Watch Intro Video

Raising the Bar

Become A High-Performance Chef

High-Performance Chefs aren't born, 

they're Trained.

Chefs are implementing what they have learned from Raising the Bar to...

  • Prepare for the CMC exam

  • Prepare for Olympic Team USA tryouts

  • Prepare for CEC exam practicals

  • Build programs for ACF & WACS competitions

  • Build a stronger culinary program

  • Evolve specials

  • Grow their teams

  • Build disciplines that lead to unending growth

Pricing Options

What you will learn

Learn the secrets of high-performing chefs so that you can be a sought-after leader in your industry and be confident in crafting your signature style. This course contains over 25 years of industry knowledge that teaches you techniques and shows you the perspective of Certified Master Chefs, Michelin Starred Restaurants, The Culinary Olympics, leadership, and modern techniques. 

Raising the Bar is approved for 12 continuing education hours toward the initial or recertification application for ACF certification.  

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction: Raising the Bar

  • 2

    Module 1: Building a Foundation

    • Module 1 Overview: Building a Foundation

    • Expecting Exponential Effort

    • Work Overview & Flow

    • My Trusted Resources

    • Research

    • Using Good Notes (tablet) The Modern Project Notebook

    • Brainstorming

    • Inspiration Board

    • Streamlining the Work

    • The Support Team: Guiding Principles

    • Skin in the Game

    • Writing the Baseline Recipe

  • 3

    Module 2: The Mind Game

    • Module 2 Overview: The Mind Game

    • Beginner's Mindset

    • Understanding your Relationship to Time

    • The Gold Standard

    • Final Thoughts on The Gold Standard

    • Mindset Questionnaire

    • Mindset Exercise: Building your Golden Standard

    • The Filter

    • The Filter Explanation

    • Everything is an Evolution

  • 4

    Module 3: Ingredients

  • 5

    Module 4: In the Office

  • 6

    Module 5: Honoring the Fundamentals

  • 7

    Module 6: Building the Program

    • Module 6 Overview: Building the Program

    • Using Siri for Practice

    • A Tale of 2 Timers

    • Gathering the Data to Build a Timeline

    • Building the Timeline

    • Writing a Food Requisition

    • Writing an Equipment List

    • Creating a Powerpoint for Feedback

    • Building the Food Packing List

    • Mid Course Questionaire

    • My Knife Tray

  • 8

    Module 7: Systemizing the Program

  • 9

    Module 8: Evolving Flavor

  • 10

    Module 9: Evolving the Program

    • Module 9 Overview: Evolving your Program

    • Social Media Guidelines

    • Cutting Steps in Mise en Place

    • Cutting Steps in Mise 1: Spice Mixes & Dry Mix

    • Cutting Steps in Mise 2: Combining Liquids

    • Cutting Steps in Mise: Hydrocolloids and Cures

    • Polishing & Revising the Program

    • The Competitors Book

    • Creating the Judges Book

  • 11

    Module 10: Packing

    • Module 10 Overview: Packing

    • The Packing Matrix

    • Packing Materials

    • Packing & Traveling with Nonperishables

    • Alternate Vacuum Packing Method

    • Packing & Traveling with Perishable Food, Part One

    • Packing and Traveling with Perishables, Part Two

    • Packing & Traveling with Finished Terrines

    • Packing & Traveling with Fragile Items, Crackers & Garnishes

    • Building The Travel Tote

    • Packing & Traveling with Gear, Part One

    • Packing & Traveling with Gear, Part Two

    • Packing & Traveling with Plates

    • Packing the Tote

    • Traveling Considerations & Shipping

    • The Oh Sh&t Kit

  • 12

    Module 11: Food Photography

  • 13

    Module 12: Short Lessons, Links & Resources

  • 14

    Post Assessment

    • Post Course Questionaire

  • 15

    Course Conclusion

    • Closing Thoughts

    • Where to, from here.

    • ACF 12 Continuing Education Hours

    • Master Chef Exam, Preplan Part 1 of 6

    • Master Chef Exam, Preplan Part 2 of 6

    • Master Chef Exam Preplan Part 3 of 6

    • Master Chef Exam, Preplan Part 4 of 6

    • Master Chef Exam, Preplan Part 5 of 6

    • Master Chef Exam, Preplan Part 6 of 6

Build. Grow. Implement.

