Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Scottsdale, AZ
Fox Restaurant Concepts, Phoenix, AZ; Swift Water Cellars, Cle Elum, WA; Pebble Creek Resort, Goodyear, AZ; Radisson Resort & Spa, Fort McDowell, AZ; Estrella Foothills High School, Goodyear, AZ; Stern Produce, Phoenix, AZ; The Wigwam Resort, Litchfield Park, AZ; Compass Group (Chartwells), Tempe, AZ; Scottsdale Plaza Resort, Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Culinary Institute Proudly Welcomes Chef Mark Maccherola as its New Basics Instructor
Arizona Culinary Institute’s new Basics Instructor, Chef Mark Maccherola, looks and sounds just like what a Certified Chef de Cuisine should be – it’s as if someone from central casting at a cooking school TV show requested the perfect chef instructor, and indeed, Maccherola is the textbook person for students just starting on their journeys in the culinary arts.
With a look and temperament like Chef Maccherola’s, you may think that he was indeed destined to create gastronomic delights, but this was not always the case. Maccherola actually enjoyed a very successful career with America West Airlines, and at his mid-career point, he was a Senior Crew Scheduler. Something was missing in his life, however, and one night, he came home and told his wife that he was enrolling in a cooking school.
“We starved for a couple of years,” laughs Maccherola, “but two kids and twenty years later with a very fulfilling career in the culinary arts, it was definitely the right decision.”
After recent stints as the Executive Chef at Swift Water Cellars in Cle Elum, WA. And with Fox Restaurant Concepts (Zin Burger at the Scottsdale Quarter) here in town, Maccherola returns to Arizona Culinary Institute to continue following his passions for food and teaching.
“I have a long history with ACI, and I truly think that it’s one of the best culinary arts schools in the country,” notes Maccherola. “The school is small, and offers intense, hands-on training and a care level that’s unmatched.”
Maccherola realizes that he will now be the first teacher that most of ACI’s culinary students will study with, and he believes that it’s crucial for beginning students to think and feel that they’ve made the right decision – and they’re at the right place.
“I’m committed to creating a great base for all of my students, along with a lot of compassion and the necessary skill level, so that they gain confidence each and every day, and really believe that they’re in control of their own destiny,” relates Maccherola.
Maccherola sites Thomas Keller, and his famous Napa Valley Restaurant, The French Laundry, as inspiration, along with local superstars such as Kevin Binkley and Beau MacMillan (“BeauMac”). And while the TV cooking shows are fun, Maccherola seems happy in his chosen niche.
“The TV shows are really just entertainment, and the producers are looking for sizzle rather than pure talent among chefs. I’d much rather be teaching someone how to be a star in their own life,” relates Maccherola.
Maccherola is also a firm believer in the non-GMO, farm-to-table-fresh and juicing trends, and like ACI’s Chef Christopher Wolf, Maccherola has competed in an IRONMAN Arizona competition, and he’ll often unwind from a day of work by going home and putting 20 to 30 miles on his road bike.
With great health – great food – and the wonderful students at Arizona Culinary Institute, Chef Maccherola is truly back in his element.
“I sincerely believe that ACI is a great place, and if you have the passion, we’ll give you what you need to have the skill level where you can jump in and function when you go out into the real world, and you’ll be on your way to fulfilling your dreams.”