A new, 12,000-square-foot Culinary Arts facility has opened on COC’ Valencia campus.
The $8.5 million College of the Canyons Institute for Culinary Education, or iCuE, will host 19 different classes during the Spring semester. Classes include Knife Skills, Principles of Baking, Cake Decorating Essentials, Pastry Art and Wines of California. There are approximately 150 students enrolled in the program this semester, but the facility can host up to 400 students, according to college officials.
The facility features several kitchens and rooms, including a Banquet Kitchen, a Chocolate Room, and a 100-person occupancy Dining Room, still under construction.
“I think our students are very excited to pursue their education and training in a professional environment using equipment and processes that they’ll find in the industry,” Chancellor Dianne G. Van Hook said.
Construction of the iCuE began in Fall 2013 and was funded by a combination of private donations and proceeds from Measure M, a $160 million local bond measure approved at the ballot box in 2006.
Photo by Jessica Boyer, Hometownstation.com
The facility was designed by Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects Inc. of Santa Barbara, COC’s master architect. Built in a modern architectural style, the facility matches the simplicity of the reflective glass surfaces found on nearby structures, which echoes the sophistication of fine dining experiences. Klassen Corp. served as the general contractor.
The iCuE fills a critical need in meeting the demands of industry, college officials said, noting that the restaurant and food service industry is the largest private employer in the United States.
The iCuE offers significant savings to students searching for a high-quality culinary education, providing training comparable to private programs that cost up to $50,000 or more. By comparison, costs at COC with enrollment fees of $46 per unit, can range from $2,000 to $5,000.