The hospitality program at Mohawk Valley Community College has kicked its style up with state-of-the-art kitchens, cooking labs and an all new dining room as part of the Floyd Avenue campus revitalization project.
The program, available completely in Rome, offers associate degrees and certificates.
“Our programs give graduates the inside track because you are coming in understanding how the hotel or restaurant works,” said Professor Andrew Glidden Jr.
“You have a basis of knowing how different equipment works, where as someone coming off the street won’t have that. When working in the hotel industry or banquet industry, they want you to have a degree of some form.”
MVCC’s commitment to training students on the newest culinary technologies includes induction cooktop units that use a high-frequency magnetic field to produce an electric current in metal pots. The current flowing in the metal pot produces heating that cooks the food.
Also new in the kitchen are rational self-cooking ovens. These ovens have seven cooking modes and three combi-steamer modes, providing the flexibility of multiple cooking techniques. The culinary program has also acquired a sous-vide cooking tool, which allows the students to cook food evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking or overdrying the outside
The sous vide cooking technique involves cooking food in pouches, submerged in a water bath held at a precisely controlled temperature.
The new baking lab has twice as many work stations and mixing equipment where students learn the basics of baking, how to make bread, custards and mousse, and how to present the finished item. The biggest opportunity for bakers in the area are with hotels and resorts.
“When they leave here from culinary program, students are going to have a good understanding of cooking,” said Associate Professor David Hoffman. “With this base knowledge, at a resort or top restaurant, they are ready to move into prep or line cooking, and after a year or two should be able to move into a sous-chef position.”