A chance meeting at the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business, Industry and Education Day led to a generous donation to Culpeper County High School’s Culinary Arts classes.
Rex Hancock, owner of 3 Dimensional Creations, was displaying his laser engraved cutting boards at BIE Day when Chef Jay Cohen happened upon the booth.
It was a match made in heaven, Cohen said.
“He had cutting boards of weights and measures,” Cohen said. “I said, before I even knew how much they were, would you consider making a donation to the culinary arts program.”
Hancock quickly agreed, and last week stopped in during a Culinary Arts 1 class to hand deliver the six laser engraved cutting boards.
Hancock, a former IT specialist who retired after 30-some years in the field, didn’t know the schools had a culinary arts program until meeting Cohen. He agreed it was a perfect fit to help the school and to display his cutting boards.
“I’m very happy to be able to make a donation, I think it’s a very good thing that they have a program like this,” Hancock said.
The cutting boards – one set of three engraved with measurements and another set of three with cutting instructions such as dice and julienne – usually retail for about $26. Hancock, who operates the business in Rixeyville, said it’s received quite a response since he started.
“At the BIE show, I had one that said Karen’s Kitchen Cheat Sheet, which belongs to my wife,” Hancock said. “I had a gentleman come up and drop $20 and said I’ll take that one. I said sorry, my wife would not be happy.”
Hancock uses a computer program called Corel Draw to make his creations, which can be customized pretty much how a customer wants, and says that the combination of a hobby along with his computer knowledge drew him to his new profession.
“I was looking for something new to do with my time,” Hancock said. “I life working with wood, and this was something that intrigued me. It was a marriage of woodworking and high tech. It was a good fit for me.”
He buys most of his bamboo for the cutting boards from a supplier but some of it is sourced locally. He hopes his creations for the school – which are engraved with Culpeper Culinary Arts on the top – helps the students learn.
“This is great, I’m really happy to do this,” Hancock said. “I think this particular program got my attention because one of my many vocations as a young man was as a short order cook. I was encouraged to see this type of program still exists at the school.”
Cohen was thrilled to receive the donation and pointed out that the students can use the measurements nearly every day. While the cutting boards are treated and able to be used, Cohen planned to display them and use them for resources for the students.
“It was just something that it gives an opportunity for the local businesses to contribute and help support the culinary program here and education in general,” Cohen said. “I give the students a cut sheet that they have with them, now I have a physical model that will stay here that they can compare to.”
To learn more about Hancock’s business, visit 3dimensionalcreations.com.