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View Poll Results: Your inner or outer chef
I am a bonified certified chef (graduated and gotten a degree) 4 12.50%
I am a chef by trade but did not get a certificate/degree 5 15.63%
I am in culinary school 1 3.13%
I would love to go to culinary school 13 40.63%
I am too old to go to culinary school but I wish I would have 5 15.63%
What's culinary school? 4 12.50%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-19-2006, 02:27 AM   #11
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It all depends upon what you mean by the term "Certified Chef." The ACF (American culinary Federation) has a whole system of certification worked out that requires examinations both written and practical and one of their levels is "Certified Culinarian," I'm not sure if one is just "Chef" or not....

IACP (Internatoinal Association of Culinary Professionals) sponsors an exam that leads to the designation "Certified Culinary Professional" or CCP, a degree that must be renewed through continuing education and experience every three years. I hold that designation, along with about 235 other chefs, teachers, foodwriters, etc, worldwide, including Jacques Pépin.

Graduating from Culinary School doesn't make a person anything but a Culinary School Graduate. What one does AFTERWARDS is what makes one a cook, chef, or what have you.

As well, one does not need to graduate from Culinary school to become a chef. Apprenticeship is another route to that title.

Hope that helps!
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:54 AM   #12
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Like the information that Chef June provided, I'm not a CEC (Certified Executive Chef) by the ACF, but I've held the position of Chef (well, actually Chef Tournant).

Agree with Chef June as well about the poll choices. Maybe add one more choice that's along the lines of this: "Graduated from Culinary School but have not yet attained the title of Chef".
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Old 09-19-2006, 08:53 AM   #13
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I have to ask you a question Kitchenelf - why is it too late for you to go to culinary school?? I went at age 60 and I still had time to work my way up to Chef in my last job. I'm also certified thru ACF.

If you are alive, it's never too late to see your dream materialize!!!!
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Old 09-19-2006, 09:03 AM   #14
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I graduated from culinary school and am now a chef. BUT as Chef june said, that only made me a culinary graduate. I didn't become a chef from graduating from culinary school, i became a chef from busting my @ss!
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Old 09-19-2006, 09:15 AM   #15
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A great many culinary schools have continuing ed programs ...not just for professionals getting credentialed, but for enthusiats wanting to learn from the real pros. For example the CIA bootcamps, or some of their weekend programs. These are not demos, but hands on cooking events...you get down and dirty, really learn how to use your knife, your sautoir, techniques of roasting and poaching you never dreamed of with Betty Crocker, as well as much cultural and product knowledge. Whether you're in DC or Denver, there is a program. The truly educated home cook benefits the whole industry from grocery to restaraunt and kitchenwares to appliances.

I've worked alongside seasoned professional cooks in their 50s getting their BA in professional culinary studies from CIA or JW(Johnson and Wales).
Quite frankly the chefs really like the passionate older student who has experience. No one is too old if the passion is there.

Personally, I'm an educator: high school, and I teach humanities and cultures, as well as some culinary things. I am a private chef on the side: ie I can pick and choose my jobs as I like. I do not hold ACF certification, yet...such chefs hold an encyclopedia of knowledge in their heads and have such passion and skill, obviously. One day I would like to take the challenge!
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Old 09-19-2006, 10:18 AM   #16
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I agree with CJS remark... it is never too late to go to culinary school - and to add to that, Robo410 is on target - there are numerous hands-on culinary courses that the home cook can take. This doesnt mean that you have to be a "degree-seeking student" and dedicate the next 3 years to schooling and change careers or what not, but going into a culinary classroom setting and working along with professional instructors is an invaluable experience which anyone who is passionate about cooking will enjoy tremendously. My uncle has just retired and is planning to take some culinary courses for the fun of it!
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Old 09-19-2006, 10:34 AM   #17
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Thanks everyone for your input. As for me, roughly 12 years ago, I had worked in the finest restaurant in my area on the grill side for 3 years. I worked the sautee side ONCE and boy, it's a different creature!!!!!! lol I absolutely loved what I was doing and will stand my ground when I say the intensity is no different than an air traffic controller! I just don't know if I could stand the pace again. But like everyone said, I could just do it to feed MY passion, which is a HUGE passion, not for a career choice/change. We do have a Johnson and Wales about 45 minutes to an hour away - I guess I could look into what they have to offer.

I wish I could go back and change the pole but I can't. I would do several questions/statements differently.
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:20 AM   #18
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I voted for the "did not graduate" bit. I attended Culinary school, but due to financial reasons, was unable to graduate. I've been working in the industry ever since. I don't claim to be a chef, either, just a cook.
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:30 PM   #19
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None of the above would have to be my answer.
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:18 PM   #20
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My family would say, yes, I'm certified all right, but, not a chef!! LOL
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