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COC breaks ground on Institute of Culinary Education

Posted: August 19, 2013 6:32 p.m.
Updated: August 19, 2013 6:32 p.m.

(From left to right) Steve Zimmer, Michele Jenkins, Dianne Van Hook, Ryan Joslin, Joan MacGregor, Bruce Fortine, and Cindy Schwanke throw dirt in the air during the groundbreaking of the new Culinary building in College of the Canyons on Monday. Photo by Steve Palma for The Signal.

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As many of the local dignitaries who showed up for College of the Canyons’ Culinary Arts Center’s groundbreaking said repeatedly Monday: “Let’s get cooking.”

The 12,200-square-foot, largely glass building on the campus of College of the Canyons officially got under way Monday when educators and chefs dipped shovels in the campus dirt to symbolically mark the beginning of the Institute of Culinary Education’s new home.

Chancellor Dianne Van Hook told about 200 guests gathered under a big-top tent next to the row of ceremonial shovels planted nearby: “The success of a recipe is determined by the availability and the quality of the ingredients, the creativity of the chefs, their courage to try new things. This project and how it’s come together is no different.

“And now that we have all the ingredients and the right team in place, now we’re going to get cooking,” she said. “And, we’re going to open the doors one year from now in time for the fall 2014 semester.”

The culinary institute building designed by Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects Inc. is expected to include: a demonstration kitchen, savory and sweets kitchen, classrooms, a chocolate room, a wine studies classroom and lab, a retail bake shop and instructor offices.

The institute’s department chair, Chef Cindy Schwanke, told Monday’s gathering: “I have two words I want to steal from Oprah Winfrey: dream big.”

Schwanke told the story of a culinary student who nervously baked a baguette, only to emerge from the experience and tell her teacher at the first delicious bite of the baguette, “this is life changing.”

“This building will be life-changing,” Schwanke said, pointing to designs of the school’s building plans on display.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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