School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Culinary Innovation Lab

The Culinary Innovation Lab at USF's Sarasota-Manatee campus is a state-of-the-art teaching facility that serves as a culinary home for the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the USF Muma College of Business. The lab provides a fully-equipped teaching center for students in the Hospitality Management program, as well as an inviting venue for signature USF Sarasota-Manatee events, both public and private.

The Culinary Innovation Lab is a turn-key, hands-on facility that is fully equipped as a hub for sharing food and beverage industry knowledge and information. Part of the growing School of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, it connects USF and the community in the art and science of food preparation and delivery, through cooking demonstrations, catering of signature university events and custom designed classes. It is a laboratory for innovation and learning, including food sustainability and resource research.


  • Education of students
    To be good restaurant managers, students must master the “back of the house” skills that put theory into practice in a successful business operation. Hospitality Management students who take classes at the facility are exposed to a real food and beverage environment emphasizing a business and industry leadership perspective.
  • Hands-On Experience
    This designated space allows hospitality students to cater special events. In the future, on a limited basis, they will also participate in custom designed cooking classes and the planning and execution of special events for the community.
  • A gateway setting
    The Culinary Innovation Lab is the perfect setting and location for community outreach. The larger community can engage with students and faculty and learn more about dynamic School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. The space is available for use by community partners for select events and food and wine gatherings.


  • Food production strategies
  • Recipe execution
  • Menu development
  • Flavor profiling
  • Wine tasting
  • Event planning
  • Sanitation strategies
  • The restaurant purchasing cycle
  • Staff and employee management, etc.

Courses are taught by USF faculty and guest chefs from around the world, including the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management’s global exchange students from Taiwan, Germany, Brazil, France, Italy, etc.

Previously, the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management used Publix’s Aprons cooking school and the Manatee Technical Institute kitchen facilities for its intro to Food Prep class. With enrollment growing past 200 in the Hospitality Management program, there was a need for hospitality management majors to have regular access to a culinary space where they could learn restaurant management, event management and how to “cook, analyze and execute” a successful operation. The culinary center is equipped with a state-of-the-art A/V recording system that will enhance the overall learning experience for students.


Culinary Innovation Lab
8130 Lakewood Main street
Unit D104
Lakewood Ranch, FL  34202
Phone: 941-388-8977

For event space inquiry and rental information, please contact: