Thirty-eight Pennsylvania College of Technology students have been selected to cook for thousands at the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2.
Known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” the tradition-steeped Kentucky Derby attracts more than 150,000 guests, including its fair share of celebrities.
At Churchill Downs, students will spend a week helping to mix, chop and cook thousands of pounds of ingredients that they’ll serve to guests in suites and luxury boxes throughout the facility, including The Mansion, a lavish, invitation-only venue.
Students are also assigned to the main kitchen, Jockey Club Suites, Turf Club Lounge, Finish Line Suites and the Plaza Balcony. In addition to cooking for the main event, several students will prepare food for “Dawn at the Downs,” a popular Louisville tradition that gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy breakfast in Millionaires Row while watching the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders conduct morning workouts.
Fennel bulbs and orzo pasta await preparation in this chef’s-eye look at the ingredients at hand.
Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, assisted by James E. Culp, a culinary arts technology major from Northumberland, prepared Toasted Orzo on WBRE-TV’s “PA Live!” on Wednesday for co-host Jasmine Brooks. Here’s the recipe to try at home: Toasted Orzo
A cake inspired by Frank Sinatra’s “Come Rain or Come Shine” took the top prize in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s annual cake competition. The theme for the March 3 contest was “Love Songs.”
The cake was designed by Kelsey L. Park, of State College, whose winning techniques included pulled-sugar roses, piped “cornelli lace,” hand-piped lettering and fondant piano keys. Park is enrolled in the baking and pastry arts major at Penn College.
Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II, during “World Cup of Baking” competition at Johnson & Wales University.
After a 15-month effort that culminated in last week’s final round in Providence, Rhode Island, Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II was not selected to compete at the 2016 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in France. The instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts and 2000 Penn College alumnus learned Thursday that he did not make the cut in the breakfast pastry category as a member of the three-person Team USA. “Penn College is an amazing place to work with amazing individuals in all departments. I would not have made it to the finals without the help I received,” the School of Business & Hospitality faculty member said. “Trying out for the team was an awesome experience from beginning to end. I was proud to wear Penn College on my chef jacket along the way.” Photo provided
The first course: fresh citrus salsa with spinach salad served in a crisp-angel-hair-and-Parmesan basket, with drops of pomegranate juice reduction.
The judging team, diligently meeting its responsibilities in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.
The team’s entree: pan-seared fresh trout, red quinoa and roasted sweet potato dice, topped with sauteed kale and leeks. The plate drizzle is scallion oil and an orange-and-teriyaki-sauce reduction.
A “photobombing” Moriarty fails to break Helmick’s concentration.
In Friday’s flip side of a recent Mystery Basket challenge, Team Grateful Bread took its turn preparing dishes to be judged by classmates in the Culinary Competition and Skills Assessment capstone course. The students were assigned to use fresh kale, scallions, crystallized ginger and angel hair pasta to create two courses for their peers, Team Pork Buttz, to taste and evaluate. Two mystery ingredients, fresh trout and pomegranate juice, were revealed at the last minute and were added into the creations. Comprising Team Grateful Bread are Elizabeth M. Ball, Brianna E. Bucklin, Brianna R. Helmick, Rachel A. Mertz, Bradley M. Moriarty and Ashley R. Post. Members of Team Pork Buttz are Kyle H. Abel, Alexander R. Campolongo, Jenna E. Haas, Patrick J. Kelly II, Darren J. Layre, Zachary A. Mausteller and Victoria L. Zablocky. First-year assistants are Spenser D. Baron and Arden F. Campbell. Photos by Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts
Penn College’s annual wedding cake competition and display Tuesday offered a look at the talents of students in a Cake Decorating II course taught by Chef Sue L. Mayer, assistant professor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. The competitors edibly expressed the theme “Love Songs,” with cakes representing memorable lyrics from several eras.
