The best of the region’s autumn harvest met the best of the region’s culinary talents — including students, faculty, alumni and celebrity chefs — for a full menu of appetizers, entrees, desserts, and wine and beer tastings at SUNY Cobleskill’s 5th Annual Culinary Extravaganza on October 21.

A live fundraising drive during the Extravaganza raised more than $30,000, including a matching gift of $10,000, toward the purchase of a professional batch freezer for making ice cream, butter and yogurt, as well as a professional brewing system known as a “brew sculpture.” Sponsorships and ticket sales for the event grossed more than $23,000 for the College Foundation.

With the freezer, students in Culinary Arts and Dairy Science will be able to transform campus-produced milk into refined products for sale in our upcoming campus retail store, practicing technical production skills as well as product development, marketing and business principles. The freezer will also help SUNY Cobleskill increase the services offered to community partners through the Farm & Food Incubator.

The brew sculpture will be a crucial part of our upcoming Fermentation Science and Applied Fermentation programs, which will be among the most comprehensive in the nation.

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This year’s Extravaganza, moved to October for the first time, was co-chaired by American Hotel proprietors Doug Plummer and Garth Roberts.

“Supporting the College Foundation is a long-term investment in the future of our students, and the enormous asset that SUNY Cobleskill provides to our region,” said Mr. Roberts.

The Extravaganza is one of two major annual fundraisers for the Foundation. The event owes its success in large part to the talent and dedication of SUNY Cobleskill Culinary faculty members Rich Benninger, JoAnne Cloughly, Michael Lapi and David Yanisko, as well as all the hardworking Culinary Arts students who participated.

Anyone who was unable to attend or would like to extend their support, contributions can still be made by calling 518.255.5524 or online at www.cobleskill.edu/give.