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Jan 22, 2007 03:28 AM

certified master chefs

is there a listing of chefs that have attained the c.m.c. designation? i have googled and checked the american culinary federation and c.i.a. sites to no avail. i would like to know who is a c.m.c. (there are only about 80) and where their restaurants and/or schools are located.

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  1. You can look at the link below and scroll through. It lists all certified chefs (not just CMC) and their restaurants.

    Or you can call them and find out.
    (800) 624-9458.

    I hope this helps

    1. i'm curious as to why you're looking into this. i just used the link and did a quick search for my state. none of the chefs work anyplace i'd ever want to eat. they're mostly working at 3rd tier hotels; one is at a sporting arena. it would seem something that benefits those who want to do institutional cooking.

      clearly this is not a certification that has anything to do with fine dining. james beard awards, di saronna awards, mobil guides, etc. are far more indicative of a chef's talents...

      2 Replies
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        c.m.c. is a pretty small club and it is a pretty big achievement to pass the exam. many celebrity chefs are not c.m.c.'s. i was just wondering who these people are and where they are at. interesting that many go to work for big hotels or are instructors at cooking schools.

        there was an expose in the local paper a while back about local chef, keith famie (whose broader claim to fame is being the chef on the australian "survivor" that could not cook rice), in his second failed attempt to pass the rigorous c.m.c. exam. it was an interesting read.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          It isn't about where they work, the examination for that certification is intense and even qualifying to take it is no small achievement. One of the chefs at my school is currently attempting it, he spent all last year just doing the qualifier for the exam. much like the other c.m.c. at my school, he isn't doing it because he wants his restaurant to be great, its about the achievement and the pride of being one of the few.

        2. I know a Chinese food take out place that has a CMC George Wong . Peking House on Nostrand Ave and he has another rest in Brooklyn. Cool

          1. "it would seem something that benefits those who want to do institutional cooking"

            Indeed, that seems clearly to be whole point. From their site:

            Certification is a combination of culinary work experience, specialized training in key management, nutritional cooking, sanitation as well as passing a certification level test.

            While it may be a good credential for employers (depending on the details of course), it doesn't mean anything to me as a diner.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MikeG

              I think that all certifications, and even degrees (in some ways) are preciseley as you describe. We all know incredible mechanics that never became ASE certified, Network Engineers that never got a CCIE, etcetc... and when we need a car fixed or a network problem resolved, we want the person that can do it - certificates are totally meaningless in that context. If I'm looking for an incredible molé or the most incredible omakase, I want an experienced, knowledgeable and capable chef - not one that necessarily has a piece of paper saying that he's knowledgable.

              Nevertheless, those that take on the responsibility of getting professional certifications are doing a lot of extra work - they're intent on getting recognition for what they've learned and the work they've done. As an IT manager, I recognize the work that goes into a CCIE or equivalent, and it does count for something in the hiring and review/promotion process. But it doesn't count as much as what I can garner from technical questions in the interview, or from observed work. Additionally, I would never put out a job description that says that a CCIE is mandatory - why would I want to limit the incoming talent pool? If I were hiring a chef, insitutional or otherwise, I'd ask that person to cook me something and evaluate the results and methods regardless of his certification, But if two cooks were pretty much the same, I might throw the selection to the one with certification.

              1. re: MikeG

                It shouldn't mean anything as a diner really, its more of a rank thing among professionals. However, if a master chef is making your food, it is going to be beyond fantastic.

              2. Read Michael Ruhlman's The Soul of a Chef. There he questions what makes a chef. There's a section in there about a group trying to get certification. He examines technical proficiency, then passion and creativity with the final section on Keller who seems to combine both. Overall I foud it a good read and good follow up to the first book, The Making of a Chef.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Jase

                  I immediately thought of this book when I read this thread. It is a great read and gave a good insight to the whole "Certified Master Chef" process.

                  1. re: mangorita

                    I was just about to ask the OP if s/he had read this book- great read!