By Eric Heubusch

The Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium in Brandon announced that it would partner with Hillsborough Community College to create a Culinary Scholarship. Owners Dave and Karen West explained that the scholarship was a way to honor the business’s long tenure serving in the Tampa Bay Area.

“We are excited to celebrate the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium’s 20th anniversary by establishing this scholarship for deserving students who share our passion for the culinary arts and a commitment to academic achievement,” Dave said.

The initial goal for the scholarship was $2,000; after product contributions for an online silent auction, cash contributions from HTI Buying Group, Vendor Rep Groups and others, an in-house Ten Course Chef Event and a significant contribution from the Trey Curry Foundation, the total raised for the scholarship reached $12,150.

“It means everything to a student,” said HCC Culinary Program Manager Fred Jaeger about the financial support. “Most of our students are working full-time or part-time. It really helps to supplement so that students are able to continue to work, sometimes support a family, and be able to go to school.”

The HCC Culinary program is based at its Dale Mabry campus. Jaeger explained that the program, consisting of around 350 students, has access to an instructional kitchen, a hospitality lounge, and a student-run dining hall that serves lunch and dinner.

The money raised will fund six scholarships over the next few years. The Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium Anniversary Scholarship will be awarded to students entering their second year in the Culinary Program at HCC. These students must display the desire and dreams of working and the culinary field, and demonstrate skills that earn them a 3.0 GPA or higher.

The Rolling Pin has been a culinary resource in Brandon since 1995. The gourmet kitchen store and culinary education center regularly stocks over 15,000 kitchen tool items. It conducts eight to 10 cooking classes weekly, presented by celebrity chefs, local instructors or in-house chefs. For more information on the Rolling Pin, contact 653-2418.

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