News about Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Fall Food Show Winners Announced at Penn College

The Best of Show recipient in Penn College’s Fall Food Show was prepared by students Kelsie F. Thomas (left), of Darby, and Ashley R. Potrzebowski, of Williamsport, as part of their Advanced Garde Manger course. They were tasked with creating a cold platter and charcuterie board.

Pennsylvania College of Technology announced winners of its Fall Food Show, held Dec. 1 at the college.

Earning the Chef Eugene Mattucci Best of Show Award was the student duo of Ashley R. Potrzebowski, of Williamsport, and Kelsie F. Thomas, of Darby, for their “Beer & Pub Style Christmas” platter and charcuterie board. Their entry, completed as a final project for the Advanced Garde Manger course, included a salad of kale, dried cranberries and pecans with orange vinaigrette; haymarket pate en croute with sage-infused aspic; cured and smoked turkey breast; onion chutney; and beer cheese dip with garlic-butter pretzel bites. Both students are pursuing degrees in culinary arts technology.

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Thirteen Students Selected for Penn College NOW Scholarships

Penn College presented scholarships to 13 first-year students who took Penn College NOW courses. From left are Tavor T. Wadsworth, of Williamsport; Vincent R. Keene, of Downingtown; Kayley E. Johnson, of Bloomsburg; Monica A. McCarty, Penn College’s dual enrollment specialist; Michael L. Gardner, of Williamsport; Warren E. Knipe, of Liberty; and Tanya Berfield, the college’s manager of college transitions. Additional recipients not in the photo are: Cheyenne N. Greene, of Jersey Shore; Deontae Z. Johnson, of Selinsgrove; Kylee E. Kelley, of Lock Haven; Tyler W. Miller, of Montgomery; Luke B. Walter, of Millmont; Brittany M. Weiskopff, of Blossburg; Clayton T. Welch, of Benton; and Jeremy M. Wolfgang, of Allenwood.

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently recognized 13 first-year students who received Penn College NOW scholarships.

The recipients completed Penn College courses during high school as part of the college’s Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program. The group was honored during an Oct. 27 reception.

To be eligible, students must have successfully completed at least one Penn College NOW course, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Penn College NOW classes, enroll in Penn College as a full-time freshman student for the fall semester after high school graduation, and maintain a 2.5 GPA at Penn College as an enrolled student.

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Creativity Reigns in Scholars-and-Scents Display

'Tis the season for yuletide greenery, beautifully incorporated by Rachel L. Hill, of Centre Hall, enrolled in landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis.

Applied management student Brittany L. Mink, of Allentown, who earned a baking and pastry arts degree in 2016, designed this delicate entry in the Wedding Composite category.

Andrea L. Solenberger, of Harrisburg, pursuing a degree in applied management, honored her baking and pastry arts degree with delicious detail.

The black, gold and green of Jamaica's flag is recreated by Jessica T. Haynes, a culinary arts and systems student.

Another baking and pastry arts alum enrolled in applied management – Alexis L. Kepley, of Reading –  stacked "cupcakes" that are too pretty to eat!

End-of-year projects in The Art of Floral Design, an elective taught by alumna/business owner Karen R. Ruhl, form a striking array just inside the Madigan Library entrance. The class (HRT 260) is open to all students, regardless of academic major or experience level, and each final piece is chosen in conjunction with the instructor to ensure that it is “neither too simple nor too complicated to complete in the given time period.” The designs are created using the accumulated fundamental skills learned during the semester, and students choose the container, flowers and foliage required to implement them, as well as meet all the requisite elements and principles. The projects will be on display through Tuesday.

Penn College’s Fall Food Show Slated for Dec. 1

A dessert prepared by R. Colby Janowitz received first prize in its category at Penn College’s Spring 2017 Food Show. Students will again display their works for the public at the Fall 2017 Food Show on Dec. 1 in the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center.

Feast your eyes on the artistic final projects of students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s baking and pastry and culinary arts majors on Dec. 1 at the college’s Fall Food Show.

The event, open to the public from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center, will feature a display of eye-pleasing, student-made desserts, hors d’oeuvre trays, chocolate sculptures and more, along with interactive tastings through 1 p.m.

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Student Puts Skills to Use to Allay Her Worry, Help Her Hometown

Penn College baking and pastry arts student Natascha G. Santaella, of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, began baking to alleviate her stress and help those back home after hurricanes devastated the island. She organized a sale of bread, rolls and cheesecakes on Oct. 19 that raised over $1,000 for United for Puerto Rico.

