Alumni Chef Returns to Work Alongside Students, Boost Scholarship Fund

Visiting Chef Kristi Ritchey, a 2002 Pennsylvania College of Technology culinary arts technology graduate and executive chef of Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop’s four Los Angeles-area restaurants, worked closely with students for three days to produce Friday’s Visiting Chef Dinner. The elegant dinner raises funds for scholarships and provides opportunities for students to work alongside top chefs.

– Photos by Jennifer A. Cline, writer/editor-One College Avenue

During a dinner prep session on Thursday, Chef Kristi Ritchey shows student Lewis D. Robinson how to cut romanesca for Friday’s menu.

During a dinner prep session on Thursday, Chef Kristi Ritchey shows student Lewis D. Robinson how to cut romanesca for Friday’s menu.

Ice sculptures, prepared by students in the Artistic Buffet Decoration course, greet diners.

Ice sculptures, prepared by students in the Artistic Buffet Decoration course, greet diners.

Set and ready for an evening of fine food

Set and ready for an evening of fine food

Ritchey reviews plating requirements with hospitality management/culinary arts faculty Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor, and Chef Paul Mach, assistant professor.

Ritchey reviews plating requirements with hospitality management/culinary arts faculty Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor, and Chef Paul Mach, assistant professor.

Ritchey answers questions from front- and back-of-house staff before guests arrive.

Ritchey answers questions from front- and back-of-house staff before guests arrive.

Student Victoria L. Zablocky dips duck-filled cannelloni in a heavy cream bath.

Student Victoria L. Zablocky dips duck-filled cannelloni in a heavy cream bath.

Ritchey briefs students on “harvesting” the micro-arugula – fresh from the college’s hydroculture garden – that will be used in the second course.

Ritchey briefs students on “harvesting” the micro-arugula – fresh from the college’s hydroculture garden – that will be used in the second course.

Students listen closely to the chef’s instructions.

Students listen closely to the chef’s instructions.

Ritchey offers instructions for plating the first course.

Ritchey offers instructions for plating the first course.

Patrick J. Kelly, of Muncy, adds cauliflower puree to the plate.

Patrick J. Kelly, of Muncy, adds cauliflower puree to the plate.

The first course - romanesca steak on truffled cauliflower puree with pomegranate seeds, garnished with pomegranate reduction

The first course – romanesca steak on truffled cauliflower puree with pomegranate seeds, garnished with pomegranate reduction

Baking and pastry arts student Elizabeth M. Hiller prepares dough for the bread course.

Baking and pastry arts student Elizabeth M. Hiller prepares dough for the bread course.

Student John A. Keefer places cannelloni in a pasta bowl.

Student John A. Keefer places cannelloni in a pasta bowl.

The second course, duck confit cannelloni wrapped in whole wheat pasta with baby arugula, Bellwether fromage blanc and caramelized onion jus.

The second course, duck confit cannelloni wrapped in whole wheat pasta with baby arugula, Bellwether fromage blanc and caramelized onion jus.

Logan M. Hawley-Ward adds slaw to the third course.

Logan M. Hawley-Ward adds slaw to the third course.

Kyle H. Abel tops butternut squash flan with slaw.

Kyle H. Abel tops butternut squash flan with slaw.

A bread course, freshly baked by baking and pastry arts students, includes lavash and mini baguettes.

A bread course, freshly baked by baking and pastry arts students, includes lavash and mini baguettes.

Ritchey coaches the students.

Ritchey coaches the students.

The third course: striped bass with agave roasted butternut squash flan, Brussels sprout chips, cipollini onion and hazelnut/brown butter emulsion.

The third course: striped bass with agave roasted butternut squash flan, Brussels sprout chips, cipollini onion and hazelnut/brown butter emulsion.

Students also gain experience in front-of-the-house operations.

Students also gain experience in front-of-the-house operations.

Cody M. Yonkin places the base for the fourth course.

Cody M. Yonkin places the base for the fourth course.

Benjamin A. King slices venison loin.

Benjamin A. King slices venison loin.

Teaming up – Ritchey listens to a point by her former instructor.

Teaming up – Ritchey listens to a point by her former instructor.

The fourth course: Venison loin with sunchoke creamed kale and pomegranate bordelaise sauce.

The fourth course: Venison loin with sunchoke creamed kale and pomegranate bordelaise sauce.

Dessert: Spiced persimmon almond cake with agave whipped mascarpone and kamut crumble.

Dessert: Spiced persimmon almond cake with agave whipped mascarpone and kamut crumble.

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