The School of Business & Hospitality welcomed three guests during the latest edition of its Visiting Chef Series last week. Brian McClure, beverage director of The Greenbriar, a luxury resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, worked with the school’s faculty to develop a menu that exemplified how wine can be paired with foods that are salty, sweet, sour, bitter or umami. He then visited the school last week to share his expertise with students and with guests at the Visiting Chef Dinner, where he introduced each course and its accompanying wine and circulated to speak with guests about the pairings. Also sharing their know-how with students were Laura Tornichio-Vidal, northeast territory sales manager for Guittard Chocolate (which donates all of the chocolate the school uses each year) and Amy Rosenfield, owner of Mon Aimee Chocolat, a retail specialty shop in Pittsburgh (and the regional distributor for Guittard). The pair offered two chocolate-tasting sessions to School of Business & Hospitality students and employees, helping them to discern flavors and textures in chocolate and how they might be paired with other flavors. The five-course Visiting Chef Series dinner on Friday, prepared and served by students and faculty, raised funds for student scholarships.
Caleb G. Schirmer, of Sugarloaf, a technology management major at Pennsylvania College of Technology, has been chosen as the February Student of the Month.
Schirmer, who earned an associate degree in landscape/horticulture technology: landscape emphasis in 2014, is president of the Off-Campus Housing Organization and secretary of Students Making a Contribution.
He is also a member of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), a Student Government Association senator from the School of Business & Hospitality, and an English tutor in Penn College’s Writing Center. He supports a number of additional student organizations, including the Horticulture Club and Penn College Benefiting THON.
A new concentration in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s suite of business administration majors is designed to help prepare those who seek a management career in the sports or events industries.
The bachelor’s degree in business administration: sport and event management concentration is built around a strong business core, providing students with an extensive background in the areas of marketing, finance, accounting, human resources and management, accompanied by a detailed focus on both sport and event activities.
“This is a big growth area in industry,” said Chip D. Baumgardner, associate professor of business administration/management at Penn College.
Team Pork Buttz enters the “field” of competition with confidence.
Inspired by a list of required ingredients, students produce house-made ricotta cheese quenelle with citrus salad atop a cauliflower and cheese crust.
Team Grateful Bread carefully scores its classmates’ culinary creations.
The team’s entrée: spice-rubbed and smoke-fired rabbit with dumplings.
Senior-level students in the culinary arts and systems major completed their first Mystery Basket challenge of the semester on Friday as part of their coursework in Culinary Competition and Skills Assessment, a capstone class taught by Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts. Half the class – known as Team Pork Buttz – was tasked with using not only a list of required “market basket” ingredients, but also a pair of “mystery ingredients” revealed the morning of the competition, to create two courses to be judged by their classmates, known as Team Grateful Bread. Using the required ingredients (dill pickle, juniper berries, elbow macaroni and cauliflower) plus the “mystery” ingredients of fresh, whole rabbit and Guinness beer, Team Pork Buttz produced an appetizer course of house-made ricotta cheese quenelle with citrus salad on top of a cauliflower and cheese crust, plus an entrée of spice-rubbed and smoke-fired rabbit with dumplings and Guinness/juniper berry with hint of chocolate reduction. The timed contests follow American Culinary Federation competition standards. Photos by Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts
Students in hospitality majors at Pennsylvania College of Technology will display their wedding cake creations on March 3 in the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center.
This year’s theme for the cakes is “Love Songs.”
The students spend weeks decorating their fondant-covered cakes for a competition that will be judged by industry professionals. Following judging, the cake display is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Professional Development Center’s Mountain Laurel Room.
A new addition to Penn College’s YouTube Channel focuses on Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II, an instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, a finalist to represent the United States at the 2016 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (the “World Cup of Bread Baking”). He will compete in Rhode Island against two other talented chefs the first weekend in March to determine who will be Team USA’s breakfast pastry specialist during next year’s international event in Paris. While the competition brings distinction to Niedermyer and his colleagues in the School of Business & Hospitality, his preparation has proved inspirational for students. “I’ve been bringing in new flavors and new techniques to class,” the 2000 alumnus says. “It’s allowed me to be a good example to them about if you want to pursue something, you go for it. It’s in perfect harmony with class.”
A head cook in one of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s most popular dining venues was selected as one of 10 participants in the National Association of College & University Food Services Mid-Atlantic Region Culinary Challenge.
Cody J. Miller, a 2012 graduate of the college with a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and systems, will compete against chefs from college campuses across the region on March 8, during NACUFS’s Mid-Atlantic Region annual conference.
Penn College’s exciting two- and four-year majors were on display throughout the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg (Jan. 10-17), where representatives of the Admissions Office and the college’s six academic schools entertained, educated – and even fed – the throng attending the traditional agricultural expo.