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Hey everyone...I'm scheduled to take my CEC Practical on September 25.  I'd like to hear from the CECs (and higher) out there on what their strategies were, mistakes they made, things they learned that they can pass on, etc.  Any feedback on the written test would also be appreciated.  I've got all my other ducks in a row, just working on the tests.  Thanks for any input!

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I took the practice written exam as many times as I could, and printed out the answers and studied them. The acfchefs.org web site should have this link.

My strategy for the practical was practice,practice,practice - as well as practicing pieces here and there, I did a complete run through six times. Each of those times I got feedback from other chefs, and I listened to it. Some of the ACF expectations may be different than what you experience at your job, but remember that the judges are grading you on the ACF rules.

In other words, now is not the time to act chef-like and say "I know better."
I have been to a number of practicals and seen failing chefs say that again and again.

Some people get nervous the day of the practical - if you are not used to people watching you as you cook, practice in front of people. The judges in my practical were very fair and chill, but they were swarming around my table, looking out especially for sanitation.

Good luck, and keep practicing!
David Goldberg

The best advice I can give you is utilizing your ingredients. For example I used the apple peels in my vinaigrette to give it body and to show that I could use that part in my menu. Show your ability on what you can do, sauces are a plus. My biggest fear was the artichoke. Make sure you use an acid when cooking to ensure it does not turn brown. Practice, I practice for family, friends, work, know your menu inside and out. The biggest thing is relax and get a good night's sleep before and you'll do fine. If there is anything I can do to help you let me know.
As far as the written test I would have tooken it frist. If you fail it you have to wait 30 days to retake and then if you fail again you have to wait 90 days. The written test is good for 2yrs and the practical is only good for one year. So if you don't pass it on the frist, or second try it could really be bad. As far as studing... It took me three times to pass it. I have been formally trained and it is a tuff test. The practice test no sense buying it more the once it is the same test no matter how many times you take it. It is just so that you can see the format of the test. I would get as many of the suggested text books that are on the web site. Let me know how you do on September 25. On September 22 I will be competiting at a ACF event for the frist time in 8yrs. good luck to the both of us.

Chef Toole, CEC
I just took it march 12th, very tough test. its more like jepordy than real Executive Chef questions. but I past 1st try!

Stephen Bishop email me please chefjeffcraig@gmail.com

I thought then written exam was fairly easy, It certianly doesn't hurt to study. The tes that I had seemed to be geared toward food safety, sanitation and management more so than cooking.

 Remember each exam is different though as questions are pulled from a database of over 5000 questions.

Best of luck!

I'm now awaiting my practical


Stephen Bishop email me please chefjeffcraig@gmail.com

this written test can't be passed their must be a trick to it i wish I had my money back! 


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