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Auburn's New Culinary Center Offers Real-World Education

On September 15th, Auburn University’s School of Hospitality Management celebrated the opening of the Tony & Rivera Laine Culinary Science Center. It includes a commercial baking lab, educational restaurant, spa, functioning roof garden, food hall, café, courtyard and concierge-style hotel suites.

Designed by Cooper Carey, the project was built by Baillie Harris Construction. The construction included a mass of his timber his components donated by Jimmy Rane, president and CEO of Great Southern Wood in Abbeville, Alabama (the building is named after Rane’s parents). named in). Students have the opportunity to train with leading chefs and hospitality professionals. Itaca Hospitality serves as commercial operator in partnership with the University of Human Sciences.

“Our mission as a land grant agency is to put practical knowledge into the hands of those who can use it, creating economic opportunity and improving the quality of our lives.” Rane Culinary Science Center We believe it will do just that,” said Auburn University President Christopher B. Roberts.

Click here for a virtual tour of the building.

Culinary Science Center Restaurant and Food Hall
The Culinary Science Center has a university-run restaurant and food hall.

The center blends academic and revenue-generating elements. The ground floor of the building focuses on culinary science. A fine dining restaurant called 1856 and Hey Day Market, a food hall with nine stalls, are located on this floor, and a two-story wine room stocks international wines.

One of the vendor stalls acts as an incubator where students can develop business concepts and launch startup operations.

The second and third floors of the building are focused on beverage experiences and include a wine appreciation learning center with 50 tasting tables, distillery classrooms, brew labs, expo kitchens, and collaboration spaces. The third floor houses several adaptive learning classrooms and a cooking lab with AV equipment to hone students’ skills in filming her F&B work for social media.

Expo kitchen at the Culinary Center
Top chefs serve as instructors in the Center’s Expo Kitchen.

Located on the top three floors, The Laurel Hotel & Spa features 16 rooms, 10 suites, 6 residences, spa, fitness studio, rooftop pool and yoga pavilion. Hotels teach students how to operate a hospitality facility. The 41,000-square-foot rooftop garden is designed and maintained by the Horticultural Department of Auburn University’s Faculty of Agriculture.

In assembling the design team, Cooper Carey drew on the expertise of the company’s Higher Education Studio, Hospitality Studio, Johnson Studio, Retail Studio and Science + Technology Studio. Cooper, who is also an Auburn University alumnus, worked on this project with several of his carry designers.