Culinary students earn WRA scholarships

Two Blackhawk Technical College culinary students have been awarded scholarships by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. 

Thayne Pike, who lives in Janesville, and Andy Papke, who hails from Woodstock, IL, and now lives in Beloit, earned scholarships after a review of their formal applications, transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Pike earned his second scholarship and said he will use the money from both worth $2,750 to help finance his externship in New York City. Papke said he will use his $1,000 award to offset his 2015-16 tuition.

Pike has worked at Sam’s Pizza Restaurant in Janesville for 12 years.

“I’ve spent what seems like my entire life in restaurants,’’ he said. “I’ve always enjoyed cooking and the thing I like most about it is the same person can cook the same dish two times in a row and it won’t taste the same.’’

Papke, who was graduated from Beloit College and spent four years as a teacher before entering BTC’s culinary program, works at Clara Bo/Gatsby Win Bar in Beloit and at The Beloit Club.

“Even after going to college and teaching, I knew this was something I wanted to do,’’ he said.