USF Sarasota-Manatee Culinary Innovation Lab receives gift

The Culinary Innovation Lab.

The Culinary Innovation Lab.

SARASOTA, Fla. (May 28, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Culinary Innovation Lab (CIL) has received a $1,500 gift for its assistance during last October’s Chowdown for Charity fundraiser in Palmetto.

The gift, from fundraiser sponsor the Suncoast Chapter of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, was announced Tuesday.

“The Culinary Innovation Lab serves a dual purpose for our campus,” said Dennis Stover, regional vice chancellor for university advancement. “It provides a state-of-the-art learning facility for students in the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership to earn hands-on experience, while also providing a valuable service to our community partners and events like Chowdown for Charity. We really appreciate the gift and the opportunity to give back to a great cause.”

While no final decision has been made, Program Assistant Anne Castellina said the CIL is leaning toward purchasing platters and rolling metal tables known as “garde mangers.”

Traditionally used in cold food preparation, the tables include butcher block tops and are ideal for cooking demonstrations, student use and community events. The lab, 8130 Main St., Lakewood Ranch, is a teaching facility for USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership.

“It’s huge. It means so much,” Culinary Services Manager Garry Colpitts said of the donation. “It will definitely help with the platters, the plates the students use, and the tables. These are tools and things we need that the students benefit from.”

To learn about giving to this or other programs at USF Sarasota-Manatee, contact Dennis Stover at (941) 359-4582.

For more information about USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, visit