Le Cordon Bleu Congratulates Chef Daryl Shular as One of Two Chefs in the Country to Earn Prestigious Certified Master Chef (CMC) Designation in 2014

by LP Green, II

Following years of preparation and a grueling week-long exam, Executive Chef and Director of Education Daryl Shular of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta prevailed and on Nov. 2, earned the culinary industry’s highest honor, the designation known as Certified Master Chef (CMC). His achievement makes him one of 68 total chefs in the U.S. to currently hold this distinction, having successfully completed the rigorous examination administered by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Chef Shular was one of two chefs who earned the title this year.

“While the ACF CMC exam is the most challenging culinary skills test in the world, it’s something I’ve worked for my entire career,” Shular said. “Completing this exam, it’s truly an honor to be a part of such an elite group of chefs I’ve always admired. It just shows that if you are determined and believe in yourself, dreams can come true.”

Chef Shular is the first African American to earn the honor of CMC certification and he is the first Le Cordon Bleu leader to pass the intensive culinary exam while serving as Executive Chef and Director of Education at our institution. In this role, he enthusiastically shares his impressive culinary skills and technique with faculty peers and students every day.

“I know first-hand what preparing for and completing this exam takes and Chef Shular’s new CMC designation is further proof of his tenacity and focus, along with his incredible talent and advance culinary skills,” said Chef Edward Leonard, CMC, AAC, WGMC, vice president of culinary education, Le Cordon Bleu North America. “His incredible achievement only furthers Le Cordon Bleu’s mission of providing students with the highest level of culinary education through accomplished chef instructors with real-world experience and industry expertise.”

Chef Shular is based in Atlanta and has more than 20 years of experience in the culinary industry. He credits his role in the 2008 American Academy of Chefs Culinary Regional Team USA as some of the greatest experience in training for the CMC exam.

Before joining Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Shular served as Corporate Executive of Chef for Performance Food Service and Chef/Owner of The Daryl L. Shular Company LLC. Previously he was Executive Chef at Hilton Double Tree Hotels, Spice Restaurant, Dunwoody Country Club, The Buckhead Club and Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel. With expertise in global/international, classical French European, southern regional and Deep South cuisines, Chef Shular’s vast culinary expertise and experience propelled him to successfully complete exam.

Considered the ultimate culinary test, chefs participating in the CMC exam are pushed to the very limits of their skills and endurance throughout the eight-day test. Candidates must maintain an average score of 75 out of 100 points to be eligible to continue the test, which includes kitchen skills, plate presentation and taste. Tested in healthy cooking, buffet catering, classical cuisine, freestyle cooking, global cuisine, baking and pastry, Continental and Northern Europe cuisines, and market basket, Shular successfully moved forward in the examination and conquered every challenge presented to him.

“Everyone at Le Cordon Bleu is impressed with Chef Shular’s incredible accomplishment,” said Anna Vasquez, vice president of operations at Le Cordon Bleu. “Having one of our own chef instructors earn the greatest honor in the most rigorous culinary exam in the country is a true testament to the commitment and impressive skill level each of our instructors bring into the classroom every day.”

To apply for the CMC exam, candidates must be a Certified Executive Chef or Certified Culinary Educator, provide two letters of recommendation from current CMCs or Certified Master Pastry Chefs, and have completed education courses on sanitation and food safety, cost management, management and wine. The American Culinary Federation was established in 1929 and is the standard of excellence for chefs in North America, offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation.

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