News: Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts

‘French Favorites’ Bake Sale Set for Wednesday

The Advanced Patisserie Operations class will hold a “French Favorites” bake sale – the fourth of eight sales scheduled for the Spring 2015 semester – from 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday in Le Jeune Patissier at the Market (in the West Third Street hallway of the Carl Building Technologies Center). Student managers are baking and pastry arts majors Shannon E. Croney, of Lake Ariel; Rebecca L. Rizzo, of Palmyra; and Janell E. Gibbs, of Beach Lake. Join Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, and students for artisan breads, pastries and candies. A product list, including instructions for pre-ordering a specialty cake by Monday’s noon deadline, follows: French Favorites

Classmates’ Appetizer, Entrée Judged in ‘Mystery Basket’ Challenge

Team Pork Buttz enters the “field” of competition with confidence.

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.

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.

Team Grateful Bread carefully scores its classmates’ culinary creations.

The team’s entrée: spice-rubbed and smoke-fired rabbit with dumplings.

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

Penn College to Host Student Wedding Cake Competition

A winning entry from a previous wedding cake competition at Penn College. This year’s competition is scheduled for March 3, with the cakes to be displayed for the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Thompson Professional Development Center.

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.

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Video Follows Faculty Member’s Preparation for ‘World Cup’ Finals

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.”

Penn College Cook to Compete in Regional Competition

Cody J. Miller, head cook in Penn College’s Capitol Eatery, was selected to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Region Culinary Challenge sponsored by the National Association of College & University Food Services.

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.

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Penn College Makes Friends, Memories at State Farm Show
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Culinary arts and systems majors Brianna E. Bucklin (left), of Whitehall, and Victoria L. Zablocky, of Jersey Shore, serve vegetable-filled hush puppies and slaw to audience members.

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.

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Visiting Chef Dinner Features Luxury Resort’s Beverage Director

Brian McClure

The Spring 2015 edition of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Visiting Chef Series will feature Brian McClure, beverage director for The Greenbrier, widely regarded as one of the world’s finest luxury resorts.

Penn College’s Visiting Chef Series provides students pursuing associate and bachelor’s degrees in baking and pastry arts, culinary arts and hospitality management with an opportunity to work alongside renowned hospitality-industry professionals. As a culmination to the visit, the students produce a grand meal that raises money for scholarship funds. The Spring 2015 Visiting Chef Dinner will be held Feb. 27.

During the event, McClure will share his knowledge of wine with diners as they experience the elegant five-course meal prepared by students and faculty. While on campus, he will also speak to students in the Hospitality and Beverage Management Service and Controls course.

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Faculty Member Advances to Final Round of ‘Team USA’ Pastry Tryouts

And then there were three. Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II, an instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts at Penn College, will compete in Providence, Rhode Island, in March for a spot on the American team at the 2016 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie. The School of Business & Hospitality faculty member learned this weekend that he made the cut on the basis of a recent competition among seven bakers in North Carolina. The two-day, nine-hour final round to decide who will compete on Team USA in the Viennoiserie (breakfast pastry) category will be held March 5-7 at Johnson & Wales University. Watch PCToday after the holiday break for more on Team USA’s final round, which will help shape the three-person team that will represent America during the 2016 competition in France.

Faculty Member to Compete for Spot on Team USA of Baking

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts at Pennsylvania College of Technology, confers with students as they prepare desserts for a special event. Niedermyer is a candidate to join Team USA at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie – the World Cup of Baking – in 2016.

A member of the baking and pastry arts faculty at Pennsylvania College of Technology will compete this month to become a member of the team that will represent the United States at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie – sometimes called the World Cup of Baking – in France in 2016.

“Everybody tells me it’s an enormous amount of work and energy,” said Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, of State College, an instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. “But on the other side, you become so much better at your craft.”

Team USA is sponsored by the Bread Bakers Guild of America, for which Niedermyer has served as a volunteer for several years. Nine countries will be accepted to compete at the Coupe du Monde, held every four years. Team USA has an automatic bid to the competition based on its silver medal at the 2012 event.

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Centennial Recedes Into History, but Philanthropy Shines On
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A spectacular cake, literally "geared" toward the Centennial celebration, is just one of the eye-catching treats.

