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Student Managers Bring America’s Distinctive Cuisines to Restaurant

Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s culinary arts and hospitality management majors will learn about planning a menu and helping to run a kitchen while they offer cuisine from around the United States this spring.

The students, enrolled in the college’s Regional American Cuisine course, which prepares meals for the public in the School of Hospitality’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant on Friday evenings, take turns as student managers in the restaurant’s kitchen.

They prepare by researching the regions on which their menus are based, learning about climate and native foods, both of which influence cuisine. They prepare recipes, calculate quantities and costs, and, on the evening their menus are served, work closely with Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, serving as his assistant and assigning kitchen duties to their classmates.

Regional American Cuisine offerings are available through April and are served beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The offerings follow:

  • Feb. 15 − Students Elisabeth J. Callahan, of McSherrystown, and Amanda H. Shughart, of Mechanicsburg, led the class in preparing a “Heartland” menu. “We have ingredients like cheeses, root vegetables, buffalo and quail,” Shughart said. “The courses are based on the ingredients available and foods that were prepared in America’s breadbasket when the West was being claimed.”
  • Feb. 22 − Michael R. Yaw, of Trout Run, presented a “Susquehanna River/Pennsylvania Dutch” menu with such items as split pea soup, chicken corn chowder, sweetbreads Madeira, broiled shad with apple cider sauce, chicken and waffles, and apple-lacquered pork with onion.
  • Feb. 29 − Meagan S. Morris, of Herndon, Va., serves a menu from the “Pacific Rim.” Among five entrée selections, her menu features pan-seared halibut with Washington apple compote, and roasted pork with kim chee and pears, as well as short ribs, venison and salmon.
  • March 7 − Brian M. Toomey, of Watsontown, will serve up “California Fusion.” The menu features roasted eggplant and garlic soup, soy-ginger chicken noodle salad with peanut dressing, and five entrées: pan-seared bass, broiled salmon, sautéed veal, roasted squab and “turducken.”
  • March 14 − Jack L. Fetzer, of Jersey Shore, will serve an “Irish American” menu with smoked finnan haddie soup, corned beef and cabbage, potato-crusted trout, lamb shanks, baked cod with ham and fresh sage, and Irish lamb stew.
  • March 28 − George E. Logue, of Trout Run, will serve a “New Orleans” menu with choices that include filé gumbo, callaloo, seafood jambalaya rice salad, crawfish étouffée, and barbecue pork and beans.
  • April 4 − Samuel H. Brechtel, of Clarks Summit, will serve a menu from the “Deep South.” “There are many delicious items which range from Deep South fried egg rolls to sautéed grouper,” he said. “This menu has what I believe is a very special soup creamy peanut butter soup which I can’t wait to see how it sells.”
  • April 11 − J. Kyle Hanjaras, of Montrose, will serve foods from the “Chesapeake Bay.” Hanjaras said his menu includes such dishes as grilled tuna loin, rotisserie goose and “back bay game gumbo.”
  • April 18 − Matthew S. Dansky, of State College, will lead the class in preparing a “New England” menu. “My menu will accentuate the regional seafood of New England,” he said. “I’m very excited about the paella dish I have with a Nantucket twist.”
  • April 25 − Kristen M. Bastian, of Montandon, will wrap up the semester’s Regional American Cuisine offerings with a “Southwest” menu. “Entrées are broiled sea scallops with a little kick to them, pechugias bahia, perco en mole de chabacano y pinon, which is pork tenderloin with mole sauce, and lobster enchiladas served with creamy lobster sauce and poblano chilies.”

For complete menus and reservation information, visit online or call (570) 320-CHEF.

For more information about the academic programs offered by the School of Hospitality, visit on the Web, e-mail or call (570) 327-4505.

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