What are the Requirements to Become a Certified Culinarian?

Anyone who wants to qualify for the Certified Culinarian (CC) exam through the American Culinary Federation (ACF) must meet the basic employment and education qualifications. They must also submit documentation that proves they have taken three specific culinary related classes. Once this is completed, candidates can take the written and practical exams.

The Basic Requirements

The minimum work experience requirement is at least two years as an entry level culinarian. This employment experience must be within the previous 10 years. Individuals who possess a one-year culinary arts certificate or diploma only need to have one year of entry level work experience. Individuals who have a two-year associate’s degree in the culinary arts are not required to have any job experience. The basic educational requirement is a GED or high school diploma. Those who do not have one can qualify through showing they have earned at least 100 hours of continuing education credits. The three mandatory culinary classes can count towards the 100 credit hour requirement.

All CC exam candidates must provide transcripts or academic documentation that shows they have completed three specific classes: nutrition, supervisory management and food safety and sanitation. Each of the classes must be a 30-hour course that was completed within the last five years. Any course that was taken over five years ago can qualify if the candidate takes a new eight hour refresher course. These three courses are available through the American Culinary Federation and approved academic institutions.

Three Required Classes

A basic nutrition introduction is important for many reasons. Chefs need to have a solid understanding of the nutritional properties of food and how this is transformed through cooking and preparation. A nutrition course will cover useful and interesting information that is essential to a chef’s professional success. Aspiring chefs who want to make a positive difference in their client’s lives will usually incorporate nutritional planning into their work. The class will cover dieting, food properties, applicable technology and nutrition standards and guidelines. A food safety and sanitation class is the most important one for chef’s to pass. The information in this class is critically important to the restaurant industry and its customers.

Approved programs will use the industry standard ServSafe Coursebook that presents the preventative measures and best practices that keep food safe during storage, handling, preparation and serving. Students learn about the flow of food, safe food handling, food-borne diseases and maintaining sanitary work spaces, equipment and facilities. A supervisory management class will teach students how to direct food service workers while planning and controlling every aspect of the work process. This class will teach team leaders and supervisors in the food service industry techniques for effective planning and the importance of problem-solving tools.

Those who meet these qualifications can take the written exam that consists of 100 multiple choice questions that must be completed in one hour. A score of 70 percent is required to pass. Next, candidates must take a practical skill proficiency test within two and half hours at a test site approved by the ACF. Those who earn a score of 75 percent pass and become an official certified culinarian.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Culinary Schools in Pennsylvania