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Where Fine Dining and Education are the Perfect Pair

Spring 2010 | Archives

Culinary students Culinary arts fans now have a sweet treat in Omaha. MCC´s Institute for the Culinary Arts will celebrate the grand opening of its state-of-the-art facility March 22.

The building features top-notch equipment in more than 35,000 square feet—including seven kitchens, a bakery, a chocolate laboratory, a spacious conference room and the 65-seat Sage Student Bistro in JoJo´s Dining Room, where the public can enjoy a fine dining experience centered on student learning and guest satisfaction.

The grand opening raises the profile of MCC´s growing Culinary Arts Program, which already draws students from across the country—and world—to build careers in Nebraska and beyond.

Culinary building "The facility is the missing part to a great need," said Jim Trebbien, who has directed the program for 25 years. "No longer will anyone need to leave the area to get the best in education."

Students and instructors will enjoy the additional space. Last year, the program enrolled nearly 600 students—more than four times the number of students in 1991. About 22 percent of today´s students are minorities.

"The benefit to the area is enormous," Trebbien said. "We will attract people from far away to come to Omaha and to stay and work here."

 

Building highlights

    Culinary building
  • Sage Student Bistro in JoJo´s Dining Room: The public can enjoy excellent student-prepared meals in this elegant setting from 6–8:30 p.m., Monday to Thursday during the quarter. Diners can choose from a set menu or from student prix fix four-course meals that change throughout the quarter.
  • Environment: Environmentally friendly building practices were used in accordance with LEED certification requirements and to create healthier work and living enviroments. One unique component: An underground tank stores rainwater from the roof to irrigate the surrounding lawn.
  • Capacity: With the new building, the program´s capacity expands to serve 1,000 students—350 more than previously.
  • Demonstration kitchen: A Food Network-style culinary theater allows students to show their skills in front of an audience or for local TV networks.
  • Oven: A gigantic combo oven can grill up to 200 steaks at once.
  • Gifts: About $2.6 million in private donations helped fund the building. Substantial gifts came from the Pegler Family Foundation and the Merle and Joy Swanson Fund at the Omaha Community Foundation.
 
 
 
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