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Delaware North chefs pass cooking exam toward certification

Twenty-one Delaware North chefs are well on their way to achieving certification by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) after all of them passed the timed cooking practical exams conducted recently in the kitchens of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute.

cec_chefs-6589945The chefs – from Delaware North Sportservice, the company’s parks and resorts business and its travel business – are seeking certification at three levels: 13 for Certified Sous Chef (CSC), five for Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC), and three for Certified Executive Chef (CEC). In addition to several prerequisites, the certification testing includes both written and timed practical cooking exams administered under ACF representatives. Twenty of the 21 chefs passed the written test.

Participating were chefs from Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, New Era Field and KeyBank Center in Buffalo, Miller Park in Milwaukee, Buffalo International Airport, Honey Creek Resort in Iowa, Grand Canyon National Park, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake in Ohio, Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

The chefs prepared for their certification and completed three 30-hour classes on supervisory management, sanitation, and nutrition.

“Delaware North is the only large food service company that requires and pays for all of its salaried culinarians to obtain professional culinary certification within two years after their hire date or after moving into a salaried position with new responsibilities,” said Christian De Vos, vice president of culinary and food & beverage development.

Each of the 21 candidates worked with a chef mentor, who timed their practice cooking sessions and provided a critique of their preparation, organization, plating, and sanitization. Onsite mentors for this year’s exam were De Vos; Percy Whatley, vice president of food and beverage for parks and resorts; and Pascal Beaute, regional executive chef for parks and resorts.

PHOTO CAPTION: Left to right: Alex Beltran (Honey Creek Resort), Justin Warnat (Grand Canyon) and Gidget Wickham (Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex) are all smiles after passing the certified executive chef exam.