VCA - Apprenticeship
Virginia Chefs Association - Apprenticeship

What Is Apprenticeship?

The American Culinary Federation apprenticeship training program has been designed to provide future culinarians entering the workplace with comprehensive training in the practical and theoretical aspects of work required in a highly skilled profession. The apprenticeship program is based on the voluntary cooperation between local chapters of the American Culinary federation, industry and government, the individual hotel or foodservice establishment and local school and college systems. It is, therefore, a truly cooperative endeavor. The rich rewards of this cooperation are apprentices who learn skills on the job which will serve them to develop into committed and dedicated culinarians.

Apprenticeship is an old and time honored method of developing skills. Today, there are over 800 apprenticeable occupations in the construction, manufacturing, transportation and service industries. Apprentices are members of a production force as they train on the job and in the classroom.

VCA Apprenticeship

The Purpose of Apprenticeship

There are nearly 2,000 apprentices learning in more than 80 ACF-sponsored culinary apprenticeship programs in the United States. All these programs have important objectives for its students:

  • To develop a personal sense of pride and professionalism necessary for success in the hospitality industry
  • To achieve a knowledge of the history, evolution, and international diversity of the culinary arts
  • To develop basic principles of nutrition, dietetics, and food and beverage composition
  • To gain a proficient understanding in the use and maintenance of foodservice equipment
  • To become acquainted with the organization of the professional kitchen and bakeshops and effectively practice basic and advanced skills in food preparation
  • To develop a professional work ethic through a commitment to the apprenticeship program
  • To develop a personal philosophical base that builds ideals for a successful culinary career
VCA Apprenticeship

Trends in Food Service

The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics estimates that over 200,000 new foodservice positions will be created each year for the next five years. To meet the need for trained manpower, the ACF created a set of Recommended Guidelines for an Apprenticeship Program for Cooks and Pastry Cooks. These guidelines are registered with the US Department of Labor.

Job Training in the Culinary Arts

Apprenticeship is an on-the-job training program combined with technical classroom instruction. Prospective apprentices must be at least (17) years of age, a high school graduate, or its equivalent.

How to Apply for an Apprenticeship

Students must apply directly to an ACF Chapter that sponsors an Apprenticeship Program. If accepted into an apprenticeship program, students will be required to:

  • Pay an ACF enrollment fee of $110 which includes apprentice identification card, apprenticeship pin, Training Log (Cook or Pastry Cook), The Art and Science of Culinary Preparation (required text) and the Study Guide to The Art and Science of Culinary Preparation.
  • To join ACF as a Junior Member which includes the National Culinary Review (monthly subscription), Center of the Plate (national newsletter), and Chapter affiliation.
  • Complete three years of full-time work (6,000 hours) of on-the-job training in a foodservice kitchen under a qualified chef.
  • Complete a minimum of 192 classroom hours per year in addition to their work schedule. Technical courses are usually taken at a community college working in partnership with the Chapter. Tuition fees are established by the school.
VCA Apprenticeship

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  • VCA has partnered with Restaurantware.

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