Chef Lynette cooks up a chicken dish for her class on July 20. She offers many demonstration and hands on classes.

By: Savanna Peterson

Chef Lynette Maze has been at the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium for five years, however her love for the culinary arts began long before that. Her first job in the culinary world was a dishwasher, but she wanted to be a chef.

“In high school I was going to take food service, but it was full so I went to computers instead,” said Maze.

Prior to culinary school, Maze was working a full time job and around the office was lovingly called Betty Crocker. She also sold decorated cookies at a local bakery and made cakes on the side.

“I was always the one to ask for cakes,” said Maze.

She first started working at the Rolling Pin in its assistant program.

“I walked in as a different person after working 8-5 from Monday to Friday,” she said.

For years, she debated on if she should go to culinary school or not. She would ask guest chefs if she should go to school or if she should just keep working in the kitchen.

“I kept feeling the urge to go to school,” said Maze.

Maze decided to enroll in culinary school and was inspired by Chef Gino Berry and her boss Chef Dave. She was originally a full time student for six months, but between work and grandkids it was too much and she eventually dropped to part time.  The program took her three years and 4 four months to complete.

“My former employers were so supportive between my school and work scheduling. I couldn’t have done it without them,” she said.

In June, Maze graduated with honors from the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institute of Tampa with an associate’s degree in Baking/Pastry. She held a 3.7 GPA.

Maze now teaches several different classes at Rolling Pin, and among her favorite things to bake are Roasted garlic fougasse, a French flat bread.

Maze advises young and aspiring chefs to “do what they love” and to learn from everyone around them.

The Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium can be found at 2080 Badlands Dr. in Brandon. They can also be reached at  653-2418.

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