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When Tiffany Derry, Top Chef All-Stars contestant, serves as a guest instructor at the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium here on March 16th and 17th, she won’t be the first Top Chef alum to do so, and if co-owner Dave West has his way she won’t be the last.
So far this year the gourmet store’s cooking school has already hosted Tre Wilcox— his second visit to the store— and West is hopeful of getting other All-Stars such as Carla Hall and Casey Thompson, to serve as guest instructors as well.
Of course in the rapidly changing world of culinary stardom nothing is certain, but The Rolling Pin is quickly establishing itself as a destination for celeb chefs who enjoy sharing their skills up close and personal with their fans.
It all started in the fall of 2009, West noted, when Wilcox was serving as a spokesperson for Chantal’s Copper Fusion cookware. As part of the effort to promote that line Wilcox made an appearance at the store and, according to West, liked going someplace, “where you can tell a chef set up the kitchen.”
“He’s tall and my island is raised an extra three inches, because I’m 6’ 4”,” West told Gourmet Insider. “Plus we have every tool and gadget he could ask for. It really turned out great.”
The two hit it off and stayed in touch after the initial event. West approached Wilcox about a second visit last spring and found out, somewhat vaguely, that the chef had some upcoming obligations, which turned out to be Top Chef All-Stars. After Bravo finished the first round of shooting last October, Wilcox was able to arrange another visit, which actually turned into two classes this January since the first sold out so quickly. West explained that it was Wilcox who suggested and helped get the ball rolling on Tiffany Derry’s appearance, a connection that may lead to appearances by others down the road. “He really opened the door,” said West, noting that Wilcox will likely be back again later in the year. “People love him. He has an infectious laugh and he’s a great entertainer, and really enjoys teaching.”
Derry’s classes, which were priced at $100 a head, were all but sold out in February less than two weeks after they were announced. So who’s next? You’ll have to wait and see.