How to get a Culinary Arts Certification
The recipe for a successful career in the culinary arts may not be as easy as you might think. With so many different choices in what exactly you might do, getting a culinary arts certification is an excellent way to simplifying that recipe.
According to the US Department of Labor, the American Culinary Federation (ACF) accredits over a hundred apprenticeship and training programs across the country, as well as provides culinary arts certification for a broad range of cooking concentrations. These certifications vary dramatically, from those that require just experience to others needing much more formalized education.
Culinary arts certifications begin at the culinarian, an entry-level certification, and go as high as a Masters. You can focus your training on the art of baking and pastry, becoming a sous chef where you supervise a food service operation, or even culinary education. Each of these has its own grade, depending on just how high up the certification ladder you wish to climb.
Culinary arts certifications have a wealth of benefits. Not only do they give consumers an assurance that what they’re eating is safe and healthy, but they also give you, as the chef, added value by clearly defining your skillset. Increasing consumer awareness means standards within employers’ kitchens need to be as high as possible, so those employers have to be able to trust that they’re hiring dedicated professionals. Getting your culinary arts certification is the single best way to prove your worth.
Culinary Arts Certifications Training ProgramsCulinary schools can produce excellent bakers and pastry chefs. These cooks are trained to create the best-baked products in a wide variety of styles and tastes. They are also trained to be experts in the preparation of a variety of baked desserts. Of course, bakers from different schools may have a range of skills and even of quality levels. In order to make sure that bakers around the country had an equal level of professional skills and standards, it was necessary to create a baking certification program.
The Retailer’s Bakery Association (RBA), a trade organization that, for nine decades, has been working to elevate the standards of the baker’s art, created the certification principles for bakers and cake decorators. They have built training criteria that are specific to the industry. They also conduct ongoing research to find the best techniques to be used in commercial, retail bakeries. The baker certification has as its aim the raising of overall professional standards in the industry by making certain that certified bakers have the skill and knowledge to present consumers with consistent quality in the baked goods they purchase.
Certified bakers have the strongest employment possibilities in all the commercial situations in which bakers and cake decorators work. The baking certification is tailored to the needs of four different levels of baker: recent culinary school graduates, bakers who have learned their skills on the job, bakers who have specialized on one particular style of baking, and to expert retail bakers who have had four or more years of professional experience.
Culinary Arts Certifications Training ProgramsA variety of levels of chef certification exist. Some of the most prominent areas of chef certification may begin with certification within the area of commercial foodservice operation and extend to more advanced certifications that prepare students for employment as an executive chef. The depth and length of instructions vary as well, depending on the level of certification desired. All certifications provide, however, an opportunity to gain formal training in a specific area of the culinary arts industry.
If you’re interested in working on the foodservice side of the culinary industry, you might want to get a certification as an entry-level culinary professional. This certification may cover topics such as food safety, sanitation, and management, in addition to instruction on food preparation methods.
More advanced certifications, such as one leading to the position of sous chef, may require a greater time commitment for class instruction as well as on-the-job training. Sous chef certification may likely include a fair amount of instruction on cooking. Topics in food preparation may include stocks, soups, sauces, meat cooking, and seasoning. Sous chef certification will also prepare you to approach management issues, such as keeping track of and maintaining an inventory and managing kitchen staff.
If you’re interested in working at a higher level within a food service operation, you may want to enroll in a chef administration certification. This advanced course of study may include topics such as human resource management, financial management, advertising and marketing, inventory, and technology. This course of study focuses on the management side of the food business.
Le Cordon Bleu Certification
What Can I Learn Through Le Cordon Bleu Certification?
Le Cordon Bleu offers a highly regarded program and is designed to teach you the skills that you need to become a chef. The program is designed to teach you the basics to get started in the culinary business. You can learn about buffet catering, cheese, confectionery showpieces, French cuisine, patisserie, saucier (soup, stock, sauce, and starch production), and wines and spirits. You can develop specific culinary skills in roasting, baking, frying, saute, blanching, boiling, and steaming. You can also learn about table service, food preparation, Garde-manger, meal planning, and meat carving.
Can’t I Learn “On the Job”?
While many commercial kitchens can offer on-the-job training, most kitchens are very busy and may give you only incomplete training at best. Some schools offering Le Cordon Bleu certification programs have restaurants attached, so you could be producing food for real customers quite early in your culinary education. You could have the opportunity to practice culinary techniques in school kitchens and learn culinary theory in the classrooms. Once you have learned the basics, you may decide to opt on a course of further study and specialize in a specific area such as a sauce chef or vegetable chef. Through Le Cordon Bleu you will receive dedicated training from skilled professionals from a recognized curriculum.
If there is a sweeter job than working as a pastry chef, it has yet to be discovered. When you pursue a pastry certification you are preparing to enter an occupation that brings a smile to the faces of food lovers with every trip into a kitchen.
Pastry Certification Training
Pastry certification imparts practical, theoretical, and hands-on training in making pastries and cakes, decorating, production, management, chocolate techniques and fermentation, and contemporary dessert plating. In addition to general baking, pastry certification provides a deeper understanding of nutrition, general education, hospitality, mathematics, communications, and basic computer skills.
What You’ll Know
Pursuing pastry certification will teach you how to work within a variety of foodservice environments. With experience, a pastry certification leads to positions managing large industrial baking facilities or running your own bakery. You’ll also learn how to:
- Mix dough according to recipes.
- Bake bread, pastries, and other bakery goods.
- Supervise the activities of production workers.
- Measure, sift, and mix ingredients, rolling and cutting, setting oven temperatures.
Within large baking facilities a pastry certification prepares you to specialize in various areas including Dough Mixer, Divider, Dough Brake Operator, Molding/Machine Operator, Bench Hand, Oven Tender.
Gradating from Pastry Certification
Upon completing a pastry certification program, you will be prepared to enter entry-level employment or even start your own pastry business. Pastry certification also prepares you to work in medium and large retail deli-bakeries, hotel and resort bakeries and pastry kitchens, pastry and bakery shops, and commercial bakeries.