Skip to main content

Students Picked to Prepare Food for Kentucky Derby Fans

Nearly 40 Pennsylvania College of Technology students have been selected to cook for thousands at the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May.

The Kentucky Derby, known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” is set to celebrate its 140th running this spring. Steeped in tradition, the event attracts more than 150,000 guests, including its fair share of celebrities.

At Churchill Downs, students will prepare foods for guests in suites and luxury boxes throughout the facility, including The Mansion, a lavish, invitation-only venue added to the facility last year.

Students are also assigned to the main kitchen, Jockey Club Suites, Turf Club Lounge, Finish Line Suites and the Plaza Balcony. In the days leading up to the May 3 Derby, in addition to preparing thousands of pounds of ingredients for the main event, several students will prepare food for “Dawn at the Downs,” a popular Louisville tradition that gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy breakfast in Millionaires Row while watching the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders conduct morning workouts.

At the 2013 Kentucky Derby, Penn College students Eileen Harrington, of Springfield, Va., (left) and Laura A. Rozzi, of Reading, (a May 2013 graduate) prepare food for guests. Penn College students, including Harrington, will return for the 140th running of the Derby on May 3.
At the 2013 Kentucky Derby, Penn College students Eileen Harrington, of Springfield, Va., (left) and Laura A. Rozzi, of Reading, (a May 2013 graduate) prepare food for guests. Penn College students, including Harrington, will return for the 140th running of the Derby on May 3.

Representatives of Levy Restaurants, which provides food service at Churchill Downs and sports and entertainment venues throughout the country, visited campus in February to interview student applicants.

The students will be accompanied by Penn College faculty members Chef Paul Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, and Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts.

Students working at the derby and their majors are:

Baking and pastry arts (associate degree)
Rachel C. Bryant, of Wellsboro; Ching Chan, of Milton; Marci L. Cohen, of Clarks Summit; Katlyn J. Hackling, of Lake Hiawatha, N.J.; Briana L. Klingler, of Port Matilda; Taylor A. Reed, of Shamokin; and Hanna A. Thompson-Hill, of Millheim.

Culinary arts technology (associate degree)
Abbie R. Linden, of State College; Kelly E. Renk, of Cogan Station; Carly R. Sherwood, of Meshoppen; Samuel Jordan Stammer, of Ithaca, N.Y.; Jessica M. Warr, of Beech Creek; and Katelynn M. Watson, of Milton.

Culinary arts and systems (bachelor’s degree)
Elizabeth M. Ball, of Phoenixville; Brianna E. Bucklin, of Whitehall; Amy M. Decker, of Halifax; Jessica N. Felton, of State College; Wyatt F. Fink, of Cogan Station; Jenna E. Haas, of Lancaster; Brianna Rene Helmick, of Hershey; Patrick J. Kelly, of Muncy; Benjamin A. King, of Elizabethtown; Darren J. Layre, of Hatboro; Hannah E. Marquis, of Olney, Md.; Alissa R. Martz, of Danville; Rachel A. Mertz, of Paxinos; Alyssa J. Morales, of Reading; Ashley R. Post, of Orwigsburg; Tyler K. Pratt, of Avondale; Kendra J. Riggle, of Montoursville; Lewis D. Robinson, of Bellefonte; Dallas A. Tyree, of Stillwater; and Victoria L. Zablocky, of Jersey Shore.

Hospitality management (associate degree)
