The Coltivare Culinary Center is the hub for all of the hospitality programs that are offered by Tompkins Cortland Community College. The culinary center has a full bar, restaurant and event space open to the public Tuesday thru Sunday. The bar, restaurant and event space are staffed by paid professionals, however our students gain real world experience by having classes that requires them to work in every position in the restaurant and event space to offer them an advantage upon graduation. We have students that grow our food, prepare our food, and serve our food. If you are a supporter of local food systems and higher education, then you’ve come to the right place! We look forward to seeing you soon!
Director of Operations
Jason Sidle was born and raised in Ithaca, NY, and is an alum of Tompkins Cortland Community College. He also earned his Bachelor's Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and later completed his MBA. Jason has been on the Coltivare team since its opening, initially as the General Manager, he was later promoted as the Director of Operations. Jason is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor teaching the classes that require the students to participate in daily restaurant operations. Being a native Ithacan, it is important to Jason that Coltivare maintains a connection to education, local sustainability, and the local community.
Chef Patrick Blackman is deeply committed to utilizing the plentiful ingredients that can be found on farms around Tompkins County. He brings this enthusiasm for cooking with local ingredients, and an appreciation for the communities that grow and enjoy them. Blackman was recently recognized as a “Business Leader of the Year” winner as part of the Tompkins Connect 6th Annual Fab5 Young Professional Awards for his dedication that allowed him to rise from a line cook at Coltivare to adjunct faculty and to Executive Chef.
Peter Charles Corwin
"I started cooking with my grandmother when I was four years old. She instilled in me a love for simple home cuisine that I still strive to bring to the public. I believe that everyone loves to have that feeling of a home-cooked meal that not only sustains the body but also the spirit. I worked at Beverly's in Saratoga NY, a breakfast and lunch mainstay for over 30 years. I also worked at John Thomas Steakhouse in Ithaca NY, learning about the dry aging of steaks. I am here to pass the knowledge and skills I have learned, on to the students and staff at Coltivare."
Kari Ray brings 15+ years of event, hospitality and marketing know-how to the team at Coltivare. Having lived and worked in several foreign countries, Kari has a world of experience. She has the wonderful ability to create events that complement the client's goals and exceed the guests' expectations.
Assistant Professor & Chair Culinary Arts
As Chair of the Culinary Arts program at TC3, I work to support students on their path to becoming professionals in the industry. I take very seriously the responsibility of giving students the right building blocks they will need to be successful. Culinary arts is not just a career; it is a language, a science, an art, and comes with social responsibility to our community and food system. I joined the Coltivare team after moving to Ithaca with my spouse and daughter. Previous to that I owned and operated a farm-to-table catering company in Gainesville, Florida, and worked as an executive chef in a handful of restaurants geared towards sustainability and local sourcing. My training at the New England Culinary Institute gave me the needed tools to navigate the food world. I have a passion for local food stems that stems from my studies in plant and soil sciences at the University of Vermont and the University of Florida. When I learned about Coltivare and the Farm to Bistro program at TC3, I instantly knew I wanted to be involved. One of my signature professional opportunities as a chef was being at the forefront of a regional farm-to-table movement in central Florida and making a meaningful contribution.
Chair of Hotel & Restaurant Management, Chair of Business Administration and International Business
Sue Stafford is the farmer’s daughter of the Coltivare team. Sue learned how to appreciate great food and hospitality through her years alongside her mother, who introduced her to her love for cooking, entertaining, and traveling. A graduate of Niagara University’s Hospitality Program, Sue has an extensive history working in the industry, from hotel and catering operations, to organizational consulting, and inspection of luxury independent hotels for Conde’ Nast Johansen’s. For the past 19 years, Sue has enjoyed working in education, teaching and then leading the hospitality programming at Tompkins Cortland CC, and attending Elmira College for a Master’s in Adult Education. She has served on Tompkins County Tourism Board and is active with the College’s Global Initiatives Committee, and is the college Study Abroad Faculty Liaison. She has travelled numerous times to Italy with students for short term study abroad Culture and Cuisine coursework via our university partner in Tuscany . She has been part of Coltivare since it was just an idea!