Culinary Institute to feature new teaching areas and restaurant


Image courtesy of Cheever Construction

The new restaurant, course ..., will be accessed through a new entrance south of the old main entrance to the Lincoln campus.

Julian Hayden, Student Reporter

LINCOLN – By the end of the year, the Food Service/Hospitality program will have a new, modern teaching space and a new restaurant.
The Lincoln Campus Food Service/Hospitality Remodel, also known as the Great Plains Culinary Institute, is a $4,227,000 project that will provide culinary students and faculty with a modern teaching environment.
Cheever Construction is the general contractor working on it. Cheever Construction has worked for SCC before, having also worked on the U and V sections of the Lincoln campus.
Once the renovations are complete, the Food Service program will have five dedicated teaching spaces.
“The goal is to provide the best environment for students,” said Physical Plant Superintendent Craig Thelen.
In the past, culinary students used the cafeteria for their training. The cafeteria was a difficult teaching environment due to the culinary students having to share space with the production cooks while both were trying to cook different meals.
The new teaching area is going to give culinary professors a modern classroom with all the new technologies needed to give culinary students a real world experience.
“We’re beyond excited for [the remodel],” said Food Service/Hospitality Program Chair Brandon Harpster. “We’ve never really had a dedicated space designed for culinary education.”
“These space were specifically designed for education and will give our students the opportunity to learn in a better environment and also work with the type of equipment and facilities they’re going to work in when they get to the industry,” added Harpster.
Maintenance is proud of the work they’ve done for the remodel and are excited about what it has to offer.
“Maintenance is very excited for [the remodel] because of hard work put into it,” said Thelen, who also mentioned that the remodel will be “something that will make people proud.”
With the new Great Plains Culinary Institute, culinary students will be taught using a demonstration kitchen, a bakery and a production kitchen.
These three facilities will provide culinary students here at SCC with a realistic learning environment.
The demonstration kitchen will be the classroom where culinary professors will be able to cook for students during their lecture.
Professors will also be able to film themselves during their lectures so students can review what they learned in class.
“We will also be able to bring in guest speakers that will be able to do presentations,” said Harpster.
The bakery will give SCC’s fully-accredited baking and pastry program two teaching labs to accompany the bakery, a production lab and a presentation lab.
Through the bakery, students will be learning how to make cookies, cakes, breads, chocolates and other baked goods. Those baked goods made by students will be available for purchase.
While no baking competitions are planned at this time, the classes taught in the bakery will help students who compete in baking competitions better compete in those competitions.
The production kitchen will provide culinary students with an area to work in that is set up like a restaurant.
Attached to the production kitchen will be an actual restaurant with a full dining room that will be open to the public. With the new restaurant, people will be able to come and eat meals prepared by culinary students.
The menu for the restaurant will be based around what students are learning in class.
Harpster said the biggest hope with the Institute is that it will draw students to SCC who want to work in the culinary field.
Other hopes with the Institute are that current culinary students will continue here at SCC and that high school students in the Career Academy will stay with SCC, too.
The Great Plains Culinary Institute will officially be open in January 2018.