A column by Maury Thompson about economic development, business and quality of life in Warren County
SUNY Adirondack opens new culinary center
Kameron Robinson eventually wants to be a food and beverage manager at a hotel or country club.
But first he wants to gain diverse culinary experience.
"I want to travel the world and learn different techniques," he said.
Robinson is one of the students at the new SUNY Adirondack Culinary Center which opened this fall at the 14 Hudson mixed-use complex in downtown Glens Falls, next to Glens Falls Hospital.
"It's just amazing. ... I feel like I'm in a five-star kitchen," Robinson said.
The culinary center is the first completed project in the city's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, supported with $10 million in state funding.
This new culinary center is "really the beginning of a new connectivity" between downtown Glens Falls and SUNY Adirondack on Bay Road in Queensbury.
"We are grateful for the continued support and commitment by Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development Corp, NYS Department of State, Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman Stec for funding this project and other forthcoming Downtown Revitalization Projects," said EDC Warren County President Edward Bartholomew, at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 26.
Additional projects are in the preliminary process at this time.
More than 150 people attended the ceremony, showing an indication of community enthusiasm.
"I can't even believe what I am seeing out here," said SUNY Adirondack President Kris Duffy, referring to the turnout. "This is just the best."
The center includes a state-of-the-art commercial teaching kitchen, a dedicated gluten-free food preparation area, a classroom and "Seasoned," a student-run, full-service restaurant.
Duffy said the center has a dual education and economic development focus, as it will train the workforce for hotels and restaurants essential to the region's tourism economy.
"We have been and will continue to be the community's college," she said.
Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bittel said he is excited the center will be using locally-grown and locally-raised products.
Michael Yevoli, Capital Region director for Empire State Development Corp., said the culinary center meets all four criteria for a model economic development project.
It trains workforce, supports new wages, enhances the unique character of a place, and fosters innovative public-private collaboration.
Dave Buicko, president of Galesi Group, announced a $75,000 contribution toward equipment costs from his company and Bonacio Construction, owners of the 14 Hudson complex and landlords to the culinary center.
Other contributors are: Brett Lange of Christie's On the Lake, Hannaford Charitable Foundation, Price Chopper's Golub Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, The Sagamore Resort, Saratoga Casino Hotel, and Driscoll Foods.
Sarah Wilson, a culinary student from South Glens Falls, said having a separate classroom will be more efficient.
At the former culinary center in Queensbury, students had to take down tables and set up for class after each meal serving, she said.
Wilson, who is studying for a career in baking, said she has learned a lot about mixing methods and textures for making bread and rolls.
Robinson said he has learned how to improve his communication skills when working at carving stations or doing cooking demonstrations.
"I'm much better at talking to people," he said.
Robinson, of Genesee County, said he wanted to attend college in an area with hiking and scenery.
He was impressed when he visited SUNY Adirondack and met the culinary faculty.
"I knew ... this is where I wanted to be," he said.
In other Warren County economic development, business and quality of life news:
"Seasoned," the student-run restaurant at the new SUNY Adirondack Culinary Center at the 14 Hudson complex in downtown Glens Falls will host the annual Warren County Historical Society gala at 6 p.m. Oct. 25.
The event will feature Hawaiian cuisine and entertainment in honor of Glens Falls native son Charles Reed Bishop.
Cost is $65 per person.
Tickets can be purchased at Warren County Historical Society at 50 Gurney Lane in Queensbury from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Call (518) 743-0734 for information.
Henry Crandall Award
Mark Behan of Behan Communications in Glens Falls received the Henry Crandall Award for philanthropy and community leadership Sept. 28 at the annual Crandall Public Library gala.
Behan is a former long-time EDC Warren County board member.
A Glens Falls manufacturer was tried by fire a century ago, and remains a vibrant Warren County employer today.
reported on Sept. 21, 1918 that a fire completely gutted the main building of the Ames Chemical Corp.
"Residents in the apartment building at 10 ½ Sherman Avenue discovered the fire at about 1:15 and sent in a general alarm to the fire department," The Post-Star reported. "Within a few minutes, two lines of hose were playing on the burning building, but the flames had gained such headway that, although they were brought under control in quick time, nothing could be saved but the walls of the structure."
The fire, believed to be caused by spontaneous combustion, resulted in $10,000 in losses - the equivalent of $162,600 in 2018 dollars - which were covered by insurance.
At the time, the company was working on several federal government war time contracts, using silver nitrate and gold chloride.
The company is now known as Ames Goldsmith Corp.
Maury Thompson covered the region for
The Post-Star for 21 years before retiring in September 2017. He keeps his finger on the pulse of economic development, business and quality of life in Warren County by writing an occasional column for EDC Warren County.