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And … They’re Off! Kentucky Derby Provides Hospitality Training Ground

Pennsylvania College of Technology culinary students will be seeing more food than horses when they hit the ground running at the Kentucky Derby. One day’s menu alone calls for approximately 1,600 pounds of prime rib, 2,000 pounds of seafood salad, 600 pounds of potatoes, and a ton of asparagus.

For the seventh straight year, students and faculty from the college will be participating in the celebrated Louisville event. The magnitude of the Kentucky Derby and the volume of food the students will assist with make this a tremendous learning opportunity, says Paul Mach, assistant professor of food and hospitality management/culinary arts at the College.

“The students come away with good lifetime experiences and good job opportunities,” Mach said. “Anytime you can take somebody who wants to learn about a particular field and put them into a real-life situation and, in this case, an extremely important as well as famous life situation, it is invaluable. People come from all around the world to be at the Kentucky Derby and our students are part of that carnival-like atmosphere.”

This year, Mach and fellow assistant professor Fred Becker are taking 26 students to the event. They are invited by ARAMARK Inc., the official caterer of the festivities and one of the largest food management companies in the world.

The Penn College group departs Tuesday, April 27, and returns by Monday, May 3. Food will be served five consecutive days including the actual “Derby Day” Saturday, May 1.The students and faculty will work 15-hour days handling concessions on the infield track and producing formal meals in an enclosed trackside dining area where guests pay at least $250 for a meal.

Penn College students assigned to the infield track are: Katherine Bishop, Lebanon; Jeremy Bull, Wilkes Barre; Marlene Butters, Bloomsburg; Autumn Collins, Trout Run; Holly Faust, New Columbia; Jason Hopple, Jersey Shore; David Owens, Avis; Neal Palmer, Canton; Paul Rampulla, Williamsport; Chad Snyder, Muncy; Penny Shade, Mill Hall; Janelle Slothour, Aspers; Sumer Smith, Punxsutawney; Beth Young, Drums.

The trackside group will be: Kimberly Andrus, Williamsport; Thomas Barth, Lock Haven; Jason Blaski, Luzerne; Joyce Brown, Tioga; Rachel Brown, Breesport, N.Y.; Emilie Frye, Crofton, Md.; Thomas Kowalcyk, Bellefonte; Christopher Meyers, Glendale, Md.; Kimberly Nalitz, McMurray; Susanne Nash, Lewisburg; Amy Pryslopski, Sayre; Chris Timko, Annandale, Va.

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