The future culinary stars of this country now have a new place to further their education. Niagara County Community College’s Niagara Falls Culinary Institute held a dedication ceremony Sept. 28, officially opening the $30 million facility.
The institute, located in the former Rainbow Mall, welcomed more than 350 students on the first day of classes, Sept. 4.
The 90,000 square-foot facility features state-of-the-art teaching kitchens and laboratories and a student run restaurant, pastry shop and deli. There is also a Barnes and Noble bookstore, featuring all culinary items, a wine boutique, a culinary theater with a full demonstration kitchen for faculty and celebrity chef speakers and exhibition space.
“This is the day so many of us have been waiting for,” said NCCC President Dr. James Klyczek. “We believe this is the first of its kind in the country to integrate academic and retail components on such a large scale.”
Among those in attendance was New York state Lieutenant Gov. Robert Duffy, who called the facility “stunning.”
“It is a great investment here in the city,” said Duffy. “It is, I believe, going to be a top rated facility of it’s kind in the eastern part of this country.”
He said he believes that all future students who come out of the Niagara Fall Culinary Institute will go on to have great careers.
State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, a former NCCC graduate, said this has been a positive partnership between many state and local officials, all helping to make this institute become a reality.
“This is an economic development opportunity for a lot of young people to earn a decent living and have a great career,” said Maziarz.
He said it is also an opportunity for local culinary talents to teach students and local wineries to sell their wine in the boutique.
Niagara County Legislature Chairman William Ross called the facility a “Niagara jewel,” stating that it will grow the Niagara Falls economy, and by doing that, grow the entire county’s economy.
“It’s amazing what you can do,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
Dyster encouraged Duffy to return to Albany and tell Gov. Andrew Cuomo he shouldn’t worry about taking a chance on Western New York.
“We can pull it off,” he said. “You put a bat in our hands, we hit homeruns.”
For more information about the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute visit www.niagaracc.suny.edu.