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Expert Culinarians to Present Visiting Chef Dinner on Nov. 12

Four culinary experts from across the United States will visit Pennsylvania College of Technology’s campus in November to share their knowledge and work alongside students as they prepare a benefit dinner.

Matthew Pike, Phillip Brown, David Sturgis and Timothy Eldridge work in businesses that represent emerging trends in the hospitality field. In addition to the Distinguished Visiting Chef Dinner, scheduled for Nov. 12, the group will offer a cooking demonstration on Nov. 10 and present a lecture on food-industry trends on Nov. 11.

Pike is the executive chef of Santa Anita Park, a horse-racing facility in Arcadia, Calif. There, he helps oversee more than 40 dining operations, six kitchens, a bakery and a staff of more than 500. The park’s fine-dining restaurant seats more than 500 guests.

At the age of 10, Pike began his restaurant career in his parents’ Vermont roadside snack shop. From there, he moved on to work in first-class resorts from Killington, Vt., to Laguna Beach, Calif. After working for several years with California cuisine, he moved to Hawaii, where he discovered a passion for working with the freshest and most exotic ingredients available. Pike spent 15 years in Hawaii, where he worked at notable properties that included the prestigious Ritz Carlton, Kapalua, Maui. After spending six years with the Ritz Carlton Hotel Co., Pike has made his home in Southern California.

Brown, also a Ritz Carlton alumnus, is making a return visit to Penn College. Currently, he is a personal chef, private caterer, private cooking instructor and culinary consultant. He has served on the board of directors for Florida’s First Coast Chapter of the American Culinary Federation and Jacksonville’s chapter of the United States Personal Chef Association.

Immediately after graduating from Newberry College in Brookline, Mass., Brown was hired at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Co. in Boston. He spent 18 years with Ritz Carlton in executive positions that included pioneering The Ritz Co.’s first endeavor in managing private clubs. The venture took him to Jacksonville, where he now runs his business.

From Muss & Turner’s, a Smyrna, Ga., gourmet convenience food store, come Sturgis, chef de cuisine, and Eldridge, manager. At Muss & Turner’s, customers find gourmet sandwiches, salads and soups along with fresh, fire-roasted dinner items.

Sturgis, a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, worked in the bake shop of Fifth Group Restaurants for several years. He then accepted a job at the renowned resort The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. He returned to Atlanta to work at South City Kitchen as sous chef and as chef de cuisine at the Food Studio before joining Muss & Turner’s.

Eldridge, who is also making a return visit to the college, has more than 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. He had a long tenure with Ritz Carlton Hotel Co.’s food and beverage division and has been involved in planning and executing events that range from an intimate dinner for two to benefits serving 1,000 guests.

The chefs will present a cooking demonstration Thursday, Nov. 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Room B132 of the Hager Lifelong Education Center. On Friday, Nov. 11, the group will lead a lecture and discussion titled “Trends in Today’s Food Industry” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Klump Academic Center auditorium.

The dinner, which costs $125 per guest, will begin at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 at the college’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. Net proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Roger and Peggy Madigan Library Campaign. The Visiting Chef Series offers students the opportunity to work with nationally known chefs that most students only read about.

To reserve seats for the Nov. 12 dinner, call the Special Events Office at Penn College at (570) 320-5229.

The menu and wines for the Nov. 12 Distinguished Visiting Chef Dinner are:

First Course Chilled terrine of Maine lobster with white and green asparagus salad Dry Creek Vineyards, Chenin Blanc, 2003

Second Course Foie gras and brioche stuffed quail with oven-dried tomato and fava bean broth Carl Graff, Graacher Himmelreich, Riesling Spaetlese, 2004

Third Course Flash-seared golden trout with fennel slaw, star anise vinaigrette Robert Michele, Les Trois Fils Muscadet, 2001

Fourth Course Kurobuta pork shortribs with barley and corn salad Georges DuBoeuf, Gamay Beaujolais, 2003

Fifth Course Roast loin of South Texas antelope with fig merlot jus, honey-roasted acorn squash Healdsburg Viticultural Society, Merlot, 2001

Sixth CourseRed Velvet mousse cake with fall fruit and thyme/Riesling sorbet Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars, Champagne Celebre

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