Foundation Supports JCCC’s New Hospitality & Culinary Academy

The Hospitality and Culinary Academy is officially open for classes, and the public dedication will be Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 2 p.m.

The one-story building, located directly south of the Regnier Center parking garage and easily visible from both College Boulevard and Quivira Road, will serve the 700-plus students in JCCC hospitality management programs and allow the college to offer more continuing education classes for the general public.

The building cost $13 million, about $3.2 million of which was raised by the JCCC Foundation. The project was launched with a $750,000 challenge grant from former Kansas State Sen. David Wysong and his wife, Kathy. Other leadership gifts include support from the following:

  • Ball Family Charitable Foundation
  • Barton P. Cohen Community Series
  • J.D. and Anne Hodgdon Family Foundation
  • The Hotel and Lodging Association of Greater Kansas City
  • ACF Kansas City’s Chef Association
  • Kirk Foundation
  • Missouri Restaurant Association - Greater Kansas City Chapter
  • Maron Lorimer Moore
  • I.A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation
  • Victor and Helen Regnier Charitable Foundation
  • The Roasterie, Inc.
  • George and Patricia Semb
  • Standard Beverage Corporation
  • The Sunderland Foundation

The 36,000-square-foot building houses seven kitchens: five culinary labs, an innovation kitchen and a demonstration kitchen in a culinary theatre. A soaring 18-foot high lobby will make the building feel much larger than a one-story building, said Lindy Robinson, dean, business.

Innovation kitchen: This glass-walled space, located to the left of the lobby, gives visitors a chance to see the college’s award-winning culinary team in action as they practice for competitions. Currently, the team practices in kitchens in the Office and Classroom Building, tucked away from public view. Visiting chefs also will be featured in the innovation kitchen, Robinson said.

The Wysong Family Culinary Theatre: The 75-seat culinary theatre, located to the right of the entry, is equipped with a modified kitchen and back room preparation area for cooking demonstrations. A video production room and equipment allows demonstrations to be taped and aired on the college’s cable channel. The tiered theatre will become home for entry-level classes and will allow those classes to grow to 40 students, Robinson said.

Culinary labs: Two labs will be used for professional cooking classes, one for pastry classes, another is the Ball Family Garde Manger Culinary Lab, or cold foods kitchen, and the last of the five labs is a restaurant kitchen.

The restaurant kitchen will adjoin the Regnier Family Dining Room on the east end of the building that will be used for Thursday hospitality luncheons and other events.

The Regnier Family Dining Room also will be available for other events. In fact, with the lobby area and an outdoor patio on the east side of the building, the academy could be host to a number of events, Robinson said.

The Ball Family Garde Manger Culinary Lab is designed so that it can be used for meat fabrication, she said, with tracks in the ceiling that can be used to hang a side of beef. While JCCC student chefs may not have to do their own butchering, they need to know where cuts of meat are from and how that affects the cooking method used.

Meat fabrication possibilities don’t end with JCCC student chefs, Robinson said. The lab would allow the college to offer continuing education classes for butchers entering the field. Other continuing education classes could feed the hunger to learn about cooking fueled by the growth of the Food Channel.

"People want to take our entry level cooking classes, but we can't do that now," she said.

With the new building, those classes could become a possibility, along with summer cooking classes for kids, which have been requested by parents for years.

Hospitality management faculty and staff will be housed in the building as well, with an office suite that accommodates 15 or more people. The building also contains classrooms, workspace for adjunct instructors, a conference room and the Maron J. Moore Hospitality Library.

DLR Group in Overland Park designed the building; J.E. Dunn is the general contractor.