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Hospitality Students’ Passion Feeds ‘Visiting Chef’ Experience


Leaders in their field, Chefs Robin Rosenberg and John G. Scourlas shared their time, talent and words of wisdom with Pennsylvania College of Technology hospitality students during the Spring 2018 edition of the college’s Visiting Chef Series. The chefs spent three days on campus visiting students in classrooms, working alongside them in the School of Business & Hospitality’s kitchens, and serving the elegant Visiting Chef Dinner. Proceeds from the dinner are used to fund scholarships for students in the college’s four culinary arts, baking and pastry arts and hospitality management majors. In comments to the dinner’s guests, Rosenberg, vice president and chef de cuisine of Levy Restaurants, said he was inspired by the passion he encountered in Penn College students. Rosenberg leads teams to create high-end dining experiences for thousands of guests at sports and entertainment venues and events across the nation, including the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards. Scourlas, the award-winning senior pastry chef for Levy Restaurants, is part of that team, based at the Georgia World Congress Center, one of the five largest convention centers in the U.S.

– Photos by Jennifer A. Cline, writer/magazine editor

Chef John G. Scourlas, senior pastry chef for Levy Restaurants, explains his concept for presenting an alternate dessert option with baking and pastry arts student Erica Breski, of Harrisburg.
Chef John G. Scourlas, senior pastry chef for Levy Restaurants, explains his concept for presenting an alternate dessert option with baking and pastry arts student Erica Breski, of Harrisburg.

Chef Robin Rosenberg, vice president and chef de cuisine for Levy Restaurants, works with students to form the smoked-salmon lollipops, one of several hors d’oeuvres served during the pre-dinner reception in the Keystone Dining Room. From left are Ricky J. Frankhouser, of Jersey Shore; Erik L. Perry Jr., of Waldorf, Md.; Kiesha M. Sheffer, of Eldred; Alyssa L. Casler, of Barnesville; and Clayton T. Welch, of Benton.
Chef Robin Rosenberg, vice president and chef de cuisine for Levy Restaurants, works with students to form the smoked-salmon lollipops, one of several hors d’oeuvres served during the pre-dinner reception in the Keystone Dining Room. From left are Ricky J. Frankhouser, of Jersey Shore; Erik L. Perry Jr., of Waldorf, Md.; Kiesha M. Sheffer, of Eldred; Alyssa L. Casler, of Barnesville; and Clayton T. Welch, of Benton.

Scourlas demonstrates a technique that involves dipping strips of acetate in melted chocolate to wrap pieces of chocolate gateau.
Scourlas demonstrates a technique that involves dipping strips of acetate in melted chocolate to wrap pieces of chocolate gateau.

Rachel A. Henninger, a baking and pastry arts student from Bellefonte, forms chocolate “batons” that will top the dessert.
Rachel A. Henninger, a baking and pastry arts student from Bellefonte, forms chocolate “batons” that will top the dessert.

Scourlas talks with students about his career.
Scourlas talks with students about his career.

Rosenberg talks about the evening’s menu and order of service – and provides words of encouragement and thanks – during a staff “lineup” before guests arrive for the Visiting Chef Dinner.
Rosenberg talks about the evening’s menu and order of service – and provides words of encouragement and thanks – during a staff “lineup” before guests arrive for the Visiting Chef Dinner.

Scourlas reviews production plans for the event’s breads and desserts.
Scourlas reviews production plans for the event’s breads and desserts.

Christopher M. Bashaw, of Jersey Shore, prepares the sweet-onion and Honeycrisp apple chutney that would be served with the main course: a slow-smoked and apple-brined rack of pork.
Christopher M. Bashaw, of Jersey Shore, prepares the sweet-onion and Honeycrisp apple chutney that would be served with the main course: a slow-smoked and apple-brined rack of pork.

