Rehoboth Foodie/Touch of Italy Foundation

Touch of Italy /
Culinary Scholarship Fund


The Touch of Italy / Culinary Scholarship Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization focused on providing tuition assistance to qualified Delaware high school graduates who successfully complete the classroom/practical levels of DRA’s ProStart program and wish to further their education at accredited culinary schools.

Why did we start this?

New hires for restaurant kitchen duty are getting more and more difficult to find, and often the ones who do apply are not as skilled as they say they are. Applicants for upper-level positions that required certifiable experience, such as executive chef or general manager, are fewer and farther between. New hires sometimes didn’t make it through the season. And nowhere is this trend more obvious than in seasonal resort communities; none the least of which Delaware’s Cape Region.

Chefs and restaurant owners all agree on one thing: The love of food brings people together. With that in mind, it’s important that we continue to provide opportunities for those who love food and wish to turn their passion into a career, while also helping to alleviate the shortage of qualified kitchen personnel available to our Cape Region restaurants.

What better partner to work with than the Delaware Restaurant Association. They stepped up to the plate with the ProStart program; a nationwide, two-year industry-written curriculum for high school students that teaches culinary and management skills needed for an entry-level position in the restaurant and foodservice industry. A significant number of these students continue into nationally accredited culinary schools.

How are the funds raised?

Currently, we host a springtime event called Carnevale! at Touch of Italy. There is also a raffle for an all-expenses paid trip to Italy. The springtime Carnevale! is modeled after Italy’s celebrated Carnevale!, and the Rehoboth Beach Touch of Italy morphs into a traditional Italian street fair with music, masks, auctions, bountiful food, wine and beer from five of Italy’s notable culinary regions. In 2015 the Foundation sent a lucky winner to Tuscany and in 2016 the winner of the raffle spent a week in Rome. The trip includes limo to and from all airports AND $1000 cash in the winner’s pocket!


Our donations are managed by the Greater Lewes Foundation. Click on the button below to make your gift. Thank you!

Paypal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

Scholarship Winners

Are you a Delaware ProStart student about to graduate from high school?
Do you plan to continue your education at a culinary school?


Outstanding food and service. They have some great gluten free options for my wife. Waiter was friendly and knowledgeable. I had the Braciole served with Cavatelli, it was wonderful. Gnocchi and Ravioli also delicious. Wonderful dessert choices and even the coffee was exemplary. I would highly recommend.

- Ron A.

Rigatoni alla Burrata: can't go wrong with the house-specialty pasta! It was yummy and even better with heavy sprinkling of hot peppers.

- Barbara C.
Photo by Grant Gursky, courtesy Coastal Style Magazine

That's Italian!

We've bought plenty of authentic Italian food at each of Touch of Italy's locations on the MD/DE shore but this was the first time we ate at the Rehoboth location. We had four kids with us, ages 9-13, and ordered fried calamari, burrata, and margarita pizza. All were excellent as was the service. After the meal we couldn't help but purchase some fresh mozzarella and an assortment of cookies. These were also delicious. As an Italian who grew up in NYC, the Touch of Italy shops really provide a heavy dose of nostalgia for the old-time Italian delis. The adjoining restaurants are an added bonus.

- Frank M.