BY RON DESANTIS, CMC®, AAC®
The American Culinary Federation has
been a part of my professional life for 25
years. During that time, I have gone from
being very involved to being moderately
involved. As of Jan. 1, I am excited to
continue my involvement as chair of the
ACF Certification Commission.
This team of dedicated professionals is
committed to a strong and vibrant chef
certification program for the foodservice
industry. My vision for the commission
in the next two years is to develop and
project the message of certification
relevance beyond ACF. Members know
certification’s value and importance.
We need to make the dining public and
foodservice employers aware of the value
of certified chefs.
ACF members expect certification to
support their personal goals, advance their
careers and reflect a professional image.
In 2009, ACF membership responded
to a survey regarding ACF certification
programs. The results, which are posted
on the ACF website, clearly show support
for culinary certification. In fact, ACF
members—certified or not—clearly
state that certification is one of the most
important services that ACF provides.
ACF CERTIFICATION NCCA ACCREDITATION
CEC® Accreditation awarded March 2011.
CSC™ Application submitted September
2011; decision pending.
CEPC® Job Analysis/ Written Exams
implemented; gathering data for
September 2012 application.
CCE® Process began with Job Analysis
December 2011; application to be
submitted September 2013.
The Certification Commission “is
committed to developing, implementing
and monitoring a validated process of
globally recognized certifications based on
skills, knowledge, integrity and equality
through an achievable process for all
culinary professionals.” As I assume the
chairman’s role of the commission, this
statement will be the focus of our energy.
Our efforts will be concentrated on
making ACF certification relevant to all
segments of the foodservice industry and
to the dining public.
The first order of business will be to
demonstrate relevance of certification
to the industry. The ACF Certification
Commission Marketing Subcommittee
has been working hard to create a
compelling certification message. A
video has been produced that spells out
the value of certification accreditation.
This message has to push beyond the
ACF membership and reach employers.
In March 2011, National Commission for
Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accreditation
was awarded to the ACF Certified
Executive Chef® certification level. The
Certification Commission is currently
seeking accreditation for Certified Sous
Chef™, and will apply for accreditation
for Certified Executive Pastry Chef®
in fall 2012. Over the next year, the
Certification Commission will develop and
implement proven marketing initiatives
to reach employers with the message that
accredited certification programs produce
professionals who adhere to high standards
based on industry best practices.
The next challenge will be getting
out our message to the dining public.
Commission members will craft a
message that tells a story of how certified
chefs can be distinguished from those
who are not certified, and show why it
is relevant to be a certified chef. Social
media and chefs in the media will deliver
the story, and the commission will look
for member support to push the message
out to the dining public by sharing what it
takes to become a certified chef. Certified
ACF members will be great spokespeople
for certification, and show how quality
and excellence distinguish an ACF
certified chef. Personal stories will give
meaning to the certification process and
the effort chefs make to become certified.
Consequently, the words “certified chef”
will become relevant to the dining public
as a statement of excellence.
RON DESANTIS, CMC®, AAC®, IS DIRECTOR OF CULINARY
EXCELLENCE AND QUALIT Y ASSURANCE FOR YALE DINING
AT YALE UNIVERSIT Y, NE W HAVEN, CONN., AND ACF
CERTIFICATION COMMISSION CHAIR.