Niagara Gazette — Last summer, at least once a week, I walked by the construction site of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, impatiently charting the progress.
Finally, I began to see signs of life at the new Niagara County Community College location.
The Barnes and Nobles opened first, and that made me nearly giddy. Once inside, I learned my favorite retailer was providing a bookstore for the students, and not only sold school books and cooking uniforms, but a small selection of best sellers and cookbooks. Even better, the whole back of the store was filled with culinary items, such as upscale knives, wine glasses, tureens and salad bowls that could make really wonderful gifts for people like me to purchase as shower or wedding gifts. Or even a little something special for ourselves.
One chilly fall day, I was walking by the building, thinking about finding somewhere to buy soup and noticed the school had opened for classes. Happily for me, the sandwich shop in the lobby was also open for business.
There were a couple of students and a man with a chef’s hat behind the counter. I saw chicken soup listed on the overhead menu so I asked whether it was canned. Silly me. The man in the chef’s hat told me proudly that it had all been made from scratch, right down to the broth. I ordered a cup and took a sip. To this day, I can still recall the flavor of that soup, with fresh herbs and finely diced vegetables. It was divine.
I was very impressed. That day, I walked about the lovely two-story lobby, admiring its magnificent fountain, and its glass enclosed cooking classroom, along with the retail wine store and pastry/chocolate/ice cream shop just off the book store.
Then, I peeked inside at the new fine-dining restaurant, Savor, which was still under construction. It was lovely, with dark brown woods giving warmth to the ice blue colors and glass. I could see the nearly completed open kitchen, wood fired pizza oven. I noted the giant windows were actually glass doors, which could open to the street for patio dining in the summer.