Arizona Culinary Institute’s Evan Kenmore wants to make food that people enjoy
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Arizona Culinary Institute’s Evan Kenmore wants to make food that people enjoy

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  • Terence Murnin/Arizona Culinary Institute

Evan Kenmore

Chef Robert Wilson, Arizona Culinary Institute’s cofounder, has taught many apprentice chefs over the years, but every once in a while, a talent comes along with the ability to turn heads. Such is the case with October 2014 Student of the Month Evan Kenmore.

“I was amazed at Evan’s natural ability,” beams a proud Wilson. “He catches on so rapidly, and he’s one of those rare students that you show him how to do something once, and the next time, he’s already an expert at the task.”

Arizona Culinary Institute’s Evan Kenmore wants to make food that people enjoy EvanKenmore

Evan Kenmore

Kenmore has obviously found his calling in the culinary arts, but it wasn’t always this way. Attending community college in Orange County, California, and working as a warehouse manager for a document imaging company, something was missing from his life.

“I felt like my career had stagnated, “relates Kenmore. “ I had always dreamed of owning my own restaurant – being a chef and operator – and the thought of having some farm land, growing my own crops and bringing fresh food to the table really drove me to seek out an opportunity to move forward in my life.”

The opportunity came when Kenmore’s brother accepted a job with St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. Kenmore found Arizona Culinary Institute online; attended an Open House in Scottsdale; and then, signed up for classes immediately.

“The smaller class sizes mean that you have more time with ACI’s talented staff of chef instructors,” explains Kenmore. “I love the curriculum and with an accelerated program, things move fast and you’re exposed to a wide variety of styles from extremely knowledgeable culinary experts.”

While Kenmore credits Alton Brown and his “Good Eats” show from the Food Network as a source of inspiration, he also makes it clear that it’s not money or fame that drives him in this field.

“I just want to create, and continue to make food that people enjoy,” relates Kenmore. “I love cooking in general – raiding the pantry and coming up with endless possibilities. My Mom is Italian, and a great cook, and now, I realize that it’s an art form that gives me a lot of fulfillment – and allows me to make other people happy.”

“Evan is a rock star,” notes Arizona Culinary Institute’s Chef Christopher Wolf. “He stood out from day one, and he’s one of those students who always wanted to volunteer, always wanted to learn more, and was always willing to go the extra mile, just for the sheer joy of learning”

Kenmore looks ahead to the day when he’ll have his own restaurant, a unique place, not fancy, but a kitchen where he can create and experiment. And to anyone with similar dreams, Kenmore offers the following advice:

“Give it a shot – I truly believe that a career in food is a great investment. Just know that you can’t skate by. It’s really a field where you have to want to make the best you can – a career that you can call your own.”

The Arizona Culinary Institute’s founding principles are traditional, proven French Method cooking skills combined with the best of modern techniques. ACI prepares students for careers in Culinary Arts & Hospitality covering a broad range of areas. Du Jour is the culinary laboratory that the advanced students of the school operate as a French fine dining experience. For more information, please contact the Arizona Culinary Institute at (480) 603-1066 or