Nearly 40 Pennsylvania College of Technology students have been selected to cook for thousands at the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May.
The Kentucky Derby, known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” is set to celebrate its 140th running this spring. Steeped in tradition, the event attracts more than 150,000 guests, including its fair share of celebrities.
At Churchill Downs, students will prepare foods for guests in suites and luxury boxes throughout the facility, including The Mansion, a lavish, invitation-only venue added to the facility last year.
Students are also assigned to the main kitchen, Jockey Club Suites, Turf Club Lounge, Finish Line Suites and the Plaza Balcony. In the days leading up to the May 3 Derby, in addition to preparing thousands of pounds of ingredients 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.
Representatives of Levy Restaurants, which provides food service at Churchill Downs and sports and entertainment venues throughout the country, visited campus in February to interview student applicants.
The students will be accompanied by Penn College faculty members Chef Paul Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, and Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts.
Students working at the derby and their majors are:
Baking and pastry arts (associate degree)
Rachel C. Bryant, of Wellsboro; Ching Chan, of Milton; Marci L. Cohen, of Clarks Summit; Katlyn J. Hackling, of Lake Hiawatha, N.J.; Briana L. Klingler, of Port Matilda; Taylor A. Reed, of Shamokin; and Hanna A. Thompson-Hill, of Millheim.
Culinary arts technology (associate degree)
Abbie R. Linden, of State College; Kelly E. Renk, of Cogan Station; Carly R. Sherwood, of Meshoppen; Samuel Jordan Stammer, of Ithaca, N.Y.; Jessica M. Warr, of Beech Creek; and Katelynn M. Watson, of Milton.
Culinary arts and systems (bachelor’s degree)
Elizabeth M. Ball, of Phoenixville; Brianna E. Bucklin, of Whitehall; Amy M. Decker, of Halifax; Jessica N. Felton, of State College; Wyatt F. Fink, of Cogan Station; Jenna E. Haas, of Lancaster; Brianna Rene Helmick, of Hershey; Patrick J. Kelly, of Muncy; Benjamin A. King, of Elizabethtown; Darren J. Layre, of Hatboro; Hannah E. Marquis, of Olney, Md.; Alissa R. Martz, of Danville; Rachel A. Mertz, of Paxinos; Alyssa J. Morales, of Reading; Ashley R. Post, of Orwigsburg; Tyler K. Pratt, of Avondale; Kendra J. Riggle, of Montoursville; Lewis D. Robinson, of Bellefonte; Dallas A. Tyree, of Stillwater; and Victoria L. Zablocky, of Jersey Shore.
Hospitality management (associate degree)
Eileen N. Harrington, of Springfield, Va.; and Molly J. Lorenz, of McAlisterville.
Technology management (bachelor’s degree)
Danica C. Mazzotta, of Tyrone; and Alisha M. Miley, of State College.