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Baking and Pastry Instructor Takes Prize at Bread Contest

Chef Charles R. NiedermyerA baking and pastry arts instructor at Pennsylvania College of Technology was awarded a Judge’s Prize in the second annual America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest, sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board.

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, was one of 30 finalists selected from across the country to compete in the contest, hosted by the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kan.

Niedermyer was named co-winner of the Judges Prize in the artisan category for his Dueling Raisins Bread, which features sun-dried and golden raisins, fresh lemon and vanilla bean. Grand Prize winner in the category was Larry Lobe, of Dawn Food Products, Phoenix. The other Judges Prize-winning recipe was created by Mitch Stamm of Johnson & Wales University, Providence, R.I. Two “Ideas Prizes” were also awarded in the category.

A total of 12 winners from the artisan category, the commercial category and two student categories were chosen to participate in an all-expense-paid visit to California to experience the growing areas and production of California raisins and enjoy California cuisine and wines at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena.

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer's award-winning Dueling Raisins Bread.Each baker was required to prepare and present his or her raisin bread to a panel of judges. Presentations included the origin of the product idea, why various ingredients were chosen, why a product was given a particular name, and for what price the product either currently sells or is expected to sell.

The artisan judges included Ciril Hitz, department chairman for baking and pastry at Johnson & Wales University; Klaus Tenbergen, certified master baker and professor of culinology at California State University, Fresno; and Dominique Homo, president of L’Ecole du Pain, Montreal. Homo recently visited the baking and pastry arts classes at Penn College to conduct a workshop with students.

The California Raisin Marketing Board will publish a book containing the 12 winning formulas. The formula book will be available to any interested baker.

Niedermyer, of State College, is a 2000 graduate of Penn College. He joined the faculty in 2005. His nine years of professional experience includes positions at The Pennsylvania State University Bakery; The Gamble Mill Restaurant; The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in Tysons Corner (McLean, Va.), and Amelia Island, Fla.; and The River Club in Jacksonville, Fla.

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

For information about Penn College, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Photos provided by the California Raisin Marketing Board

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