“All over the world, we are known for our culture and cuisine. This didn’t happen by accident," Governor Jindal said. "Our ancestors are a mix of different cultures and backgrounds that meshed to create our distinctive way of life and cuisine. We are a gumbo, if you will. It’s a diversity and distinction that we celebrate every day and that people travel from all over the world to experience. It’s a heritage that we must preserve, and we can do this by giving our children and grandchildren the opportunity to learn about it.
“The culinary institute here at Nicholls helps us reach that goal. This new facility will help us in our mission to teach future generations about the art of Cajun and Creole cooking, and at the same time, it will also give students the tools to find job opportunities in the hospitality industry. The institute also benefits companies within the hospitality industry who need a pipeline of skilled workers to fill jobs. These are all reasons why we committed over $8 million to build this new facility and ensure that our sons and daughters have a place to come and carry on the rich culinary heritage that our ancestors started here in Louisiana.”
The new building will feature four teaching kitchens, a demonstration kitchen for outreach and broadcast learning, a bistro style restaurant with two dining rooms and a full service kitchen. It will also include a cultural research center, student services, administration and faculty office areas, classrooms, and a commissary that includes dry storage, coolers and freezers.
The site will include visitor parking for 40 cars, 15 faculty parking spaces and approximately 140 student parking spaces. There will also be herb gardens that students can use to prepare dishes.
The total project cost is $12.6 million, of which $8.1 million was committed by the state and the remaining $4.5 million will be supported by Nicholls State University.
Since 2008, the Jindal administration has supported more than $700 million in critical higher education infrastructure investments across Louisiana, including almost $20 million at Nicholls State University.