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School of Hospitality Again Aids Local ‘Iron Chef’ Competition

Kristi L. Hammaker, Penn College employee and president of Family Promise of Lycoming County The judges  from left, Robert A. Armstrong, sous chef at Penn College; Peter G. Zerbe, executive chef at Bucknell University; and Michael R. Yaw, student laboratory assistant for food and hospitality/culinary arts at Penn College  await their on-air introductions Chef Michael J. Ditchfield explains the ground rules to emcee Gary Chrisman Tallying the scores ... ...and announcing the resultsRepresentatives of Penn College’s School of Hospitality again helped at Sunday’s spirited Iron Chef competition, which raised about $6,000 for the Family Promise network of local churches that feed and house the homeless. Serving as judges for the second annual event modeled after a Food Network series and held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church along Market Street were Robert A. Armstrong, sous chef, and Michael R. Yaw, student laboratory assistant for food and hospitality/culinary arts. They were joined by Peter G. Zerbe, executive chef at Bucknell University; Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, acted as referee. The defending champions from St. Mark’s challenged First United Methodist Church to the culinary showdown, with each team given an hour to prepare an appetizer, entree and optional dessert (using items ranging from salmon to grits, with a “secret ingredient” of honeydew melon introduced partway through the competition) to tempt the judges’ senses. WKSB radio personality Gary Chrisman emceed the event, which was streamed live over the Internet and fed to a large video screen in the church fellowship hall. St. Mark’s won the competition, 213-212. Penn College also assisted in furnishing the Day Center that will be used by guests of Family Promise of Lycoming County; Kristi L. Hammaker, health and fitness specialist at the college, is president of the organization.

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