Culinary Association Spotlight: The International Association of Culinary Professionals
The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting food professionals who work in culinary education, communication, or food and beverage preparation.
It was founded in 1978 as the Association of Cooking Schools, designed primarily to support culinary students just embarking on their careers. It wasn’t until 1987 that the IACP we know today was born, offering a more industry-focused network of resources.
The organization is open to both seasoned professionals and those who have recently graduated from culinary school and are just entering the field. There are opportunities for education, support, networking, and even scholarships offered through the IACP, and all within a strong community of like-minded professionals.
Certified Culinary Professional Designation
Perhaps one of the most well-known aspects of the IACP is their CCP certification (Certified Culinary Professional certification). Because the culinary field is not heavily regulated at the national or state level, there are few universally recognized certifications for chefs and other culinary professionals. The CCP certification is one of the few programs that is largely recognized by the culinary community and carries a mark of prestige all its own.
Awards Offered though the IACP
As is the case with most culinary associations, the IACP one comes with its own award and awards ceremony. The International Association of Culinary Professionals version is the Cookbook Awards, presented to those who have written and published outstanding cookbooks. Additional awards are presented for the Bert Greene Awards for Food Journalism (Magazine, Internet, and Newspaper categories).
Conferences and Additional Opportunities
Annual conferences through the IACP allow members the chance to network with other professionals as well as to stay abreast of the current technologies and trends in the field. These awards are usually held in large, “foodie” cities that make for great local cuisine.
If you’re interested in learning more about the International Association of Culinary Professionals, please visit their website. Many of the opportunities offered through the organization are smaller and more focused, including grassroots movement support and regional conferences and educational opportunities.
As a culinary professional, especially one who is just starting out, getting to know your peers is one of the most important things you can do for your career. The IACP is an organization to consider when building your resume and credentials.
Read, Read and Read Some MoreOne of the best suggestions I have for anyone thinking of going to culinary school or just getting into the restaurant industry is to read everything you can get your hands on. Learn from professional chefs who have worked in the industry and those who have taught in culinary schools.
There are many great books available to get you started in your culinary education and I suggest you read as much as possible before making that big decision to make sure this is the right move for you. Below is just a sample of books you might be interested in checking out.
For a much more comprehensive list of books for aspiring culinary, baking and restaurant management students, I suggest checking out my post on books for future culinary students and chefs.