Chef Robert Lo Furno, a competitive ice carver, food service director for Aramark at the University of Delaware, and father of baking and pastry arts student Nicole C. Lo Furno, visited Pennsylvania College of Technology, where he and his wife, Monica – also an accomplished ice carver – spent Thursday in the courtyard outside the Keystone Dining Room working alongside School of Business & Hospitality students to share the tricks of the trade. Working well after dark, students in Chef Craig A. Cian’s Artistic Buffet Decoration course used the Lo Furnos’ specialty tools and lessons in technique to produce six ice sculptures that remain on display outside the dining hall’s atrium.
News: Business & Hospitality
Gold Medalist Shares Ice-Carving Mastery With Students
The Advanced Patisserie Operations course completed its Trade Show activity Wednesday. As part of the course, the students develop a product line or business concept and put their marketing lessons to work by creating and staffing a display that includes product packaging, menus or price lists, business cards and other marketing materials, as well as samples. Their innovations included gluten-free cookies, pretzel-bread croissants, and bialy rolls topped with onions and poppy seeds.
High school students from across the region spent most of Friday in Penn’s Inn, where the School of Business & Hospitality partnered with EconomicsPennsylvania to present the Entrepreneurship Challenge. Mark A. Ciavarella, assistant professor of business administration/management, along with Carolyn Shirk of EconomicsPennsylvania and Tim Keohane, of the Small Business Development Center at Lock Haven University, taught the students how to take their business ideas from a concept to a plan, coaching them in the basic elements of a viable business plan. EconomicsPennsylvania is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to ensure every young person in Pennsylvania understands the essential economic and financial literacy concepts.
Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management and culinary arts, assisted by Daniel A. Horst, a culinary arts and systems student from Harrisonburg, Virginia, appeared on WBRE-TV’s “PA live! Thursday afternoon. In segments with co-hosts Dave Kuharchik and Jasmine Brooks, they prepared Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.
Culinary arts and systems student Jessica N. Felton left Williamsport Regional Airport at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday to compete in the World Food Championships in Las Vegas. Felton earned a Golden Ticket to the event (presented to the college by championships host Chef Ben Vaughn) via a faculty-judged cooking contest against five other students. She will compete in the opening round of the World Seafood Championship on Friday against up to 50 other competitors, who have qualified by winning such prestigious contests as the Great American Seafood Cookoff. The opening round’s top scorers will move on to the World Seafood Championship Top Ten Round on Sunday, with the first-place winner competing for $100,000 against the winners of eight other World Food Championships categories on Tuesday, Nov. 18.
A paper by Chip D. Baumgardner, associate professor of business administration/management at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was selected for publication in an international conference journal.
Baumgardner presented his paper, “Using Cooperative Learning in the Changing Environment of Education,” at the 25th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning in Florida. Subsequently, the paper was chosen – along with just 11 others – for inclusion in “Selected Papers From the 25th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning.”
Pennsylvania College of Technology student Jessica N. Felton is packing her bags for the World Food Championships in downtown Las Vegas, where she will join hundreds of competitors in a six-day “ultimate food fight” that culminates with a $100,000 prize.
Felton, a State College resident in the college’s culinary arts and systems major, won the opportunity to compete at the championships after Chef Ben Vaughn, who hosts a television series based on the championships, visited Penn College in September and offered a Golden Ticket to the competition to one student.
Six Penn College students competed against one another in a faculty-judged cook-off to determine who would make the trip. Felton prevailed with her shrimp and grits dish.
The dish, inspired by her love of Southern cuisine and, particularly, the “low country” foods of South Carolina, consists of a base of creamy stone-ground grits with a roasted-tomato bacon gravy, butter-poached shrimp, pickled red onion and sweet pepper.
Students in the School of Business & Hospitality’s Catering course were busy behind the scenes at Penn State’s annual All-University Day football game on Saturday as the Nittany Lions faced the Maryland Terrapins. The class gained valuable experience and industry exposure as they assisted Chef Ken Stout and the rest of the catering crew from The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel to help prepare and serve food for the skyboxes in Beaver Stadium, the second-largest stadium in the nation. The Penn Stater offers Penn College’s Catering class several hands-on experiences alongside its staff, including a presidential tailgate at the Schreyer House (the official residence of the Penn State president); the annual conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, which is held at the Penn Stater each spring; and an event at the university’s new Pegula Ice Arena.
Photo by Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts
Acquiring an appreciation of basic floral-design principles – and colorfully applying those elements in their course work – students in Karen R. Ruhl’s Art of Floral Design class produced strikingly original and stunningly beautiful projects at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center this past week. Those whose craft is displayed here are culinary arts and systems majors Brianna E. Bucklin, of Whitehall, Alexander R. Campolongo, of State College, and Darren J. Layre, of Hatboro; Chris J. Troxell, of Summit Hill, enrolled in landscape/horticulture technology: landscape technology emphasis; and Brandy N. White, of Lewisburg, a landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis student.
