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Students Gain Management Experience at Le Jeune Chef


Twenty-two Pennsylvania College of Technology students enrolled in culinary arts majors will not only practice their cooking skills, but also help to manage the kitchen for an evening this semester at Le Jeune Chef, the college’s fine-dining restaurant.

On Wednesday and Friday evenings beginning Sept. 14, students in the Regional American Cuisine course offered by Penn College’s School of Hospitality will prepare food that represents a designated region of the United States. The menu changes weekly. Each evening, one class member is designated as a student manager.

The student manager serves as a sous chef under the direction of Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of food and hospitality management/culinary arts. Working with Ditchfield in a real-world setting, the managers prepare recipes and assign responsibilities for the evening to fellow students. They also estimate costs and are in charge of a sanitation checklist and closing procedures.

Nature’s Bounty, Sept. 14 and 16Managed on Sept. 14 by Danielle N. Castello, Mifflinburg, and on Sept. 16 by Zackry C. Schlappi, Ralston, the menu includes many locally produced ingredients and features such dishes as trout, venison, ham and elk tenderloin.

California Fusion, Sept. 21 and 23Adam J. Krasley, Spring City, will oversee the kitchen on Sept. 21, followed by Tana B. Hunsinger, Beavertown, on Sept. 23. “I hope to open people’s eyes to a diverse region of our country,” Hunsinger said. “On the menu, there is fish, poultry and various vegetables from California.”

Chesapeake Bay, Sept. 28 and 30 Food from the Chesapeake Bay will be presented on Sept. 28 under the direction of Mariah S. Wiser, Greencastle. On Sept. 30, Erin L. Weixel, Mill Hall, will help manage the kitchen. Many menu items will include shellfish, shrimp and crab among their ingredients.

New Orleans, Oct. 5, 7 and 12On Oct. 5, Robert G. Steward, Williamsport, will present a New Orleans menu, with such favorites as gumbo, a seafood jambalaya rice salad, Cajun chicken cordon bleu and crawfish etouffe. The meal will be managed on Oct. 7 by Steven C. Pont, Portland, Conn., and on Oct. 12 by Jessica M. Shiko, Berwick. “I will be serving new and unique Cajun and Creole dishes,” Steward said. “Some recipes will be tried and true, but with a distinctive new twist.”

Southwest, Oct. 19 and 21On Oct. 19, Christopher R. Grove, Linden, will help manage the kitchen for a Southwest theme. Christopher D’Annibale, Center Valley, will take the helm on Oct. 21. “Items from the Southwest have a unique and peppery flavor,” Grove said. “I hope to bring the bold and spicy flavor of the Southwest to life.”

Pacific Rim, Oct. 26 and 28On Oct. 26, Scott M. Johnson, Mountaintop, will present food from the Pacific Rim. Food from that region will be presented on Oct. 28 under the direction of Jacqueline A. Lovecchio, Dallas. “The menu is a nice combination of everything from sushi selections to venison,” Lovecchio said.

Susquehanna River/Pennsylvania Dutch, Nov. 2 and 4On Nov. 2, Hannah E. Miles, Williamsport, will present a Susquehanna River/Pennsylvania Dutch theme. On Nov. 4, Ashley K. Brown, Montoursville, and Andrea L. Kessel, Milton, will team to present the theme. Menu items include chicken and waffles; sauteed sweetbreads; and a potato, endive, frisee and radicchio salad with hot bacon and mustard dressing.

Deep South, Nov. 9 and 11A menu featuring the food of the Deep South will be managed on Nov. 9 by Rochelle A. Vitabile, Phoenixville, and on Nov. 11 by Alex W. Hagemeyer, Ephrata. Menu selections include creamy peanut-butter soup, and low-country chicken and shrimp with smoky maple pinto beans and red rice.

Heartland, Nov. 16 and 18On Nov. 16, Justin E. Graff, Linesville, will present food from America’s Heartland. The region will be presented on Nov. 18 by Steven G. Smith, Sayre. “We will be having a soup from Nebraska and a cheese soup from Wisconsin,” Smith said. “Also on the menu will be an Amish potato salad with sweetbreads and bacon. The types of meat we will be preparing are duck, pheasant, sturgeon, beef and buffalo.”

New England, Nov. 30 and Dec. 2A New England selection will be presented by Timothy A. Varney, Lewisburg, on Nov. 30 and by Ryan R. Schur, Warren, on Dec. 2. Menu selections include oysters, New England clam chowder, scallops and lobster pot pie.

Le Jeune Chef Restaurant is an award-winning restaurant that draws patrons from several counties. For complete menus, and to learn more about the student managers, visit online .

For more information, or to make reservations, call (570) 320-CHEF (2433).

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