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Urban Explorer's Handbook 2006

A Friendly Chocolate Lab

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From the sidewalk, passersby can watch pies, cakes, breads and pastries being made in Johnson & Wales University's baking labs facing Trade Street. But the most interesting lab is the one that wraps the corner of Cedar and Trade. This is Sugar Rush Central, also known as the "Chocolate Lab."

The entrance to this classroom lab is directly across from the elevator on the second floor. During the days of chocolate, the air in the entire hallway is filled with the familiar sweet scent. Inside, the lab is equipped with marble-topped work stations. No oompa-loomas here. Instead, the stations are manned by white chef-coated sophomores eager to share the secrets of their very own "chocolate factory."

But this classroom is not the exclusive domain of chocolate. Other forms of sugar artistry are taught as well. Frequently, you will find students perfecting a rose for cake decorating or sculpting sugary caricatures of chefs on campus.

But it is the chocolate that is the draw, and being a JWU insider has its advantages. Typically, whenever I pass by the lab during the final days of a chocolate rotation, students -- and at times the chefs -- offer me a truffle or two to tide me over until I pass by the culinary labs on the third floor.

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