Cheers! Centre for Food celebrates grand opening

After more than four years of planning, fundraising and building, the Centre for Food (CFF) officially opened its doors at its official grand opening celebrating the new, state-of-the-art learning facility at Durham College’s Whitby campus.

More than 300 people attended the event, sampling student-prepared dishes and touring the building and its full-service, green-certified teaching and learning restaurant, Bistro ’67, while being entertained by Canadian musician, Greg Keelor.

Led by college president Don Lovisa, the guests raised their glasses to toast the CFF while unveiling a beautiful harvest table, engraved especially for the event.

Grand opening celebration just one week away!

Celebrity chefs Jamie Kennedy and Christian Pritchard will be on-hand next week to help celebrate the introduction of culinary and hospitality-focused programming to Durham Region when the college officially opens the Centre for Food (CFF) on Thursday, October 17. 

Located at the northwest corner of campus and based on the field-to-fork concept, the event will include the official opening of Bistro ’67, a new, 70-seat, full-service, green-certified teaching and learning restaurant. 

Guests will enjoy tours of the new building; food prepared by the college’s culinary students; student-led cooking demonstrations; and a musical performance by Canadian singer, songwriter and musician Greg Keelor.

Structural steel now on site

With the structural steel now on site and its assembly well underway, the Centre for Food (CFF) is already coming to life. In fact, the late summer weather has provided many opportunities to maintain and push the construction schedule.

 Design briefs for AV, IT and security have all been finalized, an important step in defining the conduit paths, which will better inform the construction manager as he begins to prepare the basement for the slab on grade concrete pour. In addition, the elevator shaft can be seen in the centre of the building with the final concrete pour scheduled later this month.

 With more structural steel going up each day, you can see the skeleton take shape and begin to observe the formation of the building’s interesting architectural design elements. It is anticipated that structural steel erection and final connections will continue into the winter months.

 Some interesting facts about structural steel:

  •  Construction of the CFF will use approximately 275 metric tonnes of steel;
  • Structural Steel is 100 per cent recyclable and is the most recycled material in North America;
  • Steel will not warp or twist and it does not substantially expand or contract to the same extent as concrete with weather changes;
  • Steel doesn’t need time to cure;
  • More strength with less weight;
  • Can be erected in most weather conditions; and
  • Uniform quality with proven durability and low life cycle costs.

 The Durham College Leadership Team recently toured the site and was amazed with its progression to date.

Celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy supports DC’s new Centre for Food

The evening of September 27 marked another important milestone in Durham College’s history when the college officially launched the public phase of its $5 million Growing for our Future fundraising campaign in support of its new Centre for Food. The new 36,000-square-foot building is being built on the northwest corner of campus and is designed to accommodate approximately 900 additional students studying in culinary, hospitality, tourism, agricultural and horticulture programs.

Titled Get Involved, the event saw close to 150 community leaders; business partners; faculty; staff; students; alumni; board members; and donors join Durham College President Don Lovisa and guest celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy to watch the college’s Culinary Skills and Hospitality Management – Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism students showcase their talents while learning more about the Centre for Food.

In addition, the college recognized the outstanding commitment of its donors while offering details about the various ways community members and friends of the college can offer their support.     

When delivering his own remarks, Lovisa indicated that the students always say it best so it was fitting that when talking about the new Centre for Food he quoted second-year Hospitality Management – Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism student Kelsey Donaldson who said, “Most importantly the students are going to benefit tremendously. The new Centre for Food will provide such an incredible environment for students to learn, grow and gain unbelievable experience. I can’t wait for the new centre to open and to begin classes.” 

The college’s Culinary Skills students, who were responsible for preparing the food for the event, were given a unique opportunity to interact with Kennedy throughout the evening. Kennedy, one of Canada’s most critically-acclaimed chefs, has dedicated his incredible career to sustainable agriculture and advocacy of the local food movement, a key element of the Centre for Food, which is designed to bring students and community members together to watch the foods of Durham region grow, from the planting of seeds to the serving of food for consumption.

“The Centre for Food has been designed to create a unique learning environment for students, which captures the spirit, innovation and progressiveness of the local food movement,” said Kennedy. “I know this centre will attract students from across this country as they learn about growing, harvesting and preparing food.”

Scheduled to open in September 2013, the Centre for Food will complete the evolution of the Whitby campus, providing students with access to a full-service, green-certified teaching restaurant and lounge; demonstration theatre; three public-viewing kitchens surrounded by glass walls and equipped with the latest technology; and state-of-the-art labs, classrooms and meeting spaces. 

“This comprehensive approach to culinary education is absolutely fabulous and I’m happy to support Durham College and the new Centre for Food,” added Kennedy.

Canadian celebrity chef will help launch CFF campaign

Durham College is excited to host a Canadian celebrity chef as the special guest at its Get Involved event taking place at the Whitby campus on Thursday, September 27. The event will see the college officially launch the public phase of the Growing for our Future campaign, a $5 million fundraising campaign designed to raise financial support through community, government and individual contributions in support of the new Centre for Food.

The Get Involved event will showcase the culinary skills and passion for presentation of Durham College students as they work alongside a Canadian celebrity chef; highlight the exciting details of the project; and recognize the commitment of donors. 

We are live!

Welcome to our Centre for Food (CFF) microsite featuring video, site renderings, floor plans, information about program offerings, interesting stats, and how to support the CFF all designed to highlight this incredible new learning centre opening September 2013 at our Whitby campus.

See the CFF come to life online through regular updates, milestones, construction photos, and more.

Construction Begins

The college ceremoniously broke ground on the final phase of its three-phase expansion project at the Whitby campus last December. This final phase will see the completion of the new Centre for Food (CFF), an incredible new learning facility designed to accommodate approximately 900 additional students studying in culinary, hospitality, tourism, agriculture and horticulture programs.

More recently, preliminary construction activities officially began with trucks arriving on campus and the fencing going up around the construction site. 

The construction crew has begun preparing the site by clearing and grading it to allow foundation forming and concrete pouring to begin the structure of the CFF, which is set to open in September 2013.

Durham College is committed to sharing ongoing construction updates, milestones and project details with employees and the community.