and CCE®, CSFTW’s Apprenticeship and High School Partnerships Manager, said that there was a buzz in the kitchen from the beginning of the day.

“The energy was very high up to and through their exam,” Avelson said. “You could see the stress build up a little as they awaited their critique and pass/fail score, but every candidate left on a very high note.”

The reason all of the candidates were able to leave on a very high note is that they all passed their exam. This means that the ACF was able to add 5 new CECs® and one new CWPC®, CSC®, and CC® on Saturday.

The ACF holds exam events multiple times each month in different areas of the state and country, but this was the first time that an exam was hosted at CSFTW. Avelson said that the candidates and evaluators were all pleased with the location.

“I was proud to hear that candidates were pleased with the hospitality of the host facility, staff, and students,” Avelson said. “Evaluators and apprentice evaluators said that the day was exactly how an exam is supposed to run.”

A big part of the smooth examination process was the help given by The Culinary School of Fort Worth’s student volunteers. Six students signed up to assist the candidates with any non-cooking kitchen task throughout the day. This included finding pots and pans, clearing dirty dishes, delivering finished plates to the evaluators, and whatever else was asked of them.

The Culinary School of Fort Worth plans to be a host site for future ACF events.

Written by James Creange.