Brookdale’s widely popular culinary arts program has one more feather to stick in its chef’s hat. This month, following a demanding application process spanning the last two years, the program was officially accredited by the accrediting commission of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF).
The honor, bestowed only on culinary programs that meet a strict set of standards and educational criteria, is very much appreciated, said Brookdale’s Business and Technology Dean Patricia Gallo. But to those who have worked or studied in Brookdale’s Culinary Education Center, the accreditation comes as no surprise.
“This accreditation confirms for us what we believed about our program,” Gallo said. “Students and employers can be assured those who go through our programs are being trained in a college that meets the rigorous requirements of the ACF Education Foundation. We are both excited and proud of this outstanding accomplishment.”
Associate Culinary Arts Professor Michelle Zuppe agreed, saying the accreditation is a testament to the hardworking, professional faculty in Brookdale’s culinary and pastry arts programs. It will also serve an one more advantage for Brookdale culinary graduates as they enter the workforce or move on to a four-year college.
“ACF certification allows our students to graduate as a certified culinarian and/or certified pastry culinarian,” Zuppe said. “It ensures our students and our community that the program meets the national standards for curriculum and current practices in the field of culinary and pastry arts. Aspiring Chefs can be assured that their education and training are done at a program with the highest level of accountability and credibility.”
The ACFEF is the educational arm of the American Culinary Federation, one of the oldest and most renowned professional chefs associations in America. The five-year accreditation, effective this year, applies to Brookdale’s culinary arts associate degree program and the college’s certificate programs in culinary arts and pastry arts.
The honor is only the latest in a series of successes for the Brookdale culinary program. In January, culinary graduate and Manhattan-based chef Emily Chapman took the $10,000 top prize on the Food Network Program “Chopped.” Last fall, culinary graduate Matt Levine took second place on the Food Network program “Rewrapped.” And in 2012, culinary grad and James Beard Award finalist Andrew Araneo beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay in a voodoo shrimp “throwdown.”
Learn more about culinary arts at Brookdale here.