These classes can also help you earn a number of industry-related certifications, such as the certified culinary credential from the American Culinary Federation or the certified food handler credential from the New York City Department of Health. The first type of credential you should consider is a degree or diploma from a culinary school. A basic education can help you start your culinary career with critical skills and good habits. They can introduce you to like-minded students, as well as to experienced cooking instructors who may be willing to act as mentors.
Formal education is not a requirement to become a chef; however, there are programs that can provide training for chefs. These offer courses that specialize in the knowledge and skills needed to be a chef. The American Culinary Federation offers 14 different certification options, and one of the first steps is the certified culinary course. Eligible candidates must have a minimum of two years of industry experience, although completing a culinary or associate degree program counts as experience.
Candidates must also attend three 30-hour courses on food safety and sanitation, supervisory management and nutrition. The exam evaluates candidates' knowledge of the foundations of baking, culinary arts, and food safety. In British Columbia, all apprentice and trade training is under the authority of the Industrial Training Authority (ITA). Some chefs choose to leave the kitchen in the hands of the sub-chefs and the rest of the kitchen team, while others take a more practical approach and prefer to be part of daily cooking activities.
Many universities and public and private trade schools, as well as some secondary schools, offer industry training for both kitchen professionals and those seeking training in domestic occupations, such as waiters or wine services and hotel management. Much of the training is currently being delivered informally, but there are certifications offered by the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC), Canada's national professional association of cooks and chefs, designed to fill this gap. Practical training is provided on the job, supervised by a certified official, and technical training is provided by accredited institutions. The Culinary Institute of America offers educational opportunities and practical training for cooks with any level of knowledge and skill.
Chefs in institutions or cafeterias, restaurants, fast food restaurants, fried foods and barbecues prepare, season and prepare a variety of dishes, often specializing in a particular ingredient, such as vegetable cooks.