Chef Tillman

Tillman Oldacre, or Chef Tillman, prepares chocolate-coated pretzel rods to be sold to raise funds to Flourish of Cullman. (Contributed)

Local student-turned-chef hosting fundraiser for Flourish

CULLMAN, Ala. – Tillman Oldacre, or as his online following might know him, Chef Tillman, is a student at West Elementary who plans on making this holiday season a bit sweeter for clients of Flourish of Cullman. Selling his decadently drizzled and delightfully decorated chocolate-coated pretzel rods, Oldacre has managed to meet his original goal of $500 to benefit Flourish – no small feat for a 12-year-old busy with school and extracurriculars like basketball.

Oldacre took to the kitchen one morning to help his dad make breakfast nearly a year ago, and found a new passion. Oldacre’s mom, Tiffany Green-Oldacre, said that while Oldacre cooks a lot on his own, they’re still there to help when needed. Her son gets his cooking inspiration from TikTok viral chefs, with one particular favorite that has garnered over 11 million followers.

“He loves watching cooking videos and then we will try the recipe,” explained Green-Oldacre, “His favorite chef is Nick DiGiovanni!”

When asked what inspired him to use his newfound kitchen skills to benefit one of Cullman’s many nonprofit, he put it simply – it’s a family tradition.

“My mom and dad. My parents have taught me not to be greedy and to be humble and give back,” he explained, with Green-Oldacre chiming in, “Our family really loves to give back and never wants or expects credit, but it does feel great to be recognized!”

Oldacre shared that while helping with organizations like the Jimmie Hale Mission is pretty regular for his family, he wanted to pick something closer to home.

“My mom and I were discussing local charities and we talked about Flourish and I asked her to tell me more about it. I thought that would be a great one to donate to,” he explained. “I think Flourish is great because they help adults with differing abilities find jobs and homes to be independent.”

Oldacre smashed his original goal of raising $500, and has moved the goalpost to $1,000 – a  change he’s challenged by, but is certain he can make happen, even if some folks don’t like the salty-sweet combo of a chocolate-coated pretzel.

“My goal was $500 and we have already surpassed that so our new goal is $1,000,” he said, “If you don’t like pretzels, I still want to encourage you to give and donate. It’s easy to help others by being kind!”

Already craving one of his salty-sweet treats? You can find them at Nomadic Threads located at 106 First Ave. NE during Christmas open house from Nov. 10-12, 2023. Prices are $3 for two, $8 for five or $20 for a dozen. Treats will have a variety of toppings like milk chocolate, salted caramel, vanilla, Oreo crumbs and sprinkles.

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