The Culinary Institute of America

  • ProChef® Certification Levels

    With three levels of ProChef Certification, one is sure to be right for you. It's your background, experience, and career objective that determines which level fits your needs. Based on the amount of time you've spent in the industry, your education, and your personal experience, you can choose to begin with Level I or, if you already have all of the knowledge and skills to move ahead, you can start with Level II. It's all up to you.

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    ProChef Level I Certification

    At this level, you should have or be on the way toward competency in foundation culinary applications and food safety, be responsible for your own work, and have basic knowledge of food cost. The descriptions that follow are general skills and knowledge that you must possess in order to achieve ProChef Level I Certification status.

    Culinary Skills:

    • Fundamental culinary techniques
    • Stock, soup, and sauce preparation
    • Basic vegetable and starch accompaniments
    • Sensible plate accompaniments and menu progression
    • Basic cold food preparations
    • Food safety and sanitation principles

    Leadership Skills:

    • Listen to and follow instructions
    • Organize appropriately to maximize production efficiency

    Financial Skills:

    • Food and labor issues
    • Kitchen calculations regarding food cost, percentages, and yields
    • Food order preparation

    Download the Level I study guide (PDF 758 KB). Start training now!

    View ProChef Level I exam details and test dates >

    ProChef Level II Certification

    At this level, you should have or be on the way toward competency in basic food science, baking, and nutrition; demonstrate basic management and supervisory skills; and understand the basic concepts of financial controls of a food operation. The descriptions that follow are general skills and knowledge that you must possess in order to achieve ProChef Level II Certification status.

    Culinary Skills:

    • Nutrition concepts as applied to menus and recipes
    • Fundamental baking techniques
    • Basic food science terminology
    • Garde manger and Mediterranean cooking principles

    Leadership Skills:

    • Fundamental management principles
    • Effective supervision of others in work production
    • Fundamental workplace laws and employer liability
    • Preparation of performance reviews
    • Preparation of effective work schedules

    Financial Skills:

    • Food operation P&Ls
    • Menu mix and portion concepts
    • Labor and food waste issues
    • Food inventory and ordering system

    Download the Level II study guide (PDF 348 KB). Start training now!

    View ProChef Level II exam details and test dates >

    ProChef Level III Certification

    At this level, you should be well versed in multiple culinary disciplines, able to apply advanced personnel management skills, and capable of effectively planning, managing, and forecasting the financial aspects of a complex food operation. The descriptions that follow are general skills and knowledge that you must possess in order to achieve ProChef Level III Certification status.

    Culinary Skills

    • Asian, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisine concepts, ingredients, and recipes
    • World cuisine culinary techniques
    • Food science applications
    • Wine and food pairing fundamentals

    Leadership Skills

    • Conflict resolution approaches and training techniques
    • Interview guidelines
    • Elements of successful discipline
    • Identification of performance issues
    • Organizational chart/job description preparations

    Financial Skills

    • Complex management principles
    • Effective supervision of others in work production
    • Budget and project timeline preparations
    • Inventory adjustments on food cost

    Download the Level III study guide (PDF 269 KB). Start training now!

    View ProChef Level III exam details and test dates >