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Students Get Real-World Management Experience at Le Jeune Chef


Students at Pennsylvania College of Technology return this spring to the kitchen of the College’s fine-dining restaurant, where, as part of their course work, many will spend a shift at the helm as a student manager.

On Fridays at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, dinner is prepared by students in the Regional American Cuisine course offered by the College’s School of Hospitality. During those meals, student managers help to run the restaurant’s kitchen, including developing a menu.

They also estimate costs for their menu, standardize and convert recipes, and oversee a sanitation checklist, closing procedures and staff distribution.

Many of the students in the Culinary Arts program will make a career of working in a fine-dining restaurant, filling management, executive-chef or ownership positions. The course gives them a taste of kitchen management in a restaurant that draws patrons from several counties across the region. While one student serves as student manager during each shift, others perform a variety of kitchen duties.

In the Regional American Cuisine course, students present characteristic fare from a different region of the United States each week. Student managers assist Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of food and hospitality management/culinary arts, serving as his assistant, or sous chef.

  • Mark J. Ulicny, Zionsville, will present “Pacific Rim” on Feb. 11. His entrees will include pan-seared halibut with apple compote, venison with a sun-dried cherry sauce, salmon with Olympic oysters and pork tenderloin with eggplant terrine.
  • Sarah D. Miller, Milton, will present “Chesapeake Bay” on Feb. 18. She is planning a menu that will begin with such appetizers as barbecue ribs, buffalo shrimp, mussels and roasted clams, which will be followed by oyster stew. Her entrees include crabcakes, rabbit and chicken fricassee, and goose with scalloped oysters.
  • Stephen J. St. Andre, Danville; and Andrea E. Sites, Myerstown, will partner on Feb. 25 to present a New England menu. “We are going to have a variety of amazing New England-related seafood dishes, such as rack of lamb, lobster pot pie and clam chowder,” St. Andre said. Other entrees are fresh diver scallops and Nantucket paella.
  • Matthew J. Wolford, Williamsport, will present a menu of Irish American fare on March 18. “We have two delicious appetizers: a cured salmon and lamb chops,” Wolford said. “Our soup will be an excellent smoked finnan haddie (a haddock dish). One of our salads will be an old-fashioned pepper slaw Napoleon. We will have a fantastic selection of entrees, including baked cod, a traditional sauerkraut dish and several more exquisite meals.”
  • Jordan Snyder, Coal Township, will offer a Susquehanna River/Pennsylvania Dutch menu on April 1. He will serve a variety of appetizers, soups, salads and entrees, all inspired by the Pennsylvania Dutch area, including such items as venison ham, chicken and waffles, and sweetbreads.
  • Jennifer D. Woodley, Ebensburg, will serve food from the Heartland on April 8. Her menu will include warm potato salad with sweetbreads, as well as buffalo, sturgeon and pheasant. A goat-cheese tart and corn dogs with chutney will be the appetizers.
  • Megan E. Trice, Williamsport, will present a Deep South menu April 15. A few of her menu selections include, as an appetizer, Deep South egg rolls with red pepper sauce, spicy mustard and peach chutney, followed by creamy peanut-butter soup. One of her entrees will be low-country chicken and shrimp with smokey maple pinto beans and red rice.
  • Renee L. Shawver, McClure, will serve a menu of Southwestern food on April 22. She says her food will be hot and spicy, and each item unique. “The food varies in texture, color and cooking methods used,” she said.

Student managers from the school’s Breakfast and Brunch class will also design brunch buffet menus and help to run Le Jeune Chef’s kitchen on Sunday mornings in February, March and April.

Le Jeune Chef, translated “the young chef,” is operated by the School of Hospitality at Penn College. It is a fine-dining experience that offers real-world practice to students in majors such as Baking and Pastry Arts, Culinary Arts Technology and Hospitality Management. It also is one of the most highly sought-after dining pleasures in the Williamsport area and offers the region’s most extensive and award-winning wine list.

Students also prepare classical cuisine from such regions as Burgundy, France, and Central Italy on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as lunch on Monday-Wednesday and Friday.

Le Jeune Chef is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday and for lunch Monday through Friday. When the kitchen is not staffed by Hospitality classes, professional chefs and student interns take over.

To learn more about Le Jeune Chef and the School of Hospitality, including additional information about the students and their menus, visit online , call (570) 320-CHEF or e-mail . Reservations are recommended.

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