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Chocolate House Visions Help Dreams Come True at Hospitality’s Annual Food Show

Visions of chocolate houses are dancing in the heads of Pennsylvania College of Technology students … and these visions will help dreams come true for needy families.

In conjunction with the School of Hospitality’s annual food show, the sixth annual “A House for a House” auction will be held Friday, Dec. 5, in Penn’s Inn, located in the College’s Bush Campus Center.

At the food show, an array of elegant edibles will be on display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also at that time, visitors can place silent bids on 13 delightful chocolate houses, constructed by hospitality students in the “chocolate works” class. Minimum bid is $30. All proceeds will benefit the Williamsport/Lycoming Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, which helps local families realize the dream of home ownership. Winners will be announced at 2:15 p.m.

Coordinating the chocolate house activity is Chef Monica J. Lanczak, a hospitality instructor who notes that the houses range in size from 12 inches by 10 inches and larger, with 7 to 12 pounds of chocolate included.

“The students in the chocolate works class put in a lot of effort. They spend a minimum of six weeks on their projects,” Lanczak explains. “The first thing they do is design the house and make a cardboard cutout to see if the design works. After that, they have to pour the chocolate, assemble the walls, and then perform the decorating. They take pride in what they do, so the houses are very detail-oriented. They are all unique, so it’s worth coming to see.”

This year’s creations:

  • “Richart’s Grove School,” by Terri Farr, Benton
  • “Smokey Hollow Cove,” by Ryan Rizzo, Williamsport
  • “Modern Log House,” by Lana Jacobs, Williamsport
  • “Firehouse in the Winter,” by Aaron Corbin, Brookville
  • “Eskimo Christmas Present,” by Travis Shellenberger, Northumberland
  • “Christmas Carousel,” by Deborah Wyland, Dallas
  • “Christmas Cottage,” by Shannon Berry, Millerton
  • “Fallingwater,” by Susan Wilt, York
  • “Victorian Cottage Christmas,” by Ellen Berry, Hughesville
  • “Elves’ Play Station,” by Michelle Moser, Tremont
  • “Robert’s Roost,” by Rob Armstrong, Hughesville
  • “Going Home for Christmas,” by Annette Derrick, Dewart
  • “Victorian Christmas,” by Jim Miller, Montoursville

Last year’s chocolate houses became delightful decorating additions and holiday centerpieces in buyers’ homes and also found their way to other venues. One house was donated to the pediatric unit at the Williamsport Hospital campus of the Susquehanna Health System and another was donated for display at the Pennsylvania Department of Education in Harrisburg.

The School of Hospitality’s food show highlights students’ accomplishments in cooking and baking course work. Presentations are made by students in a variety of classes including classical cuisine, nouvelle spa cuisine, advanced garde manger, artistic buffet decoration, cakes and decorations, chocolate works, and cakes, pastries and desserts. Judging by American Culinary Federation Chefs provides instant feedback to the students on their performances.

The food show and auction are open to the public. Also on campus that day will be hundreds of high school students from across the state participating in Penn College’s Tech Prep Career Day, an opportunity to explore careers.

(Postscript: The students of Chocolate Works Class thank everyone who participated in the bidding. It was a successful day; all the chocolate houses were sold. The total was $650, which was donated to the Williamsport/Lycoming Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.)

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