GRAND CHUTE, WI (WTAQ) - Students at Fox Valley Technical College will now take classes in Wisconsin's first and only culinary theatre.
Officials unveiled the $1.8 million Jones Dairy Farm Culinary Theatre, an 8,500-square foot state-of-the-art facility to the media Thursday.
"We took every conceivable cooking delivery system, we tried to put every piece of equipment that we could possibly need to teach cooking to our students," says Department Chair Cheff Jeff Igel. "And we put it in an environment where they're comfortable."
It has five-tiered rows capable of holding 120 students at one time to watch faculty at the school demonstrate cooking methods on high-tech equipment using video cameras and projection screens.
"We can max out at 150 (people), it's not bad, it's like Lambeau Field," Igel says.
The facility ws funded in part by private donations, including a lead gift from Jones Dairy Farm. The theater will also be open for public use and for folks looking to sharpen their home cooking skills.
Igel says their goal was to enhance student learning for Wisconsin's largest training provider of culinary arts.
"To be able to stand and see all of your students without looking through heads or around aisles," says Igel. "We get a lot of eye contact, we can personalize the class one-on-one and it's easier to take questions."
Students will formally begin to take classes in the culinary theatre on Monday.