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Local T-shirt designer uses his talents to help future chefs in Northeast High School’s culinary arts program

LARGO, Fla. — Matt Shapiro loves art, loves design and loves Tampa Bay. “So I took those passions and started creating T-shirts of the area,” says the 31-year-old Largo talent.His 1771 Designs apparel is a celebration of all things us: the wildlife (pelicans), the iconic structures (the Pier) and the sports.His Rays shirts have become hot during the baseball team’s current playoff run. But Matt’s newest design project is truly a labor of local love.His brother-in-law, Chef Curtis Serata, runs the award-winning culinary arts program at Northeast High School in St. Petersburg. The teaching kitchen, one of the best in the state, normally raises money through catering, on-campus sales and an in-house bistro that’s open to the public. But the pandemic has suspended a lot of those events. “This year we’re extremely limited in what we can do,” says Serata. But the program needs money, especially to help the future chefs compete on a state-wide level. Enter the budding T-shirt mogul. “I wanted to use my passions to help the program,” says Matt.So he’s created a very cool line of chef-inspired shirts supporting his family and friends at Northeast High. The shirts cost $20, and proceeds go to helping the program.Matt is hoping to raise around $1,000.For more information on 1771 Designs, go here.

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