Students Explore Culinary Venues in Pittsburgh

Posted on 2/7/2017 10:46:13 AM

Baking and Pastry Arts students and faculty from the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh

Baking and Pastry Arts students and faculty from the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts recently traveled to the steel city to enjoy a day of learning outside the traditional kitchen classroom.

Meandering through the streets of one of Pittsburgh’s cultural areas known as the Strip District, students began their field trip admiring a vast array of sweet and savory ingredients and foods available in the many retail outlets and restaurants in the area. International grocery stores, artisan bakeries, and specialty chocolate stores were among the locations the students visited. Several students even headed for the original Primanti Brothers, where they devoured what they described as the “best breakfast sandwich in the world.”

A few blocks away, the group enjoyed a catered lunch at the David L. Lawrence ConventionCenter, where alumna and executive chef Dominique Metcalfe, ’93 and her team prepared and served gourmet pizzas and sliders in the banquet kitchen. 

After lunch, the students were taken on a guided tour through the 1.5-million-square-foot convention center building by Chef Metcalfe, who has been with Levy Restaurants (the restaurant company that manages the food service operations at the convention center) since it opened in 2003. 

Chef pointed out many of the building’s environmental features and explained how she and her culinary team have contributed toward the convention center earning Gold and Platinum certifications by the U.S. Green Building Counsel.

A highlight of the tour was walking through the Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom, the largest ballroom in Pittsburgh. The ballroom encompasses over 31,000 square feet and, when full for a banquet, Chef Metcalf and her team prepare and serve 2,200 appetizers, entrees, and desserts! 

The tour concluded with a rooftop visit to Chef Metcalf’s herb garden, and an opportunity to take in spectacular city views overlooking the Allegheny River.