The new age Salon Culinaire and Culinary Knowledge Professional Recognition Program
Online professional culinary competitions spearheaded by George Hill at auschef.com  demonstrates the huge potential to use electronic media to conduct a professional culinary competition that has the same outcomes and similar benefits that derive from a practical professional cookery competition.
Though at first some participants are nervous to enter, mistakenly believing that achieving a low score may be embarrassing. This is not true, as an individual score is not advertised. The only scores identified are the winners and we do not provide individual scores to organisers as a condition.
Even in the online Culinary Knowledge "Professional Recognition Program" individual scores are not shown; excepting those who achieve “Master Chef in Culinary Knowledge” and only because participants have already demonstrated exceptional professional culinary knowledge competence in previous assessments.
Even the lowest score of 70% at Master Chef Level is more than adequate evidence that the participants have an extraordinary global grasp of professional culinary knowledge and why it is difficult to achieve Master Chef.
The online method of conducting a professional cookery competition is predicted to become as popular as practical competitions when chefs and sponsors realise the cost effectiveness, educational benefits and entry flexibility. This especially applies to time poor chefs who have applauded the online competition as the future for culinary competitions.
The benefits of online culinary knowledge challenges include:
- Assesses one of the four indispensable elements in SAKE “culinary knowledge”, “SAKE”: Skills, Attitude, Knowledge, and Experience) which profiles a genuine professional commercial chef.
- Does not include the material, travel, ingredients, judges, accommodation, and the many other costs associated with a practical event
- Appeals to the academically minded chef, who by their nature and capacity will become tomorrow’s culinary leaders.
- Identifies the confident chef, confidence is a natural expression of ability, expertise, and self-regard. Confidence is a quality required in a leader. Chefs who self assess do so not because they think they are always right… but because they are not afraid to be wrong.
- Allows chefs in geographically remote locations to participate
- Is purely objective by independently assessing a chef’s culinary knowledge based on evidence
- Uses a medium and tool now entrenched in society and the industry
- Delivers instant results with a personalised certificate(In the first six months of 2013 we have issued nearly 100 certificates at various levels).
- Allows total flexibility when chefs elect to participate
- Facilitates even greater industry exposure for sponsors and participants
- Provide the same outcomes and even greater educational value as does a practical competition
Online culinary knowledge competitions will not replace practical competitions nor should they. Practical competence assesses a different skill set that includes: creativity, dexterity, ergonomics and practical competency. While online knowledge competitions assess understanding, compliance, alertness, safety, hygiene, attitude, conventions, maturity, confidence and technical culinary knowledge in subjects that underpin every practical application.
In a practical cookery competition a chef may demonstrate creativity and practical competence, but without appropriate culinary knowledge may be a liability. What if a chef can cook, however cannot demonstrate knowledge of hygiene, compliance, food costing Etc. A chef who can demonstrate professional culinary knowledge is more than likely to also be practically competent.