ACF culinary arts ( certificate vs diploma )

Discussion in 'Choosing A Culinary School' started by Aryaman Sharma, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Aryaman Sharma

    Aryaman Sharma

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    culinary student
    hey everyone,

    I wanted to ask does an ACF culinary arts program (6 months) is any worth.
    I heard from many people for better opportunities you should go for a diploma or bachelors, I got stuck here so i wanted to advise from a professional chef or anyone who had to begin his or her education from certificate program like this. should i really spend 5K-10k on it .i am really confused about it .

    thanks
     
  2. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    Hello Aryaman,

    A certificate is an indicator. It serves to acknowledge that you have passed a test or course in a given profession.

    My opinion is that beyond having a piece of paper, it wasn't worth it.

    I feel cooking is primarily about passion. If you are driven to cook, you will succeed. It is not the school, the teachers, or a piece of paper that will keep any job. It is the passion and caring of the chef that will allow you to advance and your employer won't want you to move on.

    I just started a thread here on Cheftalk. "Would you rather hire a cook with experience or a certificate" keep an eye out for the answers!

    Until then have a look at this thread.

    What do you think about the ACF

    Good luck!
     
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  3. Aryaman Sharma

    Aryaman Sharma

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    culinary student



    actually, there is more to it if you can guide through it. it would be really great, I really need some guidance from such experience chef like you. Can message me your email.

    thanks
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Keep conversations here for your own safety people. You don't really know who's on the other end particularly after so few posts.

    Consider for example where is aryaman and why would acf matter there? Hint: oceans apart.
     
  5. Aryaman Sharma

    Aryaman Sharma

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    culinary student
    I really feel your reply is really biased and discriminating. I am looking to pursue my chef program in Russia and it happens to be the institute program is by ACF http://www.en.swissam.ru/culinary_arts/ . I thought this website is for reaching professional chef and experince people who can guide you. I know you have power to ban people and you all the details i have submited to to this website , that doesnt mean you can say anything . i know you are moderator and your work is to look out if there is anything wrong but you maybe you can also be wrong sometimes. I am first one from my family who is going to study culianry and they think its not of much a use . YES I AM FROM INDIA AND ACF REALLY MATTERS TO BE BECAUSE I AM GING TO SPENT $14000 ON IT. SO THATS WHY I NEED A PROFESSONAL OPINION.I know its for public safety to not to share personal details , probably thats why i asked to message me personally , if its ok with him .
     
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    To me it looks like you're in London. I have no way of knowing your ethnicity. I would have said the same for any message directing personalcontact off site. Except in the kitchen rental topics.
     
  7. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    Namaste Aryaman,

    Everyone's situation is unique. I don't know what your goals are. Someday, I want to ___________.

    Open a French restaurant in America? Work in a large hotel or resort, become a private chef, corporate chef, culinary instructor, pastry chef, pizza chef, BBQ chef, etc.?

    It's OK if you don't have an extremely specific goal, I started out just wanting to know everything! Cooking, baking, wines and liquor, inventory, people skills, cost analysis, etc. I never did specialize and I never quit learning. I am retired but still have multiple offers for six figure jobs and I do not have any ACF certification.

    Because I had four years experience, before going to culinary school, I found it very, very helpful in filtering school lessons with what happens in a real, working kitchen. In a school you learn a technique or product then move on to the next lesson and product. In a restaurant, you make the same products day after day 85% of the time. Every culinary school is focused on exposing you to a wide variety of techniques and products.

    So, lets say a baking course dedicates one day to teaching a class in pâte à choux. Some will fail that first time but, the class and the lesson plan will still move on. The instructor will tell you what the likely cause of failure was for sure but, there is neither the time nor the additional raw product allocated, for every student, to try it over and over until they have success. You are taught a technique or product, make it, and move on to the next lesson. Next up, two days for artisanal breads or one day for soufflés.

    I looked at Swissam, in St. Petersburg, and I like that the program is run by
    Josef Fleissner, he has 15 years with Viking cruise lines. I like the cruise line industry for young, eager, energetic cooks. Sort of like being trapped on a cooking school! When you finish your paid work, and yes, you will be tired but you go work in a different department to learn on your "free time". Viking cruise lines requirement, for an assistant cook position, is three years experience in hotel or restaurant. There is no requirement for a $14,000 certificate or diploma.

    In America, an ACF certificate or diploma is never a requirement for any entry level cooking position. ACF is good for connections and networking, but rarely a requirement for any Chef job.

    If you have loads of money, want to see Russia, and really, really want an ACF diploma or certificate, then by all means, go to Swissam.

    Honestly, get a job in a kitchen. If you want to proceed to school, go to a school nearby. There are schools closer to where you live that can and will provide the basic culinary training any school provides.

    Bottom line- refer to my first post. Your effort, passion, dedication, and willingness to go beyond "minimum requirements" will determine your success in cooking. What school you went to and what diploma or certificate you earned is just not that important compared to your effort. I've worked with too many people that have a diploma or certificate that lost their job because they couldn't actually do the job.
     
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  8. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    Namaste Aryaman,

    To address the concerns from phatch, I prefer to exchange information here for the reason that your situation may have similarities to other culinary hopefuls. You are not the first person in India to seek advice about schools. Maybe something we talk about here could help others, which is the point of an open forum like Cheftalk.

    The other reason to not speak privately is that I am not comfortable being a sole source of information. That would not be fair to you. Everything I have written is just my opinion and I'm just not arrogant enough to think I know everything! I truly believe that no one person can know everything about cooking or career choices. Someone else may come along with a better idea or another aspect to consider. Sort of like chicken soup, there are many, many different ways to make it. That doesn't make one recipe better or worse, just different.

    It's your life and those different points of view might really help you with your decisions.

    If you really, really want to share something too personal for the world to know, you can always start a private conversation by clicking on the envelope icon.
     
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  9. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    The only ACF certification that is sometimes required is a CEC. A majority of CECs happen to work in large settings, country clubs, hotels, universities, Sodexo, places like that.

    A few CECs go on to try and get their CMC. That's the cool title to have. Master Chef. :)

    Along the way you get yourself a few medals, perhaps represent your country at the Kochkunst, have a lot of fun and work like crazy.
     
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  10. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Hi Arayaman,


    First question: What exactly is you main goal? To become a Chef?

    Second question: Do you have any kitchen work experience?

    If not, I suggest--no, wait, I insist on working in a commercial kitchen for a minimum of 6 mths before you spend any kind of money on culinary education.

    Here are two facts of life in the kitchen:
    1) Employers are not usually impressed about culinary education. You have to acknowledge that cooking is a trade--you work with your hands and body as well as your mind. Thus employers want to see how well you move in the kitchen, how you act and react with different scenarios, and how well you plan ahead. Facts, techniques, and theories can be learned very quickly. Learning how to make a consistent sauce or dish requires repetition and time, as well as muscle memory. Employers are looking for experience first.

    2) A large portion of graduated culinary students leave the industry within a year after graduating. Culinary school does does not guarantee that you will earn above minimum wage, experience prior to culinary school usually does.(see point 1 above).

    Many culinary school graduates have difficulty paying student loans, as well as basic living accommodations, transport, clothing, and basic essentials on a typical cook's salary.
    Don't let this be you. Work in a kitchen first. See if you like it, like the hours and demands on your private life, observe what cooks are earning and how well they do their jobs. If all of this still agrees with you, then enroll in a school or program, and continue working while going to school.

    Hope this helps,
     
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