The Secchia institute located inside the Wisner Bottrall Applied Technology Center at 143 Bostwick on the southeast side of campus is in full swing again.
The Heritage restaurant, Fountain Hill brewery and the Art’s and Bev’s are open for business. Heritage is a fine dining establishment, Fountain Hill offers beer at five to seven dollars a pint and Art’s and Bev’s is a baked goods and morning drink operation. All three are open throughout the week in the Wisner Bottrall Center.
The Heritage restaurant, as well as most of the operations at Secchia, are student driven. “We just opened the restaurant so it’s been really busy, but it’s been great,” said Assistant Professor and Certified Sommelier at GRCC, Holly VanRyn.
Part of her teaching, VanRyn said, is being in charge of most of the front of the house operations at the Heritage restaurant.
“Guests get to come in and enjoy a really nice dinner, a fine dining meal for a pretty fair price,” said VanRyn. “They usually get excellent service as well. The students really care about what they’re doing so they try really hard to give great service.” Apps vary but are usually between $4.95 and $6.95 and entrees go for $11.95 to $12.95.
The hours of open service for the Heritage, Fountain Hill Brewery and Art’s and Bevs can all be found online. One can make reservations or check out a menu online as well. Most of the time at Secchia is spent training, teaching and preparing.
Bob Schultz, one of the professors at Secchia and mentor to VanRyn, takes multiple, sometimes dozens, of pictures of every dish his students prepare and keeps them on a loop on monitors in the kitchen. This is so students can see what the meal should look like through the meal prep. He does a new set of dishes every two days.
The Secchia Institute is an accomplished program, ranked among the top 20 culinary schools in America.
“Oh there’s so much to talk about as far as the past and all the accomplishments of Secchia institute,” VanRyn said. “It’s very widely recognized.”
One of the Secchia Institute’s professors, Gilles Renusson, who was just awarded a prestigious culinary medal from France that Prince Charles of England was given years ago.
VanRyn said there are good things to come from these three student-run businesses in the future.
“The students, they have so much enthusiasm and passion and really exciting ideas about what they’re going to do after they finish their culinary degrees.” she said, adding that she is “working on an advanced wine class where students would actually be able to sip for a recognised certification as part of the class.”
There is also a Nation’s Cup Competition coming up Oct. 17-19, hosted this year in our very own Secchia Institute, where teams from Barbados, Scotland, Canada, Mexico and the U.S will compete in an Iron Chef style competition.