Jeffrey S. Mitchell of Oneida has earned the certified executive chef designation from the American Culinary Federation Inc. Mitchell is executive chef at Murray State University, Murray, Ky., and a member of Western Kentucky Chefs & Cooks Association.
ACF operates the only comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States and currently certifies nearly 9,000 professionals worldwide. Candidates for ACF certification must have a high level of work and educational experience, and pass both a written and practical examination. In addition, candidates must complete coursework in food safety, nutrition and supervisory management.
CEC is a chef who is the department head usually responsible for all culinary units in a restaurant, hotel, club, hospital or foodservice establishment, or the owner of a foodservice operation. A CEC must supervise a minimum of five full-time employees and pass a practical exam in front of peers. In the practical exam, chefs use selected ingredients to write and produce a three-course menu, including fish, salad and main course. Chefs must adhere to strict guidelines, such as time, amount of ingredients, presentation and cooking techniques.
Certified chefs in restaurants, hotels and other foodservice operations demonstrate commitment to quality foodservice and must renew their certification(s) every five years. ACF has awarded more than 20,750 certifications since 1973 and is the only certifier of U.S. master chefs and master pastry chefs.