There’s a lot to think about when deciding which culinary school is right for you. The program you choose will not only shape your career as a chef, but your entire culinary future as well. When weighing your options, it’s important to consider the quality of education you’ll be receiving from the program you hope to graduate. The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF) has defined a set of requirements designed to encourage culinary schools to offer quality programs that challenge their students to work hard and be creative. Keep reading to learn more about the American Culinary Federation (ACF), what being ACFEF-recognized really means, and why it’s important to attend an ACFEF Quality Program when furthering your culinary education.
What is the American Culinary Federation (ACF)?
Founded in 1929, the American Culinary Federation is the largest organization for chefs and cooks in the U.S. and is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. Learn more about the ACF standard of excellence and their career enhancement programs.
What is characteristics does an ACFEF Quality Program posess?
An ACFEF Quality Program must meet the following criteria:
- Program must be in existence with registered participants at least six months before applying for ACFEF Quality Program status.
- Program instructors are qualified to teach assigned subjects and demonstrate proficiency through a series of job experiences and/or post-secondary education.
- Learning objectives are clearly defined through marketing materials, lessons plans and/or syllabi.
- Proper sanitation rules are followed in all classroom and learning environments.
- Adequate facilities and space to meet the outlined objectives for the program.
Why should I attend an ACFEF Quality Program?
The ACFEF has the highest standards in the world for evaluating culinary schools. Their standards include a rigorous inspection process that validates superior performance in: curriculum, kitchen facilities, instructors, program directors, program goals, mission statement, a diverse advisory board, and assessment processes.
Attending an ACFEF-recognized quality program ensures that you are receiving culinary education that maintains these high standards. See which programs have been recognized in your area here.
(Source: American Culinary Federation)
The UT Culinary Program is the only designated ACFEF Quality Program in Tennessee!
Since 2013, the UT Culinary Program has graduated many students who are now working in the foodservice industry benefiting from the skills and knowledge they learned during their intensive training in the culinary arts and catering and restaurant management. Several students have opened their own catering businesses, including Brandon Wilson owner and operator of the Gonzo Gourmet food truck that you may see around town. Other students are advancing their culinary careers at restaurants, hotels, and catering businesses, including: Calhoun’s, Holiday Inn Downtown, Fee/Hedrick Entertainment, U.S. Military Cooking School, Aramark, Nashville Convention Center, Cherokee Country Club, Bonefish Catering, Blackberry Farm, and Ruth’s Chris.
As a UT Culinary student, you’ll learn from more than 15 educators, chefs, caterers, beverage experts, restaurant owners, and managers. You’ll gain hands-on experience in multiple working and test kitchens. You’ll plan, produce, and serve your own catered function as well as explore opportunities to start your own business—from food trucks to catering to restaurants.
This full-time 12-week, 400-hour course will prepare you for an entry level position in a restaurant or hotel and might even inspire you to open your own bakery, food truck, or catering company.