News

13 August 2019

New Food Truck Is Innovative Teaching Tool on Campus

Photo of College officials cutting ribbon during ceremony for new food truck =

Left to right during a special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new SUNY Schenectady Mobile Food Service Classroom (Food Truck) on Aug. 13, 2019, are Dr. David Brough, Dean of the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism; Honorable Angelo Santabarbara, New York State Assemblyman; Joan Dembinski, Culinary Arts alumna ’09, ’10 (the food truck was fully funded by the SUNY Schenectady Foundation and a generous donation made by Dembinski); Ann Fleming Brown, Chair of the SUNY Schenectady Board of Trustees; Honorable Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature; Jonathan Pirro, Director of Policy for Senator James Tedisco; and Jamison R. Flora, Chair of the SUNY Schenectady County Community College Foundation. The College will offer a new Mobile Food Service certificate program for the first time at the College this fall. 

When students begin the new SUNY Schenectady Mobile Food Service Certificate program this fall, they won’t have to imagine what it will be like to prepare cuisine in a food truck; they will have a mobile food service classroom on wheels serving as a hands-on learning tool.

The new food truck made its debut on the SUNY Schenectady campus this summer as part of the College’s innovative new academic program. The new program was developed in response to the expanding food service industry and the growth in the hospitality and restaurant industry in the Capital Region and beyond. The 26-credit certificate program will provide students with the knowledge and skills to work in and/or operate a mobile food service operation. Students participating in the program will put their craft to the test in the state-of-the-art food truck, while working at events around the region.

Unlike most food trucks, the SUNY Schenectady food truck is designed in a way so that the students can learn about a variety of cuisine, cooking methods, and products. It is equipped with a sandwich/salad station, reach-in refrigerator and freezer, double fryer, six-burner stove with convection oven, double conveyor pizza oven, char broiler, griddle, three bay sink, and a hand sink. By changing the menu daily, students can learn about a variety of cuisine, cooking methods, and products.

Dr. Steady Moono, College President, noted that the food truck is an excellent way to connect students with the industry and the community. “Our new food truck is an extraordinary addition to our campus and it shines as an example of the ways in which we are providing our students with hands-on learning techniques that prepare them to enter the industry after they graduate from SUNY Schenectady,” Dr. Moono said. “Not only will they learn the essentials to become successful in mobile food service, but they will also be interacting with the public as the food truck travels to public events throughout the area.”

Photo of faculty and student chefs during ribbon cutting for new food truck

Faculty and students prepared delicious cuisine that guests enjoyed during a special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new SUNY Schenectady Mobile Food Service Classroom (Food Truck) on August 13, 2019. Left to right are: Michael Hazard, Technical Assistant; Marie Daly, Culinary Arts student; Ron Ragucci; Technical Specialist; and Vicky Gizzi and Lisa Riley, both recent graduates of the Culinary Arts program. The College will offer a new Mobile Food Service certificate program for the first time at the College this fall. 

Ann Fleming Brown, Chair of the Board of Trustees, applauded all those involved in making the food truck a reality on campus. “The food truck was fully funded by the SUNY Schenectady Foundation and a generous donation made by Culinary Arts alumna Joan Dembinski, ’09, ’10,” she said. “We are grateful for their generosity. How exciting for our students to have hands-on experience in a Food Truck Classroom!”

Dr. David Brough, Dean of the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism, explained how the equipment in the food truck has a distinct advantage for students. “Our new mobile food service classroom on wheels has a variety of equipment that will enable our students to learn how to prepare different cuisine on any given day so that they can take that that versatility with them into the industry,” he said. “We will be demonstrating to them the distinct nuances of this thriving industry, and market our College to the public in a very positive way.”

"SUNY Schenectady is constantly evolving to ensure that our students have the skills and opportunities they need to succeed in their chosen field, and the new Mobile Food Service Certificate program is a perfect example of that,” said Schenectady County Legislature Chairman Anthony Jasenski. “This new program, and the new state-of-the-art food service truck, will enable students to gain valuable hands-on experience needed to thrive in this rapidly growing field. We thank Dr. Moono and his team, the SUNY Schenectady Foundation, and the generous donors who made this opportunity possible for our students.”

More photos from the ribbon cutting ceremony. 



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