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Media- Panini Pete: YouTube
Pete began working in restaurants at the age of fourteen while growing up in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. The business immediately got into his blood and the journey began. Fortunately an early job working at the Fifteen Street Fisheries for industry legend Mike Hurst (former President of the National Restaurant Assoc. & Professor in Hospitality management at FIU) helped pave the way. He introduced me to the idea of making a professional career of the restaurant industry and suggested I attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY. He would be a frequent counselor & mentor for the next 20 years. After a few short order & raw bar gigs Pete was focused & off to the CIA. Upon graduation in 1986 he was awarded consecutive fellowships in the American Bounty & the Escoffier Room. Some more notable stops were working aboard a Cruise Ship for a year getting to see the Caribbean & Atlantic Coast of the USA. Joining the management team at Shooters on the Water (Floridas highest grossing independent restaurant at the time). Pete then moved to Alabama to help open a restaurant chain with his brother-in-law Bob Baumhower whom had recently retired from an 11 year career in the NFL playing for the Miami Dolphins. While working different roles as GM, VP of Operations & Corporate Chef for Bob over a 10 year span Pete learned a tremendous amount about Leadership & the importance of systems based operations. Working as Executive Chef at the University of Alabama was also a big highlight & challenge. The Catering volume on Home Game Days and during graduations was an unbelievable experience! Assisting in the opening & operations of Mangoes on the Island & the Calypso Fish Grille in Orange Beach, Alabama was a great introduction to Cajun/ Creole & Caribbean ingredients and methods. A short stint back in Ft. Lauderdale proved to be invaluable. While opening a new concept with an old friend Brent Lahaye. I became more inspired than I had been about food since I left the CIA. He really helped me develop & define my philosophy about freshness, simplicity, flavor & technique. They were great years for me as a Chef. Also working under Italian born and trained Chef Tony Orsini in South Florida was also a big influence on my cooking and success. He was a master of the classics and would work circles around you. Chef Pete has also attended Greystone the CIA in Napa Valley for continuing education as well as an IceMasters Workshop with 6 time National Ice Carving Champion Marc Daukas. Panini Pete also teaches part time at the Gulf Coast Culinary Institute at Faulkner State in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Teaching there has been a true joy for me. During his time in Alabama Pete met and married a fellow Floridian Jodi Muscarella. By now Jodi and Pete were raising 2 beautiful kids Arnold (13) and Isabella (3). Alabama was the place to settle and raise a family so when the opportunity came we moved from Florida back to Alabama and settled on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. Being a Chef / Owner finally became a reality and Panini Petes Café opened in Feb of 06. In a few short years Panini Petes has become a local favorite. Garnering a host of positive media attention, and rave reviews. Not to mention many appearances on the Food Network. . Panini Petes has been featured on Diners Drive-ins & Dives, The Best Of Diners Drive-ins & Dives and Guys Big Bite! Panini Pete will continue to do more live shows with Guy Fieri and The Food Network in the future, and aspires to open more Panini Pete locations!
CHEFS - PANINI PETE