Michael Matarazzo, Executive Chef of Farmington CC, William Rogers, Executive Chef of Cosmos Club, and Seth Shipley, Executive Chef of Belle Meade Country Club will test their professional expertise over eight days of culinary challenges at Schoolcraft College in March.
Four leading chefs will undertake the ultimate culinary test in pursuit of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Certified Master Chef® (CMC®) title, the highest level of certification in the U.S. that a chef can receive, this year. Three of these individuals are Executive Chefs with country clubs.
The eight-day exam takes place March 1-10 at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan, and will test candidates’ expertise, skill and creativity across multiple cuisines.
“The Certified Master Chef® exam is designed to allow exceptionally motivated culinary professionals to test their skills and experience against the industry’s highest standards of excellence,” said John Schopp, CEC, CEPC, CCE, CCA, AAC, chair elect of the ACF Certification Commission. “The candidates have already demonstrated their technical skill and passion for the culinary arts in order to reach the practical exam, and we look forward to watching and learning as they pursue this most extraordinary of achievements in cooking. We wish them each the best of luck in the kitchens at Schoolcraft College.”
The 2019 CMC exam candidates are:
- Timothy Bucci, culinary arts instructor, Joliet Junior College
- Michael Matarazzo, executive chef, Farmington Country Club, Charlottesville, Virginia
- William Rogers, executive chef, Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C.
- Seth Shipley, executive chef, Belle Meade Country Club, Nashville, Tennessee
To date, 72 chefs have successfully passed the CMC exam, with 65 currently certified; there are also 10 Certified Master Pastry Chefs® (CMPCs®). To apply for the exam, which is offered exclusively by the American Culinary Federation, candidates must be a Certified Executive Chef® or Certified Culinary Educator®, provide one letter of support from a current CMC or CMPC, and have completed education courses on sanitation and food safety, management, cost management and wine. CMC and CMPC are the culmination of the stackable ACF credentials that enable foodservice professionals to certify their skill, knowledge and professionalism at each stage of their careers.
During the progressive eight-day exam, candidates are tested on healthy cooking, buffet catering, classical cuisine, freestyle cooking, global cuisine, baking and pastry, continental and Northern European cuisines, and “market basket,” a mystery basket of ingredients from which candidates prepare a five-course meal. Each candidate must maintain an average of 75 out of 100 points each day, as scored by a panel of evaluators composed of current CMCs, to be eligible to advance to the next day of the exam. Scores are tallied based on kitchen skills, plate presentation and taste.
“Beyond the satisfaction of having achieved the highest level of certification in the industry, CMCs and CMPCs can be proud of the mentorship and inspiration they offer to culinarians at all levels,” commented ACF National President Stafford DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC. “The American Culinary Federation is honored to provide this opportunity for personal and professional growth to the 2019 candidates, and to oversee this important process that elevates the culinary craft, and cuisine itself, in the United States.”