I have been a member of the ACF Pikes Peak Chapter since 2014. It wasn’t until 2020 that I really got serious to meet two of my long-standing goals. I wanted to become a Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Educator. I was a culinary educator for 13 years and in 2022 the program at Pueblo Community College was going to end. I knew it was now or never to get those certifications. I did achieve my CEC in 2021 and most recently my CCE in 2023. While completing my practical exam for CEC in 2021, I was inspired by the chefs that were my evaluators. I decided that I too would become a certified culinary evaluator and achieved that in 2023.
In 2020, I was asked by the chapter to become the Secretary due to a vacancy and have completed two terms. During my time as secretary I have volunteered my time to 2 Passport events, helping to raise money for the chapter. Volunteered for 4 certification exams since 2021. Recently, I have taken on the role of certification chair for the chapter. The ACF Pikes Peak Chapter has done many things for me and my career. It has been a busy four years, achieving my goals that I set for myself and taking on a new job as Nutrition Director for SRDA in Pueblo, CO. I am proud to be nominated for Chef of the Year by the ACF Pike Peak Chapter.
John R. Jakeman CEC, CCE
ACF Pikes Peak Chapter
My name is Jason Mathis. I am the Assistant Director/Executive Chef for Colorado Springs School District 11. I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I completed the culinary program through the Colbran Job Corps program and later earned my associate degree in sustainability and dietary cuisine at Pikes Peak State College. I am a Certified Executive Chef. My goal is to make the maximum positive impact on those around me and to help strengthen local food webs. I have been a market gardener for over 10 years to encourage more local food production and culture.
Student of the Year Nominees (click below for bios)
Aiden began his culinary endeavors as a young child like most helping his parents and grandparents in the kitchen especially around the holidays. As Aiden entered High School, he joined a trade school with the focus on culinary. At age 18, Aiden enrolled in Indiana University of Pennsylvania for Culinary Arts. During a vigorous culinary arts program, Aiden became aware of the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Aiden joined the hotel as a culinary extern, through his experiences in just a short 4 months, Aiden expressed great interest in joining the ACF Certifies Sous Chef Apprenticeship Program. Aiden has been extremely successful thus far, excelling in all areas. Aiden recently concluded his first year of apprenticeship with one remaining year left. During his remaining year, we are confident that Aiden will continue to grow in great strides as a culinarian and will further expand his culinary knowledge.
Jefry grew up helping his parents in the kitchen. He distinctly remembers being a young 6 or 7 years old and helping for Tamales in the kitchen. After moving to the United States at age 11, Jefry came to see that the opportunities were endless and that maybe culinary could be a career. At age 21, Jefry enrolled in the Institute of Technology in Modesto California. Through his rigorous schooling process, Jefry gained knowledge of the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Jefry ventured to Colorado Springs to join the Broadmoor’s Apprenticeship Program. He has committed two years of his career and personal life to the Broadmoor and the ACF Certified Sous Chef Program. Jefry has worked his way through many obstacles and many challenging kitchens to include La Taverne, Ristorante Del Lago, Summit, and The Ranch at Emerald Valley. Jefry has excelled greatly through the apprenticeship and continues to flourish in his culinary career.