Why do you want to become an ACF Certified Master Chef®?
I feel fortunate to have worked with many ACF Certified Master Chefs and to see firsthand their commitment, discipline and respect for the craft of cooking; it’s just inspiring to me. It’s a surprise to me that more of our members are not planning to take the exam.
What are the reasons you chose to pursue ACF certification in your career?
I wanted to set myself apart from others in the industry.
When is it the right time in a chef’s career to take the ACF Certified Master Chef exam?
The journey is different for everyone. I feel it is time when a chef can feel confident in his or her skills.
Where do you see yourself professionally in 10 years?
This business has always led me down paths I didn’t think I would go down. So in 10 years I could still be teaching or owning my own business. As long as I am still cooking I am happy.
How do you prepare both mentally and physically for the exam?
Mentally you need to believe in yourself. Be prepared for the tough days and be okay with having days in which you struggle. Get physical exercise, stretch, eat right, get sleep and stay hydrated.
Randy Torres, CEC®, is a chef instructor at Oregon Coast Culinary Institute in Coos Bay, Oregon. His prior experience includes working in private clubs and hotels around the U.S. In 2013, Torres received the ACF Western Region Chef Educator of the Year award. An avid competitor, he is the recipient of numerous medals, including gold medals at the Las Vegas Culinary Challenge in 1996 and 2008. From 1996 to 2004, Torres competed nationally and internationally as a member of the California Culinary Team. In 2008, he competed as a member of ACF Culinary Team USA , winning a gold medal in the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) International Culinary Exhibition, commonly known as the “culinary Olympics,” and in 2012, Torres coached the ACF Culinary Youth Team USA.