university of oregon, 2nd-year CORE 2021 | center for culinary arts

Assistant Professor & Chair of the Baker Lighting Lab, University of Oregon

Studio Coordinator and Instructor

The history of culinary education in the United States can be tied back to 1946, when the New Haven Restaurant Institute was formed by Frances Roth and Katherine Angell, two pioneering women who established a vocational training school for returning World War II veterans[1][2]. In its first year, the Institute was composed of a dietician, a baker and a chef as supporting faculty and supported a class of 16 students.  By 1951 the Institute had grown to several hundred students and was renamed to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).  After moving to Hyde Park in New York, the modern day CIA now contains teaching kitchens, an experimental kitchen and food laboratory, baking and pastry facilities, a library, a café, and a restaurant staffed by faculty and students.  From its modest roots, the CIA has grown to include campuses in California, San Antonio, and Singapore and now offers a range of degrees at the Associate, Bachelor, and Master level as well as continuing education courses.  Since the start of this first culinary school, the field of culinary education has evolved into several sub-fields, including culinary arts, baking and pastry, business and management, food sciences, and culinary sciences and nutrition.

In Oregon and Washington, existing culinary institutes include the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute (Coos Bay), the Northwest Culinary Institute (Vancouver), and the Cascade Culinary Institute (Bend).  Lane Community College in Eugene offers programs in Culinary Arts and Commercial Cooking, Restaurant Management, and Commercial Baking and Pastry.  With the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in sight, a surge of activity is expected in the restaurant and tourism sectors, with a growing demand for chefs.  This growth in hospitality will coincide with the growing crisis of homelessness, which provides a stark contrast to the divide in economic advantage in the United States.  A 2019 study showed that Eugene leads the nation in homelessness per capita, above Los Angeles [2] and New York City [3] and this was before the COVID-19 pandemic caused unemployment rates and eviction rates to soar.  While many culinary arts schools contain a restaurant, staffed by student and faculty members who prepare high-end cuisine at discount rates, our Institute for Culinary Arts will partner with non-profit organizations like Food for Lane County to offer free meals for members of the Eugene Community who are experiencing hardship.  This dichotomy of private education and community service will form the backbone of our Institute as we educate a new generation of chefs, nutritionists, and food scientists.

This term, our project proposes 35,000 sf of new construction in an urban site in downtown Eugene.  The program includes food preparation & experimentation spaces (12,000 sf), learning & administration spaces (12,000 sf) and a community kitchen & nutrition resource center (11,000 sf).  Each of these program areas supports a range of facilities with a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces.  In addition to the programmed outdoor spaces listed in the description, the site must also include an outdoor community garden with a minimum of 15,000 sf and allow for sun exposure from the South.  The site footprint is roughly 37,000 sf, which means that a building footprint must not exceed 60% of the site area.

2nd-year CORE II is the fourth and final studio in the required sequence before students advance to vertical elective studios. In addition to a more complex urban program, students are required to develop a strong concept, integrate a range of tectonic and environmental systems, and illustrate their work clearly through both 2D and 3D media.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culinary_Institute_of_America

[2] https://www.ciachef.edu/our-story/

[3] https://nbc16.com/news/local/we-have-a-significant-problem-eugene-leads-us-in-per-capita-homelessness

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