Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence Changing the Scope of Education

JWU's new, state-of-the-culinary-arts building, Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence (CCCE), is the country’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified culinary facility is also changing the scope of education.

“The College of Culinary Arts has enhanced its curriculum to reflect growing concerns over health, nutrition and artificial ingredients,” says Karl Guggenmos '93, '02 MBA, university dean of culinary education.

“The new Center will also help us achieve higher levels of food safety as well as sustainable food practices."

The 82,000 square-foot CCCE supports JWU’s world-class, industry-relevant curriculum, and features cutting-edge equipment in a diverse array of production environments.

JWU Culinary PVD, Center for Culinary Excellence exteriorThe building houses:
30 teaching labs and classrooms
9 hot kitchens
2 garde manger
2 bake shops (including an artisan bread lab)
7 pastry and chocolate labs
2 meat-cutting and fabrication labs
Storeroom, shipping and receiving area
3 dining rooms
Oenology (wine) lab, microbrewery and mixology lab

Many labs will also incorporate individual induction work stations.

JWU has always believed in the value of incorporating real-world, hands-on experience into the curriculum. The CCCE will enhance this model by providing three exquisite dining rooms —connected to the cutting-edge kitchen labs — where students will prepare fine cuisine and serve visitors, faculty members and other students. In these live a la carte settings, students will learn rigorous kitchen and dining room procedures as well as the practice of proper etiquette.

JWU Center for Culinary Excellence PVD dining roomFurthermore, with faculty input from the onset of planning, their experiences in labs and classrooms inspired the architects to create facilities that would meet fast-changing industry demands. Leading-edge equipment in a diverse array of commercial production spaces support the most advanced curriculum.

Rick Powers, from Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, the architectural and design firm hired by the university, explains the architectural vision of the building. “We learned that a lot of folks visit the school, from industry leaders and vendors to other academics and special guests,” he says. “We took this idea to another level on the inside and treated the building like a display so that the activity could be seen from the outside.”

The CCCE will also support JWU's commitment to social responsibility and is designed to be LEED certified. Using universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria, the certification is a green rating system that encourages sustainable building and development practices. The colorful and inviting interiors are designed so natural light streams though. Bike racks encourage carbon-free commuting, and a white roof and light concrete reduce the impact of reflected heat released back into the environment. Rainwater is even captured through a recycling system and used to irrigate the landscape and even be reused in the restrooms.

“In keeping with the building’s LEED certification, students will collaborate with faculty on green housekeeping practices while reducing water and energy use,” says Guggenmos. “They’ll also maximize recycling efforts, reduce the use of chemicals, and increase the use of local and organic products.”

“Not only is this building in keeping with our strategic plan,” says University Chancellor John Bowen '77, “it will elevate culinary education at Johnson & Wales and across the globe.”