See inside TCL culinary school opening fall 2021 in Bluffton

After nearly an hour-long circuit, the VIP tour of the Culinary Institute of the South, set to open this fall, landed back on the first floor in space that will house the future Technical College of the Lowcountry’s Foodseum in Buckwalter Place Commerce Park in Bluffton.

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The exterior of Technical College of the Lowcountry’s Culinary Institute of the South as seen on Thursday, June 3, 2021, in Bluffton. Drew Martin dmartin@islandpacket.com

New drawings showed the basic style of the space, with interactive screens, half walls with quizzes to test people’s food skills, and a large wooden table.

One thing that has been nailed down is funding thanks to the help of state hospitality tax dollars, according to Leigh Copeland, assistant vice president of marketing and public relations at TCL.

Copeland says they are setting the bar high for this space.

“The Foodseum will be an attraction itself,” Copeland said.

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A rendering released on Thursday, June 3, 2021, shows the Foodseum that is a part of the Technical College of the Lowcountry’s Culinary Institute of the South. TCL

The thoughts are that, while students are learning culinary and hospitality skills, the Foodseum will be educating visitors.

While it hasn’t been found, the centerpiece of the space will be a Southern-style farm table.

Half walls in the food museum will inform visitors about Southern cuisine, an interactive digital food growth map will show people where Southern food originates, and another display will tell the history of food dishes such as shrimp and grits.

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A rendering released on Thursday, June 3, 2021, shows the Foodseum that is a part of the Technical College of the Lowcountry’s Culinary Institute of the South. TCL

Barn doors can be opened to reveal expansive picture windows that allow visitors to peer into the kitchen as students prepare meals for the cafe.

A space along one wall will feature a culinary student and a recipe visitors can take home to cook.

Visitors also will be able to share their own experiences. Copeland describes it as similar to a photo booth but more connected to the digital world.

Guests will be able to video record their food experience and post it directly to social media.

Cooking artifacts — being acquired by Chef Miles Huff, the dean of the culinary school — will grace one area of the Foodseum.

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A rendering released on Thursday, June 3, 2021, shows the Foodseum that is a part of the Technical College of the Lowcountry’s Culinary Institute of the South. TCL

Huff said it’s fairly normal for a culinary school to have a cafe run by students, an amphitheater for cooking demos and cooking classrooms, but the Foodseum is unique and expected to be a big draw.

“This (Foodseum) sets it apart from any other thing.” Huff said about the space.

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Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette visuals editor Drew Martin has been in the media industry for more than 25 years in visual storytelling. He has disseminated news using a variety of storytelling methods, including the use of info-graphics, photography, animation and video.
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