When September hurricanes left a path of destruction in Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania College of Technology student Natascha G. Santaella felt a variety of painful emotions.

“I spent around six days stressing and having a very hard time with me having all the luxuries I currently do and my family not having any,” the Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, resident said.

Santaella said that her hometown is without power and water, and downed trees are blocking access to the neighborhood park, but it was spared the worst damage.

“For some of my friends, the damage has been minimal, but for a lot more of them, they live in fear of being assaulted in their own homes,” Santaella said. “They feel helpless in the situation, and mostly they are scared of what is to come. I’ve still not been able to contact my father’s side of the family, but I hope they are well and being cared for.”

To alleviate her stress, Santaella immersed herself in what she knows best: baking.

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Visiting Chef Series Celebrates 25th Anniversary

During preparation for the college’s first Visiting Chef dinner in 1992, students Ric Newton and Vanessa Buck study the technique of Visiting Chef Richard L. Kimble Jr.

From the Fall 2017 Penn College Magazine: The Visiting Chef Series was established to inspire students by working alongside the nation’s best chefs. A quarter-century and more than 50 chefs later, renowned culinarians continue to bring the vision to life. Read student memories and view a visual history of the series.

Silver Anniversary, Golden Opportunity

Culinary giants joined forces to mark the 25th anniversary of the Visiting Chef Series at Penn College, an event celebrated in a new video on the college’s YouTube channel. “Louisiana’s culinary ambassador to the world” Chef John Folse, along with his renowned restaurant partner Chef Rick Tramonto, internationally heralded Pastry Chef Donald Wressell and Penn College alum Chef Elaine Gardner worked side-by-side in April with School of Business & Hospitality students to prepare an elegant, five-course fundraising dinner at the college’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. “Nothing speaks success more than growth,” Folse says. “So when you see the growth at a facility – the growth of the kitchens; the growth of the student body; the quality of the instructors; the support of the community; tonight, we have another sell-out crowd – what does that say? That says that there’s real wonderful happenings here. … There’s just no doubt about it: There’s something great happening in culinary here at Penn College. I want to be here just to continue to see what’s gonna happen next!”

Penn College’s Le Jeune Chef Honored by Wine Spectator

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant is among Wine Spectator magazine’s 2017 “Award of Excellence” winners.

Wine Spectator reaches over 3 million readers with each issue and is the largest paid wine-focused/wine-lifestyle magazine.

Its annual Restaurant Awards, which are published in the August issue, acknowledge the best wine lists in the world. Winning restaurants offer interesting wine selections that are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.

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Restaurant Again Favored Among Area Newspaper’s Readers

Michael R. Triassi, Le Jeune Chef’s director of sales and restaurant operations, receives a silver Reader’s Choice Award from Becky Fitzwater, an advertising representative for the Milton Standard-Journal.

For the second year, Le Jeune Chef Restaurant has received silver honors in the Milton Standard-Journal’s annual Reader’s Choice Awards. The Standard-Journal ran a Reader’s Choice contest form in its daily newspapers and provided ballots to local businesses for submission by their patrons. Voters could also fill out ballots online and write in additional categories. Becky Fitzwater, an advertising representative for the newspaper, delivered a certificate to the restaurant on Friday, signifying that it was the second-highest vote-getter in the Best Restaurant category. Le Jeune Chef presents a fine-dining experience hosted by Penn College’s School of Business & Hospitality. The restaurant offers a gourmet menu, much of it prepared by students, and features the area’s most extensive wine list. The full list of award winners will be announced in the newspaper in July. To make a reservation, call 570-320-CHEF (570-320-2433). To view menus and special events, visit the restaurant’s website.
Photo by Anna C. Miller, marketing and communications specialist for the School of Business & Hospitality

Students Gain ‘Tons’ of Hospitality Experience at Iconic Event

Penn College culinary arts and systems students R. Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Md.; Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport; and Cy C. Heller, of Milton, work an à la carte lunch in the Turf Room on Oaks Day at Churchill Downs.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students returned from the 2017 Kentucky Derby with a wealth of experience in high-volume hospitality, courtesy of Churchill Downs food operator Levy Restaurants.

“Working at the Kentucky Derby was an insane, amazing, life-changing experience,” said R. Colby Janowitz, who received both a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and systems and an associate degree in hospitality management from Penn College in May. It was the second trip to the Kentucky Derby for the Westminster, Maryland, native.

Janowitz joined 24 other Penn College students – and faculty member Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts – in the kitchens of Churchill Downs during Derby Week, a series of events that culminates in the storied Kentucky Derby, which this year drew a crowd of 158,000.

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