Coastal Alabama Community College sponsored by Sunset Pointe
Chef Matthew Palamara
Matt Palamara was born and raised in Eufaula, Alabama, and has been drawn to cooking ever since he first roasted marshmallows on a stick in Cub Scouts. He moved to Gulf Shores in 2003 to go to culinary school at Faulkner State’s Gulf Coast Culinary Institute, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2005. Palamara helped open Cosmo’s as Sous Chef in 2006, and two years later was selected to be on the opening management staff for Cobalt Restaurant. Matt was promoted to Executive Chef of Cobalt Restaurant in 2010 and held that job for seven years during which the restaurant was voted Best Seafood in Alabama and Best Brunch in Alabama. He has competed twice in the World Food Championships, placing 12th in the world in the seafood category in 2019.
In 2017, Palamara applied for the culinary instructor position at Coastal Alabama Community College. He has been in that position to this date, sharing his passion for food and the hospitality industry through helping young culinarians develop their skills and professionalism. He lives in Gulf Shores with his wife, Lindsay, and their two sons.
`Pete Blohme AKA “Panini Pete”
With a restaurant career spanning over 40 years and a degree from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY, Pete has become a force in Hospitality/Food Industry in the South. After several gigs in kitchens, hotels and cruise ships, becoming a Chef / Owner finally became a reality when Chef Blohme opened Panini Pete’s Café (Panini Pete’s) in Feb of ’06. Located in the Fairhope French Quarter, and voted the #1 Sandwich Shop in Alabama, Panini Pete’s has become a local favorite due to Chef Blohme’s commitment to “Putting Real Food in his Food” and his “Never met a Stranger” approach to hospitality. Chef Blohme is a regular on the Food Network over the past 10 years. Panini Pete’s has been featured on Diners Drive-ins & Dives, the “Best Of” Diners Drive-ins & Dives, Guy’s Big Bite, and Guy’s Grocery Games. Chef Blohme was also a guest judge on Food Truck Wars with Tyler Florence and has performed in over 25 live Food Shows while touring with the Guy Fieri Road Show.
Panini Pete Hospitality (Double P) currently owns & operates concepts in Alabama. The newest concept is Squid Ink Eclectic Eats & Drinks, a first of its kind gastropub in downtown Mobile. Double P also owns the popular Sunset Pointe, a Gulf-to-table restaurant on the Eastern shore of Mobile Bay, the legendary Ed’s Seafood Shed in Spanish Fort, Alabama which serves Southern Seafood with Soul for almost 20 years now.
Most importantly, Chef Blohme also known as “Panini” Pete is a very proud member of a group called The Messlords who have traveled to military bases and ships all over the world to serve up some fun and a big ole “fork full of freedom” to service men and women.
Nick DiMario was born in Overbrook, PA in 1967. He started working in the restaurant business at the ripe age of 13. In the late 80s, he moved to attend the University of Alabama where he studied hotel and restaurant management and was a walk-on for their college football team. Not long after this, he began working as a general manager for Alabama Legend, Bob Baumhower. In the 20+ years he spent working for Bob with Aloha Hospitality, he climbed through the ranks from general manager to Director of Operations. In September of 2013 he partnered with Chef/Owner Pete Blohme a.k.a. Panini Pete along with Panini Petes and Sunset Pointe Brands. Since partnering with Pete, they have opened Ed’s Shed and most recently, Squid Ink. He specializes in operational scaling of restaurants and development of systems and operations. He has been affiliated with multiple restaurant concepts ranging from sports, Caribbean, seafood, and fast casual, and continues to invest and grow multiple different concepts. His goal is to be an innovator and leader in the industry and to develop young leaders in the process.