Class of global chefs receive first-ever USA Cheese Specialist designation


Class of global chefs receive first-ever USA Cheese Specialist designation

Unparalleled training series raises awareness of all that USA Cheeses have to offer, empowering chefs to unlock their creativity

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Published: Sun 30 Jun 2019, 12:18 PM

Last week marked the graduation of 40 young chefs who received the first-ever designation as USA Cheese Specialist - a premiere, one-of-a-kind global cheese certification offered by the USA Cheese Guild. 
The USA Cheese SpecialistT Certification Programme was launched in partnership with the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai in the fall of 2018. The inaugural class is composed of chefs from 22 hotel properties in the UAE with students coming from nine different countries (India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Portuguese, Syria, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Philippines). 
"As the leading global supplier of high-quality cheese, the United States is in a unique position to help educate the world about this versatile food and inspire new culinary creations," said Angélique Hollister, Executive Director of the USA Cheese Guild. "We are proud to be investing in the future of these young chefs."  
Designed for food service, this new global training consists of three, progressive certification levels (Associate, Intermediate and Advanced). Over the past few months, the chefs attended a series of hands-on training courses designed to instil knowledge about US cheese.
Starting with the basics, how cheese is made, categories, handling, etc., the education programme gradually encompasses more technical applications as well as nutrition and how the more than 600 varieties of US cheese can be used to capitalise on global trends. 
"The course has opened the eyes of these culinary professionals, inspiring creativity and providing practical knowledge," said Sunjeh Raja, Director and CEO of ICCA Dubai. "The gained appreciation for these high-quality cheeses is sure to bring success as they serve on-trend dishes to consumers in the Middle East and beyond."  
Award-winning US speciality cheeses are being increasingly recognised around the world for craftsmanship, innovation, variety and versatility. Because of its diverse population and geography, the United States can produce a wide range of cheeses representing cultures from around the world. From traditional classics to diverse flavours (spicy, savoury, bold, etc.), US cheeses can complement everything from local favourites to fusion cuisine. 
Upon completion of all three courses, graduates receive a recognition chef coat patch and pin, and are inducted into the global USA Cheese Specialists community, with membership in the broader USA Cheese Guild - providing continued access to valuable resources to stay engaged and connected to the US cheese industry throughout their careers. 
In addition to the ICCA, certification courses are being offered through additional prestigious culinary institutes and schools in Japan (Hattori Nutrition College), South Korea (Daelim University College) and Taiwan (National Kaoshiung University of Hospitality and Tourism) with a few others in the works in Latin America and Hong Kong. 
Visit for more information on US cheese, nutrition and applications. For more information about the Guild, visit 

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