Following the advice of his father, Tom D’Ambrosio pursued his undergraduate degree in route to his dream of becoming a chef. This pursuit started at PVCC and culminated in a business partnership with close friend and PVCC alumnus, Kyle Hollenbeck.
Tom’s pursuit of his dream was filled with success. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Tom was selected to work as an apprentice lead chef at The Greenbrier in West Virginia under certified Master Chef Richard Rosendale. This is just one of the accolades he has achieved along this journey. Chef Tom competed in a post-secondary Skills USA competition in Kansas City, where he placed first in the nation.
They combined Tom’s expertise as a chef with Kyle’s math, business and marketing acumen to form Aioli Burgers. Kyle credits the support he received in PVCC’s Tutoring Center with his appreciation for and success in his math coursework at PVCC. As the mathematician behind this business venture, Kyle utilizes his PVCC education on a daily basis. While students at PVCC, they both worked in the restaurant business and envisioned the day when they would own a restaurant.
Kyle refers to their business relationship as “the ying and yang of entrepreneurial enterprises.” Their seemingly opposite talents are complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in their business ventures and professional growth. They have added Oakwood Fire Pizza to their food truck line-up of Aioli Burgers and Modern Tortilla.
Chef Tommy has also lead Aioli brand into the winners’ circle of state & national competitions such as Arizona’s Burger Battle, Phoenix Devoured, and Scottsdale Culinary Classic Events. He was also crowned Chopped Champion on The Food Network in January of 2019 on the episode Tacos & Tequila!
Additionally, Kyle and Tommy have purchased a commissary kitchen which enables them to have the necessary kitchen prep space for their multiple food trucks plus offer a solution to others who are trying to grow or test what they are doing in a commercial kitchen setting. This shared kitchen space has been custom designed to include a nursery to accommodate Tommy and Kyle’s new role as fathers.
Aioli Gourmet Burgers and Catering started with a food truck and something delicious to deliver; it has now grown into multiple food trucks, fully catered experiences, and one of the best burger joints in Phoenix located at 32nd Street & Shea in Paradise Valley! Their business ventures continue to reach new heights.