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Chef David Arnold, CEC, ACE

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American Culinary Federation

Certified Executive Chef (CEC)


American Culinary Federation (ACF) certification is a symbol of professionalism and a guide by which any culinarian can shape his or her career. It is an ideal ladder for career advancement!

The food industry needs qualified employees with proven experience, and ACF certification fills that need by improving the quality of professional competency throughout the industry. In addition, ACF certification carries with it the benefit of being able to document educational and professional progression throughout one's career, a necessity in today's competitive culinary arena.

ACF is the only certifier of master chefs in the United States, of which there are currently 61. These CMCs are highly regarded chefs in the industry, and they are employed by some of the most respected foodservice establishments in the country.

What ACF certification means:

·         ACF certification demonstrates to the industry that a chef has the initiative to take charge of their professional development and career.

·         ACF certification provides concrete markers of skill development and culinary expertise.

·         ACF certification verifies that professional chefs and cooks have the knowledge and skill required for elevated culinary positions.

·         ACF certification reassures consumers that the food they eat is safe and prepared to the highest standards.

What ACF certification means to an employer:

·         ACF certified chefs mean quality in the kitchen.

·         Employers value ACF certified culinarians because their education, skills and experience have been evaluated as competent.

·         Employers know that ACF certified culinarians possess a thorough knowledge of culinary nutrition, food safety and sanitation, and culinary supervisory management, a necessity in today's foodservice kitchens.

Certification is open to all culinarians, including chefs, cooks, bakers, culinary educators and administrators. There are 14 levels of certification, and each requires specific qualifications, in addition to knowledge of culinary nutrition, food safety and sanitation, and culinary supervisory management. It is fundamental to the certification program that work experience is equivalent to the level of certification.