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Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business, Arts & Sciences Faculty & Staff

Kitchen ‘modernists’ complete culinary competencies

Students show off final projects for Introduction to Modernist Kitchen. From left: Ashley J. Hoffer, of Manheim; Dane S. Druckenmiller, of Hellertown; Hailey R. Dunn, of York Haven; and Rebecca E. High, of Willow Street.
Students show off final projects for Introduction to Modernist Kitchen. From left: Ashley J. Hoffer, of Manheim; Dane S. Druckenmiller, of Hellertown; Hailey R. Dunn, of York Haven; and Rebecca E. High, of Willow Street.

Students in the course Introduction to Modernist Kitchen, taught by Chef Frank M. Suchwala, associate professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, finished their spring class competencies this week, each preparing an impressive three-course spread of appetizer, entree and dessert. The class explores the modern culinary techniques of spherification, foaming canisters, sous vide cookery, gelation, flash freezing with liquid nitrogen and avant-garde cuisine.
Photo by Chef Frank M. Suchwala, associate professor of hospitality management/culinary arts

July 31, 2020
Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business, Arts & Sciences Students

Summer restaurant internship develops skills, flexibility

Resourcefulness and flexibility became the theme of a summer culinary internship for Penn College student Janelle R. Becker, of Fort Loudon, due to changes in the restaurant industry associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Pennsylvania College of Technology culinary arts student Janelle R. Becker arranged for a summer internship with a Pittsburgh restaurant, she had hoped to enhance her kitchen skills. As a result of the coronavirus, she’s also practiced resourcefulness and flexibility.

Becker, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and systems, completed most of her internship at Alta Via Ristorante, a modern Italian restaurant in O’Hara Township, just outside the Pittsburgh city line. The restaurant, part of the big Burrito Restaurant Group, gathers its influences from the fresh cuisine of the California wine country and the mountain towns of the Italian Alps.

Becker interviewed with Alta Via early in the spring semester, making arrangements for a summer internship well before cases of the coronavirus emerged in Pennsylvania.

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July 23, 2020
Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business, Arts & Sciences General Information

Le Jeune Chef earns Wine Spectator Magazine award

Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, a live learning laboratory for culinary and baking and pastry arts students at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was recognized with a “Best of Award of Excellence” as part of Wine Spectator Magazine’s 2020 Restaurant Awards program.

The casual fine-dining restaurant is operated by the college’s School of Business, Arts & Sciences.

The Restaurant Awards are the focus of Wine Spectator’s July-August issue, which hit newsstands on July 14 and reaches 3.5 million readers. Information about award winners is also accessible via Wine Spectator’s website, app and free restaurant search database.

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July 14, 2020
Alumni Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts Business & Hospitality Business, Arts & Sciences Penn College Magazine Penn College Magazine Feature

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.”

July 6, 2020
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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