Pricing Options

  • Build: $1,800

    Online course material

  • Grow: $2,299

    Online course material, 6 months of Culinary Growth & Development Live, Culinary Growth & Development Library (past recordings of live lessons), 90-minute assessment zoom session with Gerald L. Ford. (total value of over $3,000)

  • Implement: $3,500

    Online course material, 6 months of Culinary Growth & Development Live, Culinary Growth & Development Library (past recordings of live lessons), 90-minute assessment zoom session, and 6 coaching sessions with Gerald L. Ford. (total value of over $5,900)


  • How long do I have to complete the course?

    There is no time period to complete the course. The course will drip out, 1 module per week, however, you can work at your own pace.

  • Are there payment plans available?

    Yes, please email

  • Is there a money back guarantee?

    By the end of Module 4, if you are not 100% convinced that this course will lead you to the results you are seeking, simply send me an email to explaining why. You must reach out prior to starting module 5.

  • How long do I have access to the material?

    You have lifetime access to the course material. One of the perks of online learning if you can review the course material as many times as you'd like.

  • How do I access the online course?

    After registering for the course, you will receive a confirmation email with more details on how to access your online training.


Chef Tim Oltz

"Over the past 6 weeks, I LEARNED MORE with RAISING THE BAR THAN I HAVE JUST GRINDING AT COMPETING MYSELF. Master Chef Ford’s program offers a heightened level of in-depth practical tools to become a more effective competitor.”

Chef Kristopher W. Cyprian

“Raising the Bar is so DETAIL-ORIENTED. Whether you are WORKING ON A CERTIFICATION or just want to WORK BETTER IN YOUR ESTABLISHMENT, it will help you to pay attention to details that you might not have even thought about. Master CHEF FORD IS SIMPLY AMAZING.”

Chef Melinda Burrows, CEC, CCA

"Chef GENEROUSLY SHARES HIS KNOWLEDGE, professional EXPERIENCE, and PASSION for the culinary industry in Raising the Bar. The CONTENT IS VARIED & RELEVANT. Our weekly group sessions provided an opportunity for team building which was educational and fun! I recommend this course to my fellow culinarians especially those who strive to become better in everything they do."

Chef April Johnson

"Chef Ford has put the time and care into RAISING THE BAR to HELP CHEFS BECOME THE BEST VERSIONS OF THEMSELVES. From discussing the topics of mindset to flavor profiles, cooking techniques, and packing for competitions, you will thoroughly enjoy all the lessons and resources provided throughout this course."

Chef Elijah Dalager

“I loved the weekly zoom calls. I HAVE TAKEN CLASSES ONLINE BEFORE (WHICH WERE VERY UNSUCCESSFUL) and THIS IS A GREAT RESOURCE for anyone who is passionate about food, the craft, competing or certification.”

Chef Matt Schellig

“Chef Ford has an UNCOMMON APPROACH to his work that he shares. Many chefs talk and dream about what Mise En Place is, this man pulls your eyelids wide open. The VALUE of Raising the Bar RUNS DEEP."

About Gerald L. Ford & Legit Concepts

Certified Master Chef, Gerald Ford has spent years learning from the best chefs, cooks, and establishments globally, having worked with Master Chefs, Michelin Starred Chefs, Bocuse d'Or Competitors, and Olympic Competitors. Legit Concepts is now working to concentrate on those lessons learned and bring them to you. Learning through my platform, you will save on the massive investments of time and money from learning it on your own through trial and error. I believe that a chef will always be a craftsman before they can be considered an artist. Only through mastery of the fundaments and a fully developed understanding of the raw materials can this level of expertise be achieved. Through mentoring, coaching, accountability, and personal growth, I am here to evolve the kitchens' culture and practices around the world. It is time for the toxic, shadow kitchen culture to be replaced. Craft and education must meet. Our responsibility is to ensure that the generations behind us learn about quality, wholesomeness, and technique. Our commitment is to ensure that the generations behind us understand the standards, practices, and philosophies that will serve as the building blocks to a successful career. Our responsibilities as chefs are to evolve how we teach, mentor and coach to ensure our message reaches our students. Standards like expectations need to be raised, not lowered, and that message needs to be precise and consistent. There will always be a critic of something we do. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it is our responsibility to tell it. Our message is our responsibility. My commitment is to the future of our industry.