Hi Cheftalk, I ask this question to perhaps assist aspiring Chefs to hear from Chefs and owners about their views on young cooks beginning their culinary journey. Just like the kitchen, there are tons of variables and no right or wrong answers. The obvious answer is both, of course, but for the young cooks out there trying to make decisions about the costs and time of certification your answers might help their process. This does apply primarily to the USA, since many nations require certification. If you wanted to open a restaurant in, say Germany, you must have certification, regardless of experience. So, what do you think?