A Day in Basque Country 3-9-2017

This Event Is Sold Out

 

Arizona Culinary Institute’s Alumnus, Chef Tandy Peterson Just returned from an internship at the 10th ranked best restaurant in the world located in Spain. She invites you to experience “Tastes of the Basque Region” on March 9, 2017 at du Jour Restaurant.

This wine lover’s happening features one seating at 6:30 p.m. promptly. ACI’s du Jour Restaurant, is located at  10585 North 114th Street in Scottsdale (116th Street and Shea). 480-603-1066

This event featuring a four-course tasting menu, is only $55 per person (Tax and gratuity included) and open to anyone 21 or older, but space is limited and participants must register online.
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A Note From The Executive Chef November, December 2016

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Hello ACI family!  Welcome to the end of another fabulous year!

I want to say congratulations to all of our students that graduated on Friday, December 2nd.  Graduation days are very proud days for us.  There’s such a great feeling in helping people open the door to their career and graduation is that moment when it all comes together.  We appreciate every student that has ever graduated this program, and we are excited to add more names to that long list.  Congratulations everyone!

I know during the holiday season many of you will be working on the major holidays because in this profession it’s hard to get those day off.  I want to salute all of you that make the sacrifice to work doing something you love instead of being at home with family and friends.  I know it can be hard, but if it makes you feel any better:  We’ve all been there, and I can tell you from personal experience that it’s easy to find ways to still celebrate and enjoy the holiday season…you just might have to be a little more creative.  Plus, you never know, keep working hard and you may find yourself in a job that allows you to be off for the holidays – like teaching!

Lastly, I just want to say “thank you” to all of you reading this.  2016 was a year that saw a major chain of culinary schools shut down, and I’m thankful that we are still here.  The only reason we are still here is because enough of YOU choose us for your culinary education.  You allow us to stay in business year after year, so each year we try to make this school even better than it was the year before.  I know it’s easy to say, but we truly do care about each and every one of the students that walk through our doors.  We can’t please everyone all the time, and we aren’t perfect, but we try and we care.  We do our best for you.  We will continue to do our best every year.  I hope that your 2016 ends on a happy note and that your 2017 is your best year yet.  Happy holidays everyone.

Chef Christopher Wolf, ccc, cce, csw, cpi

A Note From ACI’s Executive Chef

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Hello ACI family.

I feel honored, yet again, to have the opportunity to update you on all-things-Arizona-Culinary in this newsletter. We have plenty of things going on to talk about, but perhaps that can wait.

For this month’s installment, I find myself in a period of reflection. As many of you probably know, ACI recently had the privilege of working with the Roca Brothers from El Cellar de Can Roca, which was voted 2015 best restaurant in the WORLD, and is located in Girona, Spain. Every year for the last 3 years the Roca Brothers have partnered with BBVA Compass Bank to embark on a World Tour and bring their food, through a series of “pop-up dinners”, to a select few cities around the world. This year, one of those select cities happened to be Phoenix, Arizona, and the chosen venue was the Four Seasons Resort in North Scottsdale.

In each of the cities the Brothers visit, they try to partner with a local culinary school to find student volunteers to help them prepare these amazing meals. Fortunately during their planning stages they found Arizona Culinary Institute. I was honored that from their initial contact with the school, Chef Wilson gave me free reign to pursue this opportunity with all of my enthusiasm. To make a very long story as short as possible, through many months of planning, emails, phone calls, scheming, and dreaming, we were able to provide 10 very capable student volunteers to work with the staff of El Cellar de Can Roca.

The road certainly was not always smooth. Even the student selection process was difficult. 27 students applied for the opportunity and we were limited to only 10 spaces. I wish we could have sent everyone, but unfortunately we could not. All of the students selected were thrilled. Some of the students that we were unable to select were very understanding, and some took it a little more personally. Those were difficult conversations, especially since I hate to disappoint anyone.

There were even a few tense moments within our instructor team. All of us wanted to be a part of it, but we were very limited in how many people we were allowed to send…sometimes there is such a thing as too much help. Because of my involvement from day 1, I was able to join our students every day, but the rest of the instructor team was only able to participate in a limited capacity, which caused a little friction as well. But nothing great is ever achieved easily.

