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RCC Hospitality & Culinary Arts Center to Open in the Fall

RCC Hospitality & Culinary Arts Center to Open in the Fall

RCC Hospitality & Culinary Arts students

DATE: September 6, 2018

RAMAPO, N.Y. – Rockland Community College's Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center in downtown Nyack will serve as a hands-on learning space for RCC students as well as a dining establishment and cultural destination.

Slated to open in the fall – with classes expected to start in the spring semester – the two-floor center will offer both accredited courses leading to one of two, two-year AAS degrees or a one-year certificate, and noncredit programming for continuing education students and food enthusiasts. The culinary and baking classes will be taught by professional chefs.

“Culinary arts is a combination of concept, passion and skill set,” said David Kimmel, interim director of the center. “It's the skill set piece that has to be practiced. The more one practices how to make a Hollandaise, or how to make a muffin, or how to debone a chicken, the more skilled they become at it, which is what industry is looking for, a workforce-ready graduate.”

The center's main floor has a teaching kitchen and retail farm-to-market store. The kitchen consists of 10 stations with a gas range, oven, char-broiler and griddle as well as a prep area. There's an instructor's station for demonstration purposes, and eventually there will be cameras to project chefs' cooking techniques to students' station monitors. The farm-to-market store will feature New York artisanal foods, craft beverages, information on regional agro-tourism, and seating space that can host a “pop-up” (single-night) restaurant run by students who are in the fourth semester of their studies.

The building's lower level will house two classrooms, each accommodating 30 students, as well as a break area, locker rooms, bathrooms and a computer room. The downstairs space will also include an amphitheater that will serve as a classroom and double as a demonstration kitchen for tastings and cooking technique demos, lectures and presentations, in addition to hosting cultural events and providing dinner theater-style seating.

The RCC culinary arts program will also teach students how to be more entrepreneurial in their approach, Kimmel explained. “Not only do we have the strong collaboration with the industries, but we're going to be teaching our students how to be creative, how to monetize that creativity, and how to be entrepreneurial engines for small-business startups.” He cited as an example the students' role in the farm-to-market store: they will prepare products that they conceptualize, cost out, formulate and label, produce, and place in the store to sell, as well as demonstrate to consumers.

“The demand and the need for this program is apparent,” Kimmel said. “Students can take advantage of a very reasonably priced education that can give you quite a jump-start in your career.”


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CONTACT: Strategic Marketing