TORONTO — George Brown College celebrated the grand opening of its new Culinary Research Innovation Labs at the Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts last week. The event was attended by industry partners, donors and friends of George Brown College, who were treated to tours of the new facilities, as well as food and drinks.
“We are celebrating the launch of new facilities that will help expand George Brown’s applied-research capacity and infrastructure while enabling the development of safe, innovative and affordable new food-and-beverage products,” said Anne Sado, president, George Brown College. “Acting as a hub for experiential learning, these applied research facilities will expose our students to real-world challenges and projects, allowing them to become flexible innovators and problem solvers. At the same time, they will provide vital support to Ontario’s small and medium sized food-and-beverage businesses — offering product-development opportunities that range from product and market research to commercialization.”
The new additions include a showcase kitchen and state-of-the-art research labs, including a bake lab, innovation pod and chocolate lab.
“Our new research labs include the very first large-quantity baking and pastry lab, featuring a specialized chocolate lab; a new large-quantity culinary lab, which includes international tools, like woks, as standard issue; and the latest in automated equipment,” said Lorraine Trotter, dean, Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts. “And, the new demo theatre that [hosts] product launches and guest demonstrations and cleverly converts to an intimate chefs table.”
The creation of these facilities was supported by a $7-million investment from Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, as well as contributions from donors and members of the food-and-beverage industry.
“Today’s launch builds on the success of our Food Innovation and Research Studio, which to-date has helped more than 250 industry partners with product development and commercialization over the past five years,” Sado added.
During the facilities tours, guests had a chance to sample products and dishes created using the new labs and equipment. Highlights of the new equipment featured in the facilities include flour mills, a freeze drier, sous vide machines and tandoor ovens.