Culinary arts and systems students show off a variety of the hors d’oeuvres to be served during the pre-dinner reception: From left, Jacob W. Parobek, of Seltzer, and Paul J. Herceg, of Chalfont, show trays of “lump crab flutes”; David O. Spirache, of Reading, holds a plate of smoked salmon lollipops; and Dylan H. Therrien, of Reading, displays a plate of ahi tuna lollipops.
Culinary arts and systems students show off a variety of the hors d’oeuvres to be served during the pre-dinner reception: From left, Jacob W. Parobek, of Seltzer, and Paul J. Herceg, of Chalfont, show trays of “lump crab flutes”; David O. Spirache, of Reading, holds a plate of smoked salmon lollipops; and Dylan H. Therrien, of Reading, displays a plate of ahi tuna lollipops.

Kobi A. Shannon, of Lewistown, forms a smoked-salmon lollipop.
Kobi A. Shannon, of Lewistown, forms a smoked-salmon lollipop.

During the pre-dinner reception, Bridget M. Callahan, of Pottsville, and Somer A. Safford, of Port Allegany, grill slices of student-baked crostini and top them with Stinky Pimento Cheese.
During the pre-dinner reception, Bridget M. Callahan, of Pottsville, and Somer A. Safford, of Port Allegany, grill slices of student-baked crostini and top them with Stinky Pimento Cheese.

Rosenberg demonstrates the final step in plating the first course – adding a champagne dressing.
Rosenberg demonstrates the final step in plating the first course – adding a champagne dressing.

Baking and pastry arts students Rachel A. Henninger, of Bellefonte, and Maren A. Zaczkiewicz, of Williamsport, review a recipe.
Baking and pastry arts students Rachel A. Henninger, of Bellefonte, and Maren A. Zaczkiewicz, of Williamsport, review a recipe.

Students Alyssa L. Casler, of Barnesville, and Ashley R. Potrzebowski, of Williamsport, pour chardonnay to accompany the first course.
Students Alyssa L. Casler, of Barnesville, and Ashley R. Potrzebowski, of Williamsport, pour chardonnay to accompany the first course.

The first course, titled “The First Butterfly of Spring” by Rosenberg, features Alaskan king salmon stuffed with sea scallop and lobster mousse and served with dill crème fraiche, caviar, and Champagne dressing.
The first course, titled “The First Butterfly of Spring” by Rosenberg, features Alaskan king salmon stuffed with sea scallop and lobster mousse and served with dill crème fraiche, caviar, and Champagne dressing.

Magdalen C. Bennett, of Erie, pipes a sea scallop-lobster mousse onto a salmon filet for the first course.
Magdalen C. Bennett, of Erie, pipes a sea scallop-lobster mousse onto a salmon filet for the first course.

Maria E. Berrios (left), of Bethlehem, adjusts a garnish while Linea M. Kelley, of Turtlepoint, adds scoops of raspberry quenelle to the dessert.
Maria E. Berrios (left), of Bethlehem, adjusts a garnish while Linea M. Kelley, of Turtlepoint, adds scoops of raspberry quenelle to the dessert.

Rosenberg talks steak with student Paul J. Herceg, of Chalfont.
Rosenberg talks steak with student Paul J. Herceg, of Chalfont.

The second course: sharp cheddar popcorn bisque, was a popular menu item at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. – and a favorite among Visiting Chef Dinner guests.
The second course: sharp cheddar popcorn bisque, was a popular menu item at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. – and a favorite among Visiting Chef Dinner guests.

A trio of hors d’oeuvres: a lump crab flute with microgreens, spicy Louie and chives; and smoked salmon and ahi tuna lollipops.
A trio of hors d’oeuvres: a lump crab flute with microgreens, spicy Louie and chives; and smoked salmon and ahi tuna lollipops.

The evening’s dessert: a chocolate mousse box filled with fresh berries, apricot glaze and chocolate batons and served with raspberry quenelle.
The evening’s dessert: a chocolate mousse box filled with fresh berries, apricot glaze and chocolate batons and served with raspberry quenelle.

While guests enjoy dessert, students gather for photos with Rosenberg.
While guests enjoy dessert, students gather for photos with Rosenberg.

A Visiting Chef Series tradition: Students ask the visitors to autograph the evening’s menu.
A Visiting Chef Series tradition: Students ask the visitors to autograph the evening’s menu.

 

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