At ACI, we train students to bring ambition and creativity to Phoenix’s dynamic dining scene. That spirit shines at hot new Mexican spot Chilte, recently named one of Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurants of 2023. Helmed by former NFL player ACI alum Chef Lawrence Smith, Chilte brings lively pastels and adventurous tacos to a retro motel turned head-turning restaurant in central Phoenix.
Chef Smith graduated ACI in 2008 before working his way up resort kitchens statewide. Now he’s returned to showcase his skills through complex moles, freshly milled masa, and constant menu evolution.
Chef Smith credits his ACI foundation, saying the hands-on training “gave me confidence and technique that I still use daily.” At Chilte, he flexes those skills to earn national accolades.
Chef Smith shows how our school builds real-world skills for graduates to shine. By emphasizing creativity and ambition, we empower students like Chef Smith to make their culinary mark on Phoenix’s dining scene. At ACI, we set the table for alums to bring excitement to the Valley.