A Week I Will Never Forget

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 are Chef Simon Lewis’ thoughts.

A week I will never forget – stressful, tiring and fun at the same time.

The CIA in Napa is truly an amazing training ground, I learned more than imagined in four days. I was very impressed by the set-up and flow of the school day. The equipment and fundamental training and depth in a variety of topics that the school has to offer is amazing, whoever is attending should take full advantage.

We really owe Chef Roland for making this happen within the company and Delaware North Companies for investing the time and money. It makes a huge impact on making us think. It makes us better chefs. Thank you.

After taking the pro chef 2 test, I came away feeling a little sad. I was happy it was over but I could not stop thinking about what I could have done better, what I should have revised and this is key – make time to study and practice, don’t take anything for granted.

Really, organization is key. I made too many footsteps on thing I could have had prepared before the clock starts. When planning your menus (this is tough because you need to go above and beyond but keep to what you know) time is short and the instructors are tough. They want to see a variety of techniques and they ask you why – so know what you’re doing.

I learned a lot about myself and the company in four days and I met some really great people along the way from the instructors to fellow coworkers from all types of cooking venues and we all had a good time. Again, I would like to say thanks to all the chefs who participated.


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