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Making a difference with every dish

Chef Robert Wood, '17, stands in the dining room of Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, a "community restaurant" in Toms River, N.J., where he is executive chef.
Chef Robert Wood, ’17, stands in the dining room of Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, a “community restaurant” in Toms River, N.J., where he is executive chef.
The Soul Kitchen's manifesto is communicated clearly on its wall. Portions seen here.
The Soul Kitchen’s manifesto is communicated clearly on its wall. Portions seen here.
Wood and Soul Kitchen volunteers strive to provide wholesome food to clients, about half of whom pay for their meal.
Wood and Soul Kitchen volunteers strive to provide wholesome food to clients, about half of whom pay for their meal.
Wood, one of the restaurant's three paid staff members, preps in the Soul Kitchen's restaurant.
Wood, one of the restaurant’s three paid staff members, preps in the Soul Kitchen’s restaurant.

From the Spring 2020 Penn College Magazine: Rob Wood, ’17, is executive chef for the restaurant of a literal rock star. But it’s his clients who inspire him. Read “Making a difference with every dish.”

2 days ago
Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business, Arts & Sciences Students

Penn College shortens path to culinary careers

Pennsylvania College of Technology has added a certificate in culinary applications – which can be completed in 12 months – to its American Culinary Federation-accredited offerings. It also revised its associate degree in culinary arts technology so that it can be completed in three semesters instead of four.

Future chefs can receive an industry-respected, hands-on education in a shorter amount of time at Pennsylvania College of Technology through a new 12-month certificate in culinary applications and a revision to its associate degree in culinary arts technology that makes a degree obtainable in 16 months.

The streamlined majors allow students to enter the restaurant and food service workforce more quickly, fulfilling the demand of industry for real-world-ready culinarians, and to incur lower financial cost in pursuit of an education.

Both majors provide a robust yet compact education with extensive hands-on learning and up-to-date curriculum to meet industry needs, helping to ensure students will land jobs.

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June 8, 2020
Alumni Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Faculty & Staff

Faculty member shares foresight with Bake magazine

Chef Charles R. NiedermyerChef Charles R. Niedermyer II, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, was interviewed for the cover story in the March/April issue of Bake magazine. A two-time Penn College alumnus and a faculty member since 2005, Niedermyer was among the professionals assessing what the future holds for desserts and pastries. As patrons become increasingly discerning, he said in “Flavor Inspirations,” retail bakers need to adjust. “The key is knowing your customers, the products and services that are most important to them, and staying true to your niche,” said Niedermyer, recognized by the publication in November 2018 as one of the nation’s top 25 industry leaders. “We can’t be all things, to all customers, that walk in our doors.” The article is provided here: Bake magazine

April 8, 2020
Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Faculty & Staff General Information Students

Le Jeune Chef’s signature Chocolate Soup

It’s rich. It’s creamy. It’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant’s signature Chocolate Soup. If you’ve visited the casual fine dining restaurant on Penn College’s main campus, you’ve probably tasted this craveable masterpiece. Join Chef Chris Grove and Claudia Walling, a baking and pastry arts student from Williamsport, to learn how easy it is to bring home this crowd favorite.

February 26, 2020
Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Events

Facchini, acclaimed in U.S. and Italy, to lead Visiting Chef dinner

Chef Fabrizio Facchini

Set for April 3, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s annual Visiting Chef dinner will feature Chef Fabrizio Facchini, who has gained acclaim in both Italy and the United States.

A brand ambassador for Urbani Truffles and a champion for “slow food,” Facchini’s most recent venture is the highly anticipated opening this spring of Cotto, the restaurant inside the Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan’s Flower District.

During his three-day stay on campus, Facchini will speak in Penn College hospitality classes and work alongside students to prepare the menu he has developed for an elegant reception and four-course benefit dinner that will culminate his stay. Proceeds from the dinner are used to fund scholarships in the college’s baking and pastry arts and culinary arts majors.

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February 25, 2020
Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Events Faculty & Staff Students

Feb. 29 ‘murder mystery’ to tempt, tease dinner patrons

Participants help a roving gumshoe sift through clues during last year's Murder Mystery Dinner.

The 2020 edition of the Student Engagement Office’s Murder Mystery Dinner is scheduled for Leap Day Saturday, Feb. 29 in the Mountain Laurel Room of Penn College’s Thompson Professional Development Center. Tickets for students ($16.95; flex or declining balance) and for faculty and staff ($19.95) are available online. For more information, consult the event poster: Murder Mystery Dinner

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February 12, 2020
Alumni Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality

Culinary grad advances to ‘Chopped’ finale

Kristina Wesneski

2013 Penn College culinary arts and systems graduate Kristina Wisneski was the last chef standing in a championship episode of Food Network’s “Chopped” competition show.

The episode, “$50,000 Champs Challenge: Part 3,” premiered Tuesday and pitted Wisneski, who also won an episode that first aired in February 2019, against three other champions. After successfully wowing a panel of judges with her quick creations that used mandatory mystery ingredients, she advances to “$50,000 Champs Challenge: Grand Finale,” set to premiere on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 9 p.m.

