The new 20,000-square-foot, $7.5-million center has five kitchens, including a fully functional restaurant production kitchen, separate lab stations and a bakery. Kitchens include a demonstration kitchen where students first watch and learn about techniques and culinary science.
The center’s dining room seats 80 for table service, and there is a patio for eating outdoors. There are also three classrooms on the second floor. One of those classrooms will be set up as a hotel lab, with a front desk and a bedroom.
MGM Resorts International has its name on the building because it made a $500,000 donation toward its construction. The state contributed $230,000 last year toward equipment. They had their chefs use the center in the “bench test” portion of their job interviews. Other funding included Massachusetts Executive office of Housing and Economic Development, $1.75 million; the U.S. Economic Development Administration, $1.55 million; HCC reserves and the HCC Foundation, $2.4 million; the city of Holyoke, $400,000.
The facility replaces a smaller culinary arts center on the main campus of HCC a few miles away. That center had only one kitchen and a small auxiliary cooking area.
To learn more about this facility, please visit their website: https://www.hcc.edu/courses-and-programs/areas-of-study/hospitality-and-culinary-arts