WHITBY, ON—An apple orchard and extensive agricultural fields will surround Durham College’s Centre for Food, offering hands-on experience and an in-house food supply network for the school’s various culinary, agriculture and hospitality programs. Encompassing four production kitchens, a full-service restaurant and a model hotel room, the centre welcomed its first batch of students in early September.
In its first semester, the 36,000-square-foot building opened to 685 students, and will eventually expand to 900 students. As well as Durham’s Culinary Management, and Hospitality Management – Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism programs, the centre will house a new program for the college, Horticulture – Food and Farming.
“Hospitality is such a broad term. Everything that we’re doing here is hospitality, from agri-tourism to foodservice,” said Don Lovisa, president of the college.
Off of the main atrium, at ground level, a wine tasting lab will serve both students, for the wine and food-pairing component of their programs, as well as the public, in community education courses.
Down the hall, past a living wall of plants reaching up to the second floor, a fully-accessible model hotel room offers all of the amenities of a standard hotel. Lovisa joked that its purpose isn’t a refuge for the weary-student, but a learning lab, giving Hospitality Management students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with that sort of space.