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Whats cooking at the new culinary building?

Patrick Iler | The Broadside

The new sustainable culinary building features two learning kitchens

Michelle Greer
The Broadside

At the base of Awbrey Butte, just off of Mt. Washington Drive, sits the new addition to the Central Oregon Community College campus, The Jungers Culinary Center. The new culinary building takes up just over 15,200 square feet.

The largest donation toward the building was a private donation gifted by Frank and Julie Jungers, who gave 1 million to the Cascades Culinary Arts program. The building was named for the Jungers, and the other contributors are honored on the inside.

Fritz explained that the building was designed to make the most use of the space, that the windows have been designed to take in heat from the sun and combined with radiant floor heating, creates a comfortable and natural ambient heating.

Though the building is too small for the roof to support solar paneling, 1.5% of the funds for the building have been allotted for solar paneling for future construction on the COCC campus.

“The building is designed to be sustainable and has earned the earth advantage gold standard,” said Gene Fritz, Director and Executive Chef of the Cascades Culinary Institute.

The building is equipped with two learning kitchens, one for beginners and a kitchen for the advanced students which also provides the food available at the culinary student run kitchen, Elevation. There is also a pastry baking kitchen for the related degree in Baking that the Culinary Institute offers. A demonstration theater that seats 50 students is available for classes. The theater is outfitted with a camera and Fritz explained the Institute’s plans for the taped demos.

“We’ll have a video library available on YouTube for any students who miss a class. Also, eventually, we’d like to have the live feed available to be viewed by any other schools in the state, the whole nation eventually, for times when we have special guest chefs,” said Fritz.

Culinary 1st year student Amy Swickard explained how much this program needed these renovations and new tools, “I think it [the building] is way nice, really efficient and there is enough for everyone to share, all stainless steel and nice. I heard horror stories about last year, all the pans were old aluminum and all warped.”

With an enrollment increase this fall of 80% in the culinary arts, there will be plenty of new chefs to use these tools.

You can reach Michelle Greer atmagreer@cocc.edu

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