Peter Aiello, CEC, CEPC
By Becky Marmorato
when did you get involved with the
ACFEF Apprenticeship Program?
pa: I became a sponsoring chef for
the program while working at Antlers
Hilton Colorado Springs.
At age 13, Peter Aiello, CEC, CEPC worked as a busboy at a fine-dining Italian restaurant in Denver. By 16, he’d made it into the kitchen, and at 23, he landed his first chef position. After moving to New York to attend The
Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N. Y., Aiello worked at country clubs,
restaurants and a conference center for 11 years before his love of the Rocky
Mountains brought him back to Colorado. Now he owns Alpine Chef, a catering
company in Colorado Springs, and serves as one of the American Culinary
Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF) Apprenticeship Program’s eight Area
Regional Trainers (ARTs).
diverse experiences in the kitchen.
Apprenticeship offers the opportunity
to learn many skills that may otherwise
take 10 years to acquire.
what has the experience of working
with apprentices been like?
pa: When I had apprentices, I
organized advanced demos for
them to attend along with my staff.
This gave them a hunger to learn
more. Nothing is more satisfying
for a chef than for an apprentice
who worked hard to complete the
program call, years later, just to say,
“Thanks for all you did for me.”
That makes all the effort worthwhile.
what were your thoughts when you
were asked to become an ART?
pa: I was excited to help bring the
apprenticeship program logbook
into the 21st century. One of the
most tedious tasks for the apprentice
and the sponsoring chef is maintaining
the book. The new online portal is
amazing. My role is to help properties
transition from the old logbook to the
portal, and to provide feedback to
improve the portal.
when it comes to getting a job, is
apprenticeship equal to other forms
pa: As an executive chef, I interview
many applicants for positions.
Ultimately, the one who gets the
job is the candidate who has
beyond the apprenticeship program,
how are you involved with ACF?
pa: I worked hard to become one
of Colorado’s first certified practical
examiners. In the past 10 years, I
have served on ACF Pikes Peak
Chapter’s board of directors as
treasurer, vice president, president,