Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain Visits SUNY Canton Alum’s ‘Gear Factory’ For New Web Series

Television personality, author and famed chef Anthony Bourdain traveled to Syracuse in December to film a metal artisan company working in a studio owned by SUNY Canton alumnus Rick Destito for a web series titled “Raw Craft.”

Bourdain and his crew spent a day filming Destito’s tenants, John Truex and Liz Seru, who are the owners of Borough Furnace, a small cast-iron skillet manufacturing business. The skillets are handmade by Truex in a 2,000-square-foot studio in Destito’s building, named the Gear Factory.

“Raw Craft” is a project Bourdain has embarked upon with Scottish whiskey distillers The Balvenie and focuses on highlighting craftsmanship in a multitude of art forms. Borough Furnace is the first episode in the series.


Destito, who graduated from SUNY Canton in 1998, purchased the Gear Factory (located in the city’s Near West Side) in 2005 and began renting spaces out to local artists. He said he now has 20 tenants, which include musicians, painters, sculptors and graphic designers. Truex and Seru have been working in the building since 2012.

“John and Liz have been wonderful to work with and are dedicated to constantly growing and improving their business,” Destito said. “My philosophy when purchasing the building was to create a space for people to feel comfortable so they can be successful.”

Rick Destito

Destito returned to SUNY Canton in 2013 and 2014 to speak to students about his vision to sustainably renovate the Gear Factory and the lessons he learned during the ambitious project. He said he hopes his efforts will inspire others to invest in the future of downtown Syracuse.

To learn more about the Gear Factory, visit http://thegearfactorysyr.com.


About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses, as well as ten exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.

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