Binghamton University chefs receive American Culinary Federation CEC® certification

Schools and Libraries

February 19, 2018


Binghamton University Dining Services today announced Chefs Charlie Williams and Sam Pfaffenbach have earned Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®) designation.

The certification awarded by the American Culinary Federation to esteemed chefs who are responsible for all culinary units in a restaurant, hotel, club, hospital or food service establishment.

Certification shows employers that a Certified Executive Chef® has reached a benchmark of skills and culinary experience with high standards for food preparation. It shows working knowledge of culinary nutrition, food safety and sanitation, and supervisory management has been demonstrated.

"Sam and I both began working on the certification process in August and completed our certification in late December. It was probably the most challenging thing I've ever done professionally," said Executive Chef of Catering Operations Charles Williams, CEC. "Our road to certification included extensive online training, countless hours practicing and perfecting our dishes and skills, a week-long culinary boot camp hosted at Liberty University, a week of practice and critique leading up to our practical exam, a 100-question written exam, and a 3 ½ hour practical cooking evaluation. The process seemed overwhelming and unmanageable at times, but that's why it was so personally rewarding for Sam and I once we became certified."

The certificant is in control of their professional development and career, and this increased quality, knowledge, and motivation is passed on to other staff. Certification reassures consumers that the food they eat is prepared to the highest standard.

"I am very proud to represent our dining program and bring back the skills and knowledge I acquired while becoming an American culinary federation Certified Executive Chef to the Binghamton University campus," said Williams.

The assessment for certification practical testing is divided into four general areas: Safety and Sanitation Skills; Organization; Craftsmanship Skills; and Finished Product Skills.

"Certified Executive Chefs as part of our dining program lends credibility to the professionalism we strive for every day at Binghamton University," said Director of Auxiliary Services Pete Napolitano. "I'm proud of Chef Charlie and Chef Sam for their dedication to take the time to learn, grow, and develop their skill sets."

The CEC® is a mark of excellence and distinction in the culinary industry and is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) for demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs.

Part of the Sodexo Universities East Coast initiative, Chefs Williams and Pfaffenbach were nominated by Senior Vice President Carty McMullen and Resident District Manager James Ruoff.

For more information about Binghamton University Dining Services, contact Casey Slocum at 607 777 3014 and via email at casey.slocum@sodexo.com