As a “thank-you” for providing the brothers with our 10 student volunteers, they offered to do a master class at the school for our current students and any alumni that wanted to partake. The master class provided the opportunity for any students or instructors that were unable to be involved in the preparation of the pop-up dinners to still have some interaction with the Roca Brothers.

When the dust settled, 100 ACI staff, students, and alumni packed the Du Jour dining room for a 2 hour master class with Joan and Jordi Roca…an experience that still seems surreal to me. 10 ACI student volunteers spent 11 days working long hours beside the Roca Brothers and their staff from El Cellar de Can Roca to put out 3 nights of amazing meals to 100 lucky guests each night. The fact that ACI was able to be a part of this is still something I am struggling to wrap my head around. Of all the cities and all the culinary schools in the world, the chefs of one of the best restaurants in the entire world found their way to us. We were a part of something that so many people around the world would have given anything to be a part of. It was so much bigger than I ever expected. I find myself very grateful for having played a part in it. I am grateful to the Roca Brothers and the staff of El Cellar de Can Roca, to BBVA Compass Bank sponsoring the tour, to all of ACI’s amazing students for volunteering their time and wanting to be a part of this amazing experience, to the staff of ACI for working together to pull this off, and to our school President, Chef Wilson, for letting me pursue this opportunity for the school.

In the end, like so many great moments, despite the long road to planning this experience, it was over in the blink of an eye. I hope it left as big of an impression on everyone who was able to be a part of it as it did on me. I feel very lucky to be the Executive Chef of our wonderful school, and to have the opportunity to help generate experiences like this for the ACI family. In closing I would simply encourage all of you to keep pushing, never give up, and realize that there is no ceiling to what you are capable of. There is a whole other level of culinary arts out there, above and beyond what we see every day, and the greatest restaurants in the world are always on the lookout for that next young cook to mentor. Cheers.

Christopher Wolf, CCC, CSW, CCE, CPI

Executive Chef, Arizona Culinary Institute

A Note from ACI’s Executive Chef

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Greetings everyone! I hope you’re all doing your best to stay cool and comfortable during our lovely Arizona summer. I want to begin this newsletter by welcoming a new member to our team: Chef Creighton Schroeder. Chef is joining us as our Director of Education. That means that in addition to teaching when necessary, Chef Schroeder will be another layer of help for our students when it comes to the academic side of their ACI experience. He brings a deep and solid skill set, and is already making positive changes here at the school. We are very happy to have him on board.

We have officially begun planning our Second Annual Glenn Humphrey Memorial 5k Fun-run/walk. This year it will be bigger and better than last year: 2 divisions for the 5k, a 2 mile walk/dog/stroller option, and a 15k bike option! More people. More prizes. More FOOD. And, to make the day even more amazing, we’re hosting an ACI friends and family BBQ where students, alumni, and employees can come, bring their families, and celebrate the school. Food and drinks will be free, we’ll have lots of activities, and for the little ones (no not Chef Rigollet, I mean the kids) we’re planning on having a bounce house as well! Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 15th, and plan on being here even if you have no intention of participating in the 5k. It’s gonna be awesome.

Our next Open House is on Saturday, August 6th. We will be hosting another Culinary Bootcamp for Veterans. The response for these classes has been really great. If that sounds like something you’d like to volunteer your time to help with, please contact Chef Wolf at the school.

ACI’s Modernist Cooking Club is back in action this week, with meetings on Thursday and Saturday. I always get so excited to see what new and interesting things our members come up with. Don’t miss out!

Lastly, our partnership with the Roca Brothers from the world renowned restaurant Cellar de Can Roca is drawing near. We will be hosting them for a “Master Class” here on campus on Tuesday, August 16th. Admission is free for ACI students and alumni. We can accommodate up to 100 guests, so space is limited. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP with Chef Wolf at c.wolf@azculinary.edu. This is going to be such an amazing, unique, and once-in-a-lifetime experience. PLEASE don’t miss out. We are unbelievably excited!

As always, you are the school’s most important asset, and we want to make sure you are aware and informed of all the things happening with the school. Please-please-please don’t hesitate to contact the school if you ever have any questions about activities on campus. You can call us at 480-603-1066, or email Chef Wolf directly at c.wolf@azculinary.edu. Stay informed and don’t miss out. Even if you finished the program years ago, we still want to see you on campus to take advantage of as many opportunities as you can. Take care everyone. Happy cooking.