I have asked the chefs who recently completed their Pro Chef Level II Certification exams to share their thoughts and memories on the long process. Below is Chef Steven Sterritt’s “straight talk” following his experience.
Two Words – Incredible Experience. Everything I hoped for and then some.
Here are my key notes of success:
1) Have a well-developed plan of attack
2) STICKING TO IT in the heat of battle
The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is amazing. It truly fosters a climate for success and dedication to all chefs that enter those big wooden doors in the front entrance. Our group was fortunate enough to test our skills in the new Viking Kitchen, which was a real treat. Every piece of equipment you could imagine was readily available and in abundance.
I can’t say enough about how accommodating our CIA instructors were Chef Toni Sakaguchi administered the majority of our written exams and luckily for us she had a good amount of patience and gave us some really helpful tips along the way. Chef Thomas B. Wong and Chef Scott critiqued our cooking practicals and were very fair on how they judged our plates and platters.
Believe me – points were not just handed out. You really had to focus and earn them. I am very happy with how my dishes turned out and after practicing for the last three months or so, I wasn’t going to allow it to happen any other way.
I’m so proud to be part of a company that really invests into their chef’s through certification. The company does this because they are smart, very smart, and they know their investment will come back to them in a variety of ways. I know for myself, this process has elevated me to a whole new way of cooking inside the kitchen and out.
Sincere thanks to ALL who made these special types of opportunities available for the next generation of DNC chefs and other chefs to come. I feel confident in saying that we represented the company in a very professional manner at the CIA, but all of the real praise belongs to Chef Roland for tolerating us along the way. Thank you Chef. None of us could have done it without you.
Thank you for the opportunity.