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.