chef sean byrd rsChef Sean ByrdSILVER CITY, NM – Gila Regional Medical Center announced today that Chef Sean Byrd has earned the Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and Certified Culinary Administrator (CCA) designation as set forth by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the nation's largest organization of professional chefs. Byrd is a member of the New Mexico chapter of ACF.

ACF operates the only comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States and currently certifies more than 12,800 culinary professionals worldwide. Candidates for ACF certification must have the highest standards of work and educational experience, and pass both a written and practical examination. In addition, candidates must complete coursework in food safety, nutrition and supervisory management. Byrd is one of just three CEC certified chefs in New Mexico

According to Byrd, "The process starts with applying to verify that you have the experience and training to take the exams. Sanitation, food costing, recipe structure, usage and writing, human resources and training, etc. In other words you need to know a lot more than just how to cook! Once approved, you have to pass a 100 question, timed written exam. Once you pass the written exam then the heat is on! You have a market basket, including live lobster, which you have to incorporate into a three course meal, four plates each of an appetizer, salad and entrée, utilizing all the ingredients at least once. You then have three hours to produce your menu which needs to include certain cooking techniques, classic knife cuts and sauces while being judged on sanitation, technique and final product by three to four certified Chefs walking around with clipboards, watching what you do!"

Byrd has been Executive Chef at Gila Regional since July of 2016. In that time, he has overseen the culinary renewal for patients and the public who dine in the Courtyard Café at GRMC. Some of his innovations include the implementation of Liberty Street BBQ, our On-The-Go program, and retail changes to bring about a better dining experience.

About Gila Regional Medical Center
Gila Regional Medical Center is a county-owned, not-for-profit, 68-bed acute care hospital with a strong commitment to the people they serve. Investments in technology and certified caregivers provide quality care delivery through a patient-centered approach. It is home to the Gila Regional Cancer Center; the Surgical Center of the Southwest and was rated a 4-Star Quality Care Hospital by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. 

About The American Culinary Federation
The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), a professional, organization for chefs and cooks, was founded in 1929 in New York City by three chefs' organizations: the Société Culinaire Philanthropique, the Vatel Club and the Chefs de Cuisine Association of America. Since our inception, little has changed in our principal goals. We are an organization based on promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels. You can learn more at www.acfchefs.org.

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