The 2011 ACF Chef Educator of the Year is also dedicated to her students
and to making sure they succeed.
By Tina Powers, CEC, CCE, CEPC, CMB
The National Culinary Review | September 2011
WHEN I first met Dina Altieri, CEC,
CCE, 2011 ACF Chef Educator of the
Year, she was fully tuned in to her
students, the Central Region’s finalist
team in the Baron H. Galand Culinary
Knowledge Bowl in Dallas. I noted
Altieri’s tightly curled hair, starched
white jacket, staccato voice and air of
“let’s get this done.” She reminded me
of Pat Summitt, one of women’s college
basketball’s all-time winning coaches.
The intensity of the moment was
demonstrated with each question and
each successful answer from her team.
As Altieri willed her students to get the
challenging questions and math problems
correct, I watched her face for every tick
of anxiety or the rush of success as each
contestant tapped the buzzer.
accomplished culinary veteran, with more
than 20 years experience as a chef and
an educator. “I am a chef, and now I am a
teacher,” Altieri says.
While Altieri is Tinkerbell-light on her
feet, with the look of a young college
student, she is actually a seasoned and
“Passionate.” “Assertive.” “Lively.” “Lightning-
sharp wit coupled with wisdom.” “The person
you think is so intense that they will drive
you nuts. But instead, you end up loving her
verve and vitality, and can’t help but to just
love working with her.” These words, shared
by her students and colleagues during the