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Alumni to Prepare 20th Anniversary Visiting Chef Dinner

Dennis EckroteAndrew MasciangeloCelebrating the 20th anniversary of the Visiting Chef Series, Pennsylvania College of Technology will host four distinguished alumni of the School of Hospitality during its Feb. 2-4 event.

Alumni Dennis Eckrote, chef at Elizabeth’s: An American Bistro in Lewisburg; Andrew Masciangelo, executive chef at Savona in Gulph Mills; Errol Walters, executive chef at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club in Hummels Wharf; and Callie Chalmers, bakery manager for Weis Markets in Danville, will return to campus to work with students and direct production of an elegant benefit dinner, one of the first events to be held in the newly renovated Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

The series premiered in 1992 with a dinner featuring alumnus Richard Kimble of the Waldorf Astoria, and during the ensuing 20 years, the Visiting Chef Series has hosted a diverse group of notable chefs from across the nation, each passing on their unique perspectives and cooking styles as they share the kitchen with students.

Callie ChalmersErrol WaltersThe featured alumni carry on the tradition, bringing experience from award-winning Pennsylvania restaurants.

After graduating from the culinary arts technology major in 1997, Eckrote worked for Aramark Inc., one of the nation’s largest food-management companies. At Elizabeth’s, he oversees dinners and cooking classes. Elizabeth’s is one of the area’s most distinguished dining experiences, and the restaurant has garnered many awards, including the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine and the Santé Restaurant Award.

Masciangelo started his career at Savona soon after graduating from Penn College with his culinary arts technology degree in 1997. One of the most distinctive dining experiences in Pennsylvania, Savona has a four-diamond rating from AAA, is a Distinctive Restaurants of North America (DiRoNa) honoree, is Zagat-rated, and received an “excellent” rating (three bells) from The Philadelphia Inquirer. As chef at Savona, Masciangelo has enhanced his world-class cuisine by cultivating relationships with local farmers, allowing him to use the freshest ingredients available.

A 2002 graduate of the culinary arts technology program, Walters oversees the culinary operations at the historic Susquehanna Valley Country Club. In addition to offering a comprehensive menu of regional favorites in the clubhouse dining room, he and his staff provide the club members with exceptional dining opportunities through club social events and private parties. As a student, Walters was an assistant on the college’s award-winning television show, “You’re the Chef,” lending his culinary expertise to this successful program.

Chalmers graduated from the baking and pastry arts program in 2008. She also holds an associate degree in advertising art from Penn College. She has worked for Levy Restaurants, representing the school at two Kentucky Derby events and the 37th Ryder Cup in Louisville, Ky. She has exceptional artistic ability and is a talented baker.

The Visiting Chef Dinner will be held Feb. 4 in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. The public is invited to preview the revamped student-operated restaurant from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 2. The event will feature live music, complimentary tapas and a cash bar.

Tickets for the six-course Visiting Chef dinner, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 4, are $75. Net proceeds will be used for annual scholarship awards and endowed scholarship funds. To reserve seats, call the Special Events Office at Penn College at 570-320-5229 or e-mail .

The menu and wines for the Visiting Chef Series Dinner are:

First Course

Evangeline sweet potato bisque, rabbit confit, pear chutney, brioche crouton

Grovedale Winery, Riesling, 2008, Wyalusing, Pa.

Second Course

Olive-oil poached Florida grouper, winter squash caponata, pole-grown bouchot mussels, saffron citronette

Kunde Estate, Chardonnay, Reserve, 2004, Sonoma Valley, Calif.

Third Course

Organic capon ballotine, braised collard greens, bourbon jus

Wild Horse, Pinot Noir, 2006, Central Coast, Calif.

Fourth Course

Pecan-roasted Elysian Fields lamb, fresh goat cheese, chive spoon bread, young spinach, Pinot Noir sauce

Truchard, Zinfandel, 2004, Napa Valley, Calif.

Dessert Course

Lemon mille-feuille, frozen orange parfait, honey tuile

Coffee provided by Starbucks ACRS supervisor Shawn Sidey (culinary arts and hospitality management, 1996)

To learn about academic programs offered by the School of Hospitality at Penn College, visit on the Web or call 570-327-4505.

For general information about the college, visit online , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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