Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Burlington County College Culinary Arts Center, Mt. Holly

Burlington County, though vast in size and diverse in offerings, does not really offer a "go-to" place that could be considered a "crown jewel" of sorts.  Sure, there are some historic sites, beautiful small town main streets, gorgeous houses, and the like, but not much in the way of a real draw.  Mt. Holly is a great example of this phenomenon, whereby a historic town and a county seat really does not have much in the way of landmarks.

Burlington County College, based in Pemberton, with branches also in Mt. Laurel, Willingboro, and Mt. Holly is trying to change that.  This past summer, BCC opened a new Cuilnary Arts Center to much fanfare.  This facility has a lot to offer in the way of educating students on the intricacies of the culinary arts, one of the largest sources of employment in the country, but also offers a great experience for locals and visitors alike.

The Center was built in the heart of bustling downtown Mt. Holly, which is chock full of small shops and eateries, but lacking in the form of a draw where people would want to visit from out of town.  The College rehabbed an old, shuttered bank that dated back to the 1800s and offered beautiful architecture.  Many of the original features were kept, making it a charming and historic building. To modernize the facility, however, the school added a teaching kitchen, a service kitchen, and a demonstration theater which features a kitchen setup along with approximately 70 seats for guests to watch cooking demos, as well as classes.  On top of that, there are three separate indoor dining areas and an outdoor seating area as well.  The goal is to have the facility used as not only a place of learning the culinary arts, but a haven for the students to practice it.

The building incorporates many green techniques and is LEED certified at the Gold Level.  In all, the building is a new resource for the community and a great place for students to immerse themselves in learning the culinary arts.

The Center is located at 21 Mill Street in Mt. Holly, at the corner of Mill and High Streets.  To learn more about the Culinary Arts Center and its offerings, call 856-222-9311 or visit BCC's Culinary Arts website.

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