The Hotel at Auburn University provides several dining options for you to choose from whether you are a guest staying in our hotel or a resident of our local community.

Our Italian and Mediterranean inspired restaurant near Auburn University, Ariccia Trattoria offers fresh pizzas, pastas and grill entrees for dinner seven nights a week in addition to a daily breakfast buffet and lunch buffet (M-F).

Our jazz lounge, Piccolo, offers specialty cocktails and small bites perfect for an after work gathering, pre-dinner cocktail or nightcap listening to live Jazz on the weekends in Auburn, Alabama.

The lobby bar, H.C. Valentine, offers a daily selection of freshly baked breakfast, lunch and snack items along with a full selection of specialty café drinks. Perfect for those “On The Run.”

Meet the Chefs

Chef Leonardo Maurelli, III

Executive Chef

Born in the Republic of Panama and having lived in Alabama since he was 11-years-old, Chef Maurelli’s cooking style is marked by the unique blend of his family’s Latino and Italian heritage as well as the years he has spent living in the South.

Chef Leo attended Auburn University, graduating with a degree in hotel and restaurant management in 2003. He has served as the Executive Chef of the famed Amsterdam Café in Auburn, Special Events and Catering Chef and Chef de Cuisine for The Hotel and Dixon Conference Center in Auburn and the executive chef of Central in Montgomery. He pairs his patronage of local farmers, cheesemakers, brewers and artisans with a uniquely personal multicultural take on comfortable Southern food, created with a straightforward style and grace.

Honored as the 2011 Alabama Restaurant Association and Alabama Hospitality Association Chef of the Year, Chef Leo is a founding member and President of The Front Porch Revival, a nonprofit organization in charge of promoting the arts in Alabama.

Chef Brandon Burleson

Executive Chef A·T

Executive Sous Chef Brandon Burleson hails from Georgiana, AL, a small town in south-central Alabama. Chef Brandon grew up as an athlete and scholar and attended Auburn University with the original intent of completing a mathematics degree.  However, while working in the kitchen at The Hotel at Auburn University to help finance his education he realized that a career in the culinary arts was his calling.  So, he completely changed his direction, graduating with a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Auburn and hasn’t looked back since. 

Chef Brandon has recently re-joined his Auburn Family as the Executive Sous Chef of The Hotel at Auburn University. He is coming back after serving as the latest Executive Sous Chef at the renowned Perdido Beach Resort. While there Brandon was responsible for overseeing four restaurants and a banquet/conference facility spanning nearly 50,000 square feet.  In the summer of 2014 Chef Brandon competed in the National Shrimp Festival Restaurant Challenge and took home top honors representing himself and the esteemed Voyagers Restaurant.  Following this win, Chef Brandon competed in the World Food Championship held in Las Vegas in late fall of 2014. Here he placed in the Top 10 at World Seafood Championships as challengers were representing over 37 states and 8 different countries.  His innovative creations featuring sustainable seafood, local produce and natural organic meats meld together to create Chef Brandon’s signature Gulf Rim flavors. 

Chef Brandon is an avid supporter of the people and goods that hail from Alabama.  He has been recognized by the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance as a Finalist for Chef of the Year and is actively involved in the Front Porch Revival, a non-profit organization supporting the expansion of Alabama artisans.  Chef Brandon has also been integral in the hotel’s civic and charitable pursuits and believes that giving back to the community is one of the most rewarding parts of his job. 


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