The Centennial Legacy Celebration, recognizing the donors who help further Penn College’s mission – and showcasing the talented students in the School of Business & Hospitality – was held Saturday evening in the Hager Lifelong Education Center. Invited guests enjoyed dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, bookended by appetizers and a Grand Pastry Buffet in the Keystone Dining Room. The phenomenal success of the Centennial-related Penn College Scholarship Campaign was noted by President Davie Jane Gilmour, who said more than $6.1 million has already been pledged … and more gifts are expected before a final total is announced in mid-January. “This additional scholarship support will help the college pursue its vision of being a national leader in applied technology education,” she told donors, “and it was only made possible thanks to your generous support and commitment to Penn College. The impact of your generosity is already being felt by students, as the (Penn College) Foundation has awarded  more than $600,000 in scholarships this academic year – a 150-percent increase from the start of the campaign!” Support came from many members of the college community, who donated to an existing scholarship or established one of the 71 new funds added over the past three and a half years. The broad-based demonstration of support involved 653 alumni, 439 employees and retirees, 598 friends of the college and 197 industry partners.

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‘Hospitality Day’ Satisfies High Schoolers’ Hunger for Career Ideas

High school students gather around to watch baking and pastry arts students form roses from rolled chocolate.

High school students gather around to watch baking and pastry arts students form roses from rolled chocolate.

Students from the college’s Cakes and Decorations course displayed their Penn College Centennial-themed cakes. This honorable mention cake was decorated by Marissa R. Dimoff, of Mount Union.

Students from the college’s Cakes and Decorations course displayed their Penn College Centennial-themed cakes. This honorable mention cake was decorated by Marissa R. Dimoff, of Mount Union.

Students in the Advanced Patisserie Operations displayed a decorative table filled with their advanced bread samples.

Students in the Advanced Patisserie Operations displayed a decorative table filled with their advanced bread samples.

Culinary arts and systems student Brianna R. Helmick, of Hershey, prepares a chicken stir fry for visitors.

Culinary arts and systems student Brianna R. Helmick, of Hershey, prepares a chicken stir fry for visitors.

The School of Business & Hospitality hosted 300 high school students on campus Friday for “Hospitality Day.” The students attended a demonstration by Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, toured hospitality facilities, a residence hall and other parts of campus, and visited the Thompson Professional Development Center, where Penn College students and faculty provided demonstrations and samples.

Culinary Arts Student Finishes 14th Among 45 Pros

While in Las Vegas, Felton visited a reception at the new restaurant of world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud, who autographed a copy of his book and posed for a photo with her.

In the World Seafood Championship, Pennsylvania College of Technology student Jessica N. Felton finished 14th among 45 competitors, just four spots from advancing to the Top 10 Round.

The World Seafood Championship was one of nine categories comprising 550 competitors in the World Food Championships, held in Las Vegas from Nov. 12-18. The champion of each of the nine categories faced off at the Final Table to determine the World Food Champion, who went home with $100,000.

Felton, of State College, is pursuing a degree in culinary arts and systems at Penn College. The college was presented with a “Golden Ticket” to the World Food Championships by Chef Ben Vaughn, host of a television show based on the championships, when he visited the college to share his knowledge with School of Business & Hospitality students. Felton was chosen to receive the Golden Ticket by winning a faculty-judged cook-off among other Penn College students.

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Gold Medalist Shares Ice-Carving Mastery With Students
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A gazelle seemingly prances through the courtyard.

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.

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‘Trade Show’ Hones Students’ Skills, From Products to Promotions

Theodore J. Persing’s marketing for “Succulent Sourdoughs” included an eye-catching bread basket.

Theodore J. Persing’s marketing for “Succulent Sourdoughs” included an eye-catching bread basket.

Daniel C. Frankenfield, left,  offers up a variety of cheesecake flavors, while Timothy L. Kuntz presented the concept for “Timothy’s Tarts” with samples of a sea salt caramel tart.

Daniel C. Frankenfield, left, offers up a variety of cheesecake flavors, while Timothy L. Kuntz presented the concept for “Timothy’s Tarts” with samples of a sea salt caramel tart.

Free samples of Diana N. Lindner’s cake pops ran out quickly.

Free samples of Diana N. Lindner’s cake pops ran out quickly.

Jennifer N. Markozanis joins a line of “vendors” in offering samples to the appreciative crowd.

Jennifer N. Markozanis joins a line of “vendors” in offering samples to the appreciative crowd.

Katie E. Arthur “sells” her “Babycakes” line of designer petit fours and cakes.

Katie E. Arthur “sells” her “Babycakes” line of designer petit fours and cakes.

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.

Culinary Duo Prepares Seasonal Treat in Live Broadcast

Student Daniel A. Horst and Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management and culinary arts, talk with "PA live!" co-host Dave Kuharchik.

Student Daniel A. Horst and Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management and culinary arts, talk with “PA live!” co-host Dave Kuharchik.

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.

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