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February 5, 2020
Alumni Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality

Alumni ‘Chopped’ winner taking part in championship challenge

"Chopped"Kristina WesneskiTune in on Tuesday, Feb. 4, to watch Chef Kristina Wisneski, ’13, battle other “Chopped” champions on Food Network’s popular competition show. Wisneski, who earned a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and systems, first appeared on Season 40 of “Chopped” in February 2019, when she was named winner of an episode titled “Wonton Wonder.” This time around, Wisneski is taking part in “$50,000 Champs Challenge: Part 3.” The episode is set to premiere at 9 p.m. and will be rerun three hours later (at midnight, Feb. 5), and at 7 p.m. Feb. 18. Wisneski is sous chef of Ripplewood Whiskey & Craft, in Ardmore. In 2019, the restaurant was listed among the 25 best new restaurants in Philadelphia’s western suburbs by Main Line Today. At the 2020 Pennsylvania Farm Show, Penn College students worked as assistants to Wisneski s she demonstrated a recipe on the Culinary Connection stage and prepared samples for the audience.

January 27, 2020
Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Management Faculty & Staff Students

Course teaches students about food sustainability, security

Pennsylvania College of Technology applied management student Mallory A. Hoffman (left), of Pottsville, and culinary arts student Alexa D. Scatamacchia, of Fleetwood, prepare their team’s dish in a combined cooking competition and lesson in equitably distributing nutritious food at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s Williamsport branch.

In a bright, clean kitchen across town from their usual classrooms and laboratories, students majoring in culinary arts and other fields at Pennsylvania College of Technology learn more about food security, one of many considerations students discover as they explore the topic of food “sustainability.”

Food Sustainability is a course designed for students in the college’s hospitality majors, but available to anyone.

“Sustainable foods are grown or raised naturally,” explained student Janelle R. Becker, of Fort Loudon, who is pursuing a degree in culinary arts. “They are not only renewable but regenerative: They help the environment. It is important to not only help people, but also the earth, to make sure we always have the resources available that we have now.”

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Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Business & Hospitality Management

Penn College announces winners of annual Food Show

Winners of the Chef Eugene Mattucci Best of Show award at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s annual Food Show are, from left, Victoria J. McLamb, of Williamsport; Keowa A. Clemens, of York; and Sherly F. Mendez, of Tobyhanna. The students teamed up to create a “Fiesta!”-themed cold platter and charcuterie board display.

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently named the winners in its annual Food Show, during which students showcased final projects for the fall semester for judges and visitors from seven secondary schools.

Taking home the Chef Eugene Mattucci Best of Show Award was a three-student team that produced a “Fiesta!” cold platter and charcuterie board display. The piece was their final project for the Advanced Garde Manger course and included a chopped fiesta quinoa salad; haymarket pate en croute with ground pork, pork belly, veal shoulder, and Mexican herbs and spices; apricot and green chile chutney; Monterey Jack cheese; and smoked duck ham.

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Alumni Art & Graphic Design Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Business & Hospitality Management Faculty & Staff Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications Students

Longstanding project, long-lasting legacy

Santaella (left) and Kreitzer stand with the stunning tile wall.
Santaella (left) and Kreitzer stand with the stunning tile wall.
The final touches to the piece: triangle toppings
The final touches to the piece: triangle toppings
Relief sculptures in clay
Relief sculptures in clay
Artwork awaits stair strollers.
Artwork awaits stair strollers.
Infinite tales in tiles
Infinite tales in tiles

Over 500 students and more than 500 ceramic tiles in the making, another stunning example of Penn College art is complete and ready for rave reviews and views. Adorning a wall in the north stairwell of the Bush Campus Center, the ceramics sensation was started in Fall 2013 by David A. Stabley, instructor of ceramics and wood sculpture, after he received permission from administration. “It was my idea to have students make something to leave behind as part of a permanent art piece,” Stabley said. “It’s an interesting idea of working on a group project over such a long period of time. And it’s nice to decorate a plain stairwell area to give it some life!” With the help of two Ceramics III students – Amber Kreitzer, of Port Trevorton, and Natascha G. Santaella, of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico – Stabley recently placed the finishing touches on the CC stairwell project: ceramic triangles topping the tile wall. Kreitzer and Santaella earned associate degrees in baking and pastry arts in 2018 and will graduate this month with Bachelor of Science degrees in applied management. Stabley and smaller groups of students have installed the Centennial Mosaic on a wall of the Physician Assistant Center and mosaics in Capitol Eatery. The artist has also crafted solo mosaics in the atrium of the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center and on an exterior wall of the Hager Lifelong Education Center. Stabley’s inspiring artwork can also be found in downtown Williamsport.

December 12, 2019
Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Business & Hospitality Management Students

Students prepare food for benefit Oktoberfest

Ditchfield (left) and students provided authentic Oktoberfest fare on behalf of a Centre County volunteer fire company.
Ditchfield (left) and students provided authentic Oktoberfest fare on behalf of a Centre County volunteer fire company.

Students in the Regional American Cuisine course, taught by Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, produced authentic German Oktoberfest food for the Millheim Oktoberfest, a community event that benefits the Millheim Fire Co. In the course, students study cuisines, preparations and influential culinary leaders from various regions. They prepare regional recipes using traditional and modern kitchen techniques.
Photo provided

November 22, 2019