Photos by Pamela A. Mix, secretary to the ESC executive director and assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies
Continuing a tradition of excellence, a team of Pennsylvania College of Technology business students cracked the Top 10 in an international business-simulation game, while another entered the Top 100 in two categories among competitors from colleges and universities around the world.
The Business Strategy Game is a total enterprise activity, through which each team manages a virtual athletic footwear company competing in a global marketplace. All participating teams are ranked weekly in four categories: overall game-to-date score, earnings per share, return on average equity and stock price.
There were close to 3,900 teams from 240 colleges and universities competing the week of Sept. 29-Oct. 5, when the Penn College teams first cracked the Top 100, and nearly 4,400 teams from 266 colleges participating the following week.
The School of Business & Hospitality’s Catering class made its annual visit Saturday to the Williamsport Growers Market, where they prepared a menu of free samples made from ingredients donated by market vendors. It is a valuable learning opportunity for Penn College students, as they interact with growers and work with fresh, local ingredients while practicing their skills at off-site catering. The class is taught by Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, and the “customer appreciation” visit to the market is coordinated with the help of Anne Nordell, of Beech Grove Farm and a member of the Williamsport Outdoor Growers Association.
New this semester, Le Jeune Chef Restaurant offers a 20-percent discount to Penn College students who’d like to enjoy “an education in fine dining.” The relaxing gourmet venue is operated by the School of Business & Hospitality and serves as a living laboratory for students in hospitality management, culinary arts, and baking and pastry arts majors. The restaurant is open to the public for lunch each weekday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and for dinner Wednesday to Saturday from 5:30-8 p.m. Lunch menus offer a choice of soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts, as well as specials developed by culinary-arts interns. Thursday night dinners are prepared by students in the Classical Cuisines of the World course, with each week featuring classically prepared fare from a different old-world region. Upcoming menus include Champagne, France; Alsace, France; The British Isles; and Northern Italy. On Wednesday and Friday evenings, the Regional American Cuisine class takes over, with menus that explore the cultural specialties of the U.S. Upcoming Regional American Cuisine dinners will feature Chesapeake Bay, the Heartland, Floribbean and New Orleans. Students may use flex dollars or declining-balance meal plans, as well as cash or credit. To view menus, visit the restaurant’s website. To make reservations, call 570-320-CHEF (570-320-2433).
Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s hospitality majors will cook and serve free samples to patrons of the Williamsport Growers Market on Saturday, Oct. 25.
The students will demonstrate their dishes – all made with ingredients donated by vendors at the market – and serve samples beginning at 8 a.m.
Students in the college’s Catering class visit the Growers Market every year as part of the market’s customer appreciation event. It provides a valuable learning opportunity, as the students practice planning a menu and ordering and organizing supplies for an off-site event, interacting directly with food producers while working with the freshest, most nutritious ingredients. All vendors at the Williamsport Growers Market must produce at least 80 percent of the products they sell.
Students in the Classical and Special Dessert Presentation course, taught by Todd M. Keeley, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, and Callie L. Proctor (’08), part-time instructor of baking and pastry arts, attended and prepared desserts for last week’s Evangelical Community Hospital’s Fourth Annual “Cookin’ Men” event. The benefit is an evening of fun, good spirits and culinary delights prepared by local male celebrities in support of the Lewisburg facility’s Thyra M. Humphreys Center for Breast Health. The event, held at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club in Selinsgrove, attracted nearly 400 guests and raised $23,000 toward the fight against breast cancer.
Photos by Brian D. Walton, coordinator of academic operations, School of Business & Hospitality
Jessica N. Felton, a culinary arts and systems major from State College, has won the right to represent Pennsylvania College of Technology at this year’s World Food Championships in Las Vegas. She was among six School of Business & Hospitality students who vied Monday night for a “Golden Ticket” to compete in the Nov. 12-18 event. The entry was granted by award-winning chef and television host Ben Vaughn, who visited campus earlier this month; the college will pay airfare and lodging. Other participants in the on-campus competition were culinary arts and systems majors Christopher S. Kasler, of Kendall Park, New Jersey; Zachary A. Knol, of Annville; and Victoria L. Zablocky, of Jersey Shore; and baking and pastry arts students Katlyn J. Hackling, of Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, and Victoria L. Kostecki, of Center Valley. Two flights of students, whose dishes were timed from prep to plate, were judged by faculty members under WFC guidelines and the school’s standards for sanitation and safety. Scores were tabulated in a variety of categories covering execution, appearance and taste, and the winner was announced at noon Tuesday in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.