On Market Days at Loyalist College, the air smells like fresh bread.
Just before noon, a line-up snakes through the campus halls and excited speculation starts. Community members begin peering in The Market’s windows, eager for a glimpse at the baked goods, preserves and prepared foods lining the shelves, crafted by Loyalist’s chefs-in-training.
The Market’s buzz goes hand-in-hand with the palpable enthusiasm and sense of momentum that permeates Loyalist’s Culinary programs. The retail shop is one of three new campus spaces putting Loyalist College on the map as a regional culinary hotspot.
Alongside The Market, the trifecta of new facilities includes a state-of-the-art culinary lab, and Nourish, a fully licenced restaurant currently under construction on the College’s Belleville campus.
In the culinary lab, cooking surfaces shine with the gleam of professionalism. Each student works at a carefully designed station, equipped with shelving, refrigeration, and a personal mixer. Organizing and caring for their station is practise for the precision, consideration and organization that Loyalist students are taught to apply to all things, from kitchen management and menu design to traditional knife skills and table service.
This summer, the College broke ground on a new 100-seat dining room, with a sprawling patio overlooking the campus’ picturesque green spaces, an industry-grade grille and smoker, and a 5000-pound hearth in its kitchens. When the building project is finished, Nourish will open to the community, staffed by Loyalist students who will apply their skills and reinforce their learning in a real restaurant environment, supported by College faculty.
The Art of Flavour
It’s not just the new culinary spaces that are putting Loyalist College on the map – collaboration with local chefs, entrepreneurs and innovators keeps college programming responsive to the thriving local tourism and hospitality industry.
To ensure students are regularly exposed to the regional farm-to-table foodie scene and world-class cuisine in the Bay of Quinte, Loyalist launched the Art of Flavour dinner series in 2016.
At each Art of Flavour event, guest chefs, winemakers and brewers are invited into the College to prepare a dinner service with Loyalist students. Open for the public to enjoy, community members can purchase tickets to the meal and experience the guest chef’s vision supported by a team of trained students.
“The Art of Flavour is a perfect example of how our students benefit from learning in a culinary hub like the Bay of Quinte,” explains Chef Scott Royce, a faculty member in Loyalist’s Culinary program. “As an institution, we’re tapping into the outstanding farms, wineries and restaurants that surround us to expose our students to the techniques and philosophies of local industry leaders. The guest chefs in our region also benefit from these events – they’re meeting the next wave of talent they’ll be hiring into their restaurants.”
The Art of Flavour events have gained momentum, attracting local luminaries like Chef Albert Ponzo of The Royal Hotel and Chef Amanda Ray of the Drake Devonshire. In the coming months, renowned chefs like Charlotte Langley, Matt Demille, Stuart Cameron, Hidde Zomer, Chris Byrne and Jamie Kennedy will also participate in the series.
Taste the Future
As industry events and state-of-the-art facilities continue to attract both students and community members to campus, the College welcomes the opportunity to serve as a bridge between local employers and the next generation of leaders in the workforce.
“We’re elevating our spaces to be more in tune with the way our community is developing and changing,” adds Chef Karin Desveaux, Program Coordinator for the Culinary program. “In doing so, we’re supporting our students’ seamless transition into the vibrant culinary landscape surrounding us.”