A Note from ACI’s Executive Chef

fun-runChef Humphrey's_6714



Happy Fall everybody! We have survived another summer! It is so nice to finally feel the kitchens cooling down a little bit, and now we get to enjoy 8 months of amazing weather.

The biggest thing on my mind right now is Saturday, October 15th. What’s happening that day you ask? Well, it’s our 2nd Annual Glenn Humphrey Memorial 5k Fun-run/walk. If you are a Chef, cook, or culinary student in Arizona, there is a good chance you know who Chef Humphrey was. Chef was so important to so many cooks around the Valley, and he was a huge part of Arizona Culinary Institute. Since Glenn passed away we have done a lot around the campus to try to honor his memory. One of the things we created last year was a scholarship in his name to help ACI students in financial need. Since Glenn helped so many of us in our careers, we felt a great way to honor him would be to create a scholarship so that he could still continue to help our students. The primary way that we decided to raise money for this scholarship was to host a fundraiser 5k at the school each October. There is no fee to enter, but we would gladly accept a $20 donation toward the scholarship to participate in the 5k. ALL donations will go directly to the scholarship fund.

This year we will have 3 options for the event: an “elite” wave for running enthusiasts, an “intermediate” wave for more casual runners, and a 2-mile walk for people that want to walk, push strollers, or bring their dogs. All waves will start and finish in the same spot. At the event we will have free food for all participants, and guests! Registration is from 7am until 7:45, and the first wave begins at 8am.

In conjunction with this event we are having our first ever ACI friends and family day. We are opening the campus to current students, alumni, prospective students, and employees to bring friends and family to the campus to show off our school. No catch. No fees. No gimmicks. We just want to host a great day with a positive vibe and bring people together. The event begins at 8am with the 5k and will wrap up around noon. We will have breakfast burritos available the first few hours, then hot dogs and burgers closer to lunch time…and the food is free! Come see us. Bring people. Celebrate the school. There will also be popcorn, cotton candy, a bounce house, and a bunch of great people. Please come show your support of the school, even if you don’t want to participate in the 5k.

That’s it folks! I hope to see you at the school on the 15th. Are any of you up to the challenge of beating me in the 5k? Wouldn’t it be nice to wipe that smug little grin off my face? Bring it on!

Chef Christopher Wolf, ccc, cce, cpi, csw.

Here is the link to register:



2016-fun-run flyer


A note from ACI’s Executive Chef Christopher Wolf

October 2014

Is it truly possible that the Holiday season is already upon us? Things have been busy at your favorite culinary school this year (that’s us :o)! Our most recent wine tasting event was a huge success, so I guess that means we’ll have to keep doing them. In fact, we may be trying to squeeze in one more before holiday break…..at the moment it looks like Thursday, December 18th. What a great way to celebrate the end of the year, or what a nice gift to give someone for the holidays.
We have our last Open House of the year coming up on Saturday, December 13th. Chef Meyer will be doing a holiday baking class, we’ll be giving tours of the school, there will be snacks (as always), and maybe best of all, we are doing a bake sale to benefit “No Kid Hungry”. Our talented baking staff will be creating a variety of goods for purchase. You can order ahead of time, or you can show up during open house and be surprised by the selection. Whatever you choose, all the profits are going to charity!
Our annual food drive begins on November 3rd and runs until November 21st for St. Mary’s Food bank. Donations will be accepted on campus, so if you’d like to contribute some non-perishable foods, please stop by to help the less fortunate.

The last thing I will mention is that our ACI Fellowship program is up and running. I think it’s going to be really special, and a great chance for our “over-achiever” students to squeeze a little more education out of the experience. If you want more info, just contact me (Chef Wolf) at the school, and we’ll schedule a time to talk about it.
I would like to personally wish all of you a safe Halloween, and a great start to your holiday season.

Thanks for making ACI a part of you life.

Chef Christopher Wolf, CCC, CCE, CSW, CPI

Chef Wolf_7355

February 2014 A Note from ACI’s Executive Chef

11 Chef Wolf DSC_0048







Greetings Culinarians and Friends,


After my January 2014 update, I was having a conversation with a former student of ACI/friend about the update that I had written.  He mentioned that he hadn’t realized that I had been promoted to the Executive Chef of the school.  So I figured, to avoid future confusion, I would address that topic in this update.  So YES, in case anyone else has not heard the news, I, Chef Wolf, in November of 2013, was promoted to Executive Chef of the Arizona Culinary Institute.  I feel honored that Chef Wilson thought highly enough of me to offer me this position.  The main purpose of the promotion was to take some of the responsibilities off of Chef Wilson’s VERY full schedule.  One of the things he asked me to do was write a monthly update about things happening at the school, so you should expect to see an update like this each month.


OK, now that is out of the way, we can move on!  We just started our February day class start, and we began a night class as well.  The extracurricular class schedule is still awaiting final approval, but I do know for a fact that the first one will be on Saturday, April 12th…..and it’s on MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY!!!  The class is limited to 20 people and the cost is $25 per person, due at sign up, non-refundable (to pay for the liquid nitrogen).  Sign up soon!  We are still having dinner service at the school, so if you haven’t made it in yet:  GET HERE!  Take advantage of your student discount!  Lastly, we will be hosting a wine tasting and education event in March that is open to both students AND the public.  If it goes well, this will become a regular event.  As with all things at ACI, the quality will be high, and the cost will be affordable.  If you like wine, this is NOT to be missed.  Until next time, happy cooking!


Chef Christopher Wolf, CCC, CCE, CPI, CSW
Executive Chef , Arizona Culinary Institute

Congratulations Chef Sayre | Silver Medal Winner

Congratulations to Chef Sayre CEC, CCE, WCC, CPI for winning the Silver Medal in the 2012 ACF Sponsored Catersource Conference and Trade show  held in las Vegas on 2/29/2012. Chef Sayre also won the Judges Choice Award in the Cold Platter Competition.

Congratulations Chef Sayre ACI is proud of you.

Chef Spotlight | Santos Villarico, CEC, CCE, CPI

Arizona Culinary Institute welcomes Chef Santos Villarico, who recently joined us from Le Cordon Bleu at Scottsdale. Chef Villarico will be teaching our Advanced Cuisine class, which cooks daily for our restaurant guests.

Chef Villarico was born in the Phillipines, but moved here 32 years ago. He worked at the Fairmont Princess Resort for seven years before teaching at LCB (formerly Scottsdale Culinary) for eleven years. Chef Villarico is really enjoying teaching here with the smaller class sizes, as well as the camaraderie that is shared, particularly at family meal time every day.

Chef Villarico has wowed the students with his incredible vegetable and fruit carvings. He became fascinated with the art and enjoys sharing about the background of some of the artists from Thailand. Those artists originally were skilled in carving ivory and wood. As tourism slowed down, they took their talents to the restaurant kitchen.

What advice would he give to students coming into the industry ? “Humble yourself, be willing to learn- never stop learning until they close your coffin. When you practice a skill, don’t practice with mediocrity, or that is the type of food you will serve. And lastly, don’t settle for excuses !”