News about Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts

SkillsUSA Competitors Strike Gold; 21 Students Headed to Nationals

SkillsUSA Pennsylvania

Nearly all 27 members of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team – 21 of them advancing to the 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky – earned medals during recent state competition.

The competitors represent majors across four of Penn College’s academic schools, and the theme for the April 18-20 Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference in Hershey couldn’t have been more fitting for students gaining career-making skills in hands-on fashion: “Champions at Work: Job-Ready, Day One.”

Read more

Penn College Students’ Cakes Place in Top 3 at Atlantic Bakery Expo

Penn College students took first- and third-place awards in the Student Tiered Wedding Cake category at the 2018 Atlantic Bakery Expo. Three Penn College students competed. From left are Taylor M. Bickhart, of Middleburg, who received third place; Sarah A. Waclo, of York; and Jacqueline R. Dull, of Mohnton, who took first place. Their respective cakes are behind them.

Two Pennsylvania College of Technology students finished in the Top Three in their category during the 2018 Cake Extravaganza at the Atlantic Bakery Expo in Atlantic City.

Jacqueline R. Dull, a baking and pastry arts student from Mohnton, received first place in the student tiered wedding cake category, and Taylor M. Bickhart, a baking and pastry arts student from Middleburg, placed third in the same category.

Read more

As Semester Ticks Away, Students Get Down to Business

Jacqueline R. Dull, of Mohnton, presents a variety of macaron-topped cupcakes, a sample of the offerings from her company, Simply Sweet.

Rachel A. Henninger, of Bellefonte, presents Rise & Shine Bakery, an artisan bread bakery.

Amber Kreitzer, of Port Trevorton, used a variety of artisan beer flavors to inspire her Boozy Sweets. Samples included Maple Brown Ale Cupcakes, Mint Chocolate Stout Macarons and Peanut Butter Hefeweizen Truffles.

The students practice the customer service skills they honed during a semester of patisserie sales in Le Jeune Patissier.

Bethany R. Taylor, of Moosic, employs a marketing pitch we can get behind: Life is short; eat more cookies!

The campus was treated to tasty giveaways Wednesday as students in the Advanced Baking and Pastry Operations course presented their final project: A trade show, with each student presenting a business, complete with concept, marketing materials, vendor booth and, of course, product samples.
Photos by Kimberlee R. Rusczyk, manager of social media/online marketing

USA Science Festival: Where ‘D.C.’ Stands for ‘Definitely Cool’

Interactive inspiration for tomorrow's innovators

A national leader in applied technology education returned to the nation’s capital this past weekend, serving up a second helping of “A Taste of Technology” at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Students again led the presentations of a popular program subtitled, “Sweet and Savory Science,” joined by Penn College faculty members Chef Frank M. Suchwala, associate professor of hospitality management/culinary arts; Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of food and hospitality management/culinary arts; Chef Todd M. Keeley, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts; and Brian M. McKeon Sr., assistant professor of physician assistant. The college’s 400-square-foot exhibit featured three stations, enlisting the public’s hands-on help (and rewarding their taste buds on the other side of the demos).

Read more

Penn College Announces Cake Competition Winners

First place in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s annual wedding cake competition is awarded to Jacqueline R. Dull, a baking and pastry arts student from Milton.

With a pink cake that was adorned with roses and pearls, student Jacqueline R. Dull, of Mohnton, received first place in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s annual wedding cake competition.

Dull is a sophomore in the college’s baking and pastry arts major. She and the other competitors are enrolled in the Cake Decorating II course, taught by Chef Todd M. Keeley, instructor of baking and pastry arts. As a final project for the class, each student submitted a three-tiered, fondant-covered wedding cake with handmade embellishments.

Read more

Hospitality Students Hired for Kentucky Derby Internships

A group of Penn College students (shown here, including alternates) have been hired by Levy Restaurants to help prepare food for VIP venues at Churchill Downs during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5. They will be accompanied by Chef Charles R. Niedermyer (back right), instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts.

Twenty-eight Pennsylvania College of Technology students and 11 graduates have been selected to help prepare and serve food in the high-end venues of Churchill Downs during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5.

The Derby, known as the most exciting two minutes in sports, is steeped in tradition – like mint juleps, spectacular hats and the playing of “My Old Kentucky Home.” A behind-the-scenes tradition for more than 25 years has been the involvement of Penn College students.

The event provides a one-of-a-kind learning experience for the aspiring hospitality professionals, who are pursuing degrees in baking and pastry arts, culinary arts, and hospitality management. Some of this year’s staffers are returning for the second, third or fourth time in their collegiate careers.

Read more

Penn College Again to Exhibit at Nation’s Largest Science Festival

Penn College will reprise its “A Taste of Technology: Sweet and Savory Science” presentation at the 2018 USA Science & Engineering Festival, scheduled for April 7-8 in Washington, D.C.

Pennsylvania College of Technology will reprise its participation at the 2018 USA Science & Engineering Festival – the largest event of its kind nationwide – showcasing how science, technology, engineering and math play an integral role in culinary activities.

Faculty and students from Penn College will once again present hands-on demonstrations during the crowd-pleasing “A Taste of Technology: Sweet and Savory Science” for the thousands of people looking to experience STEM fields at the biennial festival. The event is set to take place April 7-8 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Read more

Culinary Student Demonstrates Mocktail in Live Broadcast

Chef Mary Trometter and student Erik L. Perry Jr., with "PA Live" co-host Brittany Sweeney

Penn College’s Erik L. Perry Jr., a culinary arts technology student from Waldorf, Maryland, represented Penn College on WBRE’s “PA Live” show on Monday. Perry joined Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, on the set as he demonstrates his “Fire and Ice” mocktail. Perry developed the drink recipe in the Hospitality Beverage Management and Controls class, taught by Chef Paul Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, and Neal Palmer, maître d’ hotel II for the School of Business & Hospitality’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. The segment is available on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton NBC affiliate’s website:
Part 1
Part 2

Students to Join Chef of Super Bowls to Prep Benefit Dinner

Chef Robin Rosenberg

A chef whose culinary creativity has been evidenced at Super Bowls, the Grammy Awards and the Kentucky Derby is set to lend his knowledge to Pennsylvania College of Technology students as they join him in the next edition of the college’s Visiting Chef Series.

Robin Rosenberg, vice president and chef de cuisine for Levy Restaurants, will spend three days on campus, working with students in the college’s School of Business & Hospitality to create an elegant meal on Friday, April 20. Proceeds from the Visiting Chef Dinner fund scholarships in the college’s baking and pastry arts, culinary arts and hospitality management majors.

Rosenberg will be joined by Chef John G. Scourlas, senior pastry chef for Levy Restaurants, who will also lead and mentor students.

Read more

Art à la Carte

Handcrafted ceramic bowls to grace fundraising table.

Got soup?

Truthful labeling awaits nourishing ladling.

Chef Frank M. Suchwala (in blue cap) stirs a pot of mushroom bisque as student Nolan S. Lester (left) adds stock. Others involved include (from left) Amaris T. Smith, Dylan H. Therrien, William D. Benedetto and Austin B. Ovens.

Penn College students are again lending a helping hand to the Williamsport Soup & a Bowl event benefiting the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. About 120 bowls crafted by students in Ceramics 1 classes will be filled with soup created by students in the culinary arts and systems major. This year’s fundraiser will be Friday, March 2, at The Genetti Hotel and Suites in downtown Williamsport. Three seatings (11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.) and takeout orders are offered; the 11 a.m. seating is sold out. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the food bank’s Williamsport office at 570-321-8023. The bowls were produced in classes taught by husband-and-wife duo David A. and Deborah L. Stabley, members of the college’s art faculty. This is the sixth year the college has donated bowls. Students in the Technical Training for Hospitality Industry course made about 25 gallons of soup for the event, stirring up Cajun vegetarian and mushroom bisque under the guidance of Chefs Todd M. Keeley and Frank M. Suchwala, members of the hospitality faculty. And, while the soup was simmering, the instructors discussed community service and outreach with their students. “We want to be a positive force in the community,” Suchwala said. Students in the culinary class are William D. Benedetto, of Howard; Bridget M. Callahan, of Pottsville; Eliza B. Cook, of Towanda; Nolan S. Lester, of Perkiomenville; Austin B. Ovens, of Elizabethtown; Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport; and Dylan H. Therrien, of Reading.

Penn College Students Assist Food Network Star at PA Farm Show

Penn College students (from left) Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport, Bridget M. Callahan, of Pottsville, Jacob W. Parobek, of Seltzer, Brittany L. Mink, of Allentown; and Paul J. Herceg, of Chalfont, are among 11 Penn College student volunteers who helped to showcase recipes made from quality Pennsylvania ingredients at the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

An “Iron Chef” was among the culinarians who joined Pennsylvania College of Technology students to showcase the quality ingredients produced by Pennsylvania farms at the state Farm Show.

The students volunteered the final days of their winter break at the event, where they worked with some of Pennsylvania’s best chefs – and Food Network star Chef Alex Guarnaschelli – to prepare ingredients for the chefs’ demonstrations on the PA Preferred Culinary Connection stage and to cook samples of the recipes for Farm Show visitors.

Read more

D.C.-Based Restaurant Group to Visit in February

Star Restaurant GroupFour representatives of a leading restaurant development, management and ownership company based in Washington, D.C., will be on campus Feb. 7-8 to talk with students in Penn College’s School of Business & Hospitality. The Star Restaurant Group will conduct seminars in several classes and interview for positions within The Walrus Oyster & Ale House, its casual fine-dining restaurant inspired by the surrounding Chesapeake Bay area, and Chicken + Whiskey, a “neighborhood comfort bar” developed in response to the South American rotisserie chicken craze. Scheduled to visit are Stuart R. Damon, managing principal of SRG; Benjamin Nichols, the group’s culinary director; Chef Enrique Limardo, culinary director/partner of Chicken + Whiskey; and Carla Sevilla, restaurant manager at Walrus Oyster & Ale House.

Volunteering Skills, Culinary Student Finds Home in Church Kitchen

Barbara Voss, a leading member of the Antioch congregation, shares an appreciative smile with Mark J. Kriner Jr.

Culinary arts technology student Mark J. Kriner Jr., of Williamsport, was looking for a way to give time to his community during Pennsylvania College of Technology’s winter break, while he had some to spare. He found that opportunity at Williamsport’s Antioch Baptist Church, where he contributed not only his time but the skills he is pursuing as a student.

The church serves a free breakfast and lunch to the greater Williamsport community every weekday. Kriner asked to help, and according to the Rev. Sam Washington, he fit right in, quickly becoming part of the family.

Read more

Students Invited to Serve Gala Dinner at Governor’s Residence

Eight exceptional students in Penn College’s hospitality majors were selected to help prepare and serve food for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence Annual Winter Gala in December. From left are Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts; students Austin B. Ovens, of Elizabethtown, Mallory A. Hoffman, of Pottsville, Jacob W. Parobek, of Seltzer, and Kelsie F. Thomas, of Darby; Pennsylvania First Lady Frances Wolf; Gov. Tom Wolf; and students Magdalen C. Bennett, of Erie, Bridget M. Callahan, of Pottsville, Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport, and Charlie E. Cooke, of Wayne.

A formal event at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence was the destination for eight exceptional Pennsylvania College of Technology hospitality students, who were given the opportunity to showcase their skills and work alongside the residence’s executive chef.

For close to 15 years, students and faculty in the college’s School of Business & Hospitality have worked with the executive chef for the Governor’s Residence, Chef Barry Crumlich, on the Culinary Connection stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. There, the students help some of Pennsylvania’s top chefs to prepare dishes for live demonstrations. Along with Crumlich, the students have shared the stage with Pennsylvania governors and first ladies.

Read more

Penn College to Again Make Impression on Farm Show Attendees

Students in Penn College’s hospitality majors join their instructor, Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, on the Culinary Connection stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show last January.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will soon flock to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center to celebrate the commonwealth’s leading industry, and Pennsylvania College of Technology students and employees will be on hand for an interactive peek into the real-world applications of “degrees that work.”

“A beloved tradition of Penn College, the Pennsylvania Farm Show continues to be the highlight of the new year. During the weeklong festivities, members of Admissions, Alumni Relations and Academic Affairs bring Penn College to Harrisburg and showcase all of the amazing opportunities that await students on campus,” said Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services. “Through our interactive and hands-on activities, we hope that friends of the college will come to learn what makes applied technology education so special.”

Read more

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University