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Hospitality Students, Faculty Cook at Gourmet Harvest Festival


Students Jessica Sommers and Amy Schleicher stomp grapes at Gourmet Harvest Festival near Branchport, N.Y.Students from the Catering class in the School of Hospitality at Pennsylvania College of Technology cooked and served food to hundreds of visitors recently at the Hunt Country Vineyards 14th Annual Gourmet Harvest Festival.

The event was held Oct. 2-3 at Hunt Country Vineyards, located along Keuka Lake near Branchport, N.Y.

School of Hospitality faculty accompanying the students were Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of food and hospitality management/culinary arts; Chef Monica J. Lanczak, instructor of food and hospitality management/culinary arts; and Chef Paul E. Mach, assistant professor of food and hospitality management/culinary arts.

Ditchfield has taken the Catering class, which he teaches, to the festival for the past eight years. Mach, who has taken Penn College students to the festival for 14 years, and Lanczak offered cooking demonstrations for the public.

“The festival has evolved and certainly grown,” Ditchfield said. “Everyone really enjoys our students. I received countless compliments from the guests about our students’ dress, professionalism, and how exciting and interesting they are to watch. When they discover that this is a class, they are amazed.”

The menu featured foods made with local ingredients, as well as some dishes that were made with Hunt Country wines and recipes from “You’re the Chef,” Penn College’s award-winning cooking series on public-television. The foods were paired with Hunt Country wines. Ditchfield said the students dished up about 1,500 items over the weekend.

Penn College students who participated are: Tacy L. De Green, Bloomsburg; John E. Lafferty, Lansdale; Nathan S. Marshall, State College; Amelia C. Pedraza, Williamsport; Paul W. Scheetz, Lansdale; Amy M. Schleicher, Baltimore; Julian D. Schramp, New Columbia; Lance A. Smith, Harrisburg; Jessica Sommers, Allentown; Athanasios N. Spanos, Carlisle; Adam A. Thompson, Trout Run; and Carli E. Zale, Shillington.

For more information about the academic programs offered at the School of Hospitality at Penn College, call (570) 327-4505, send e-mail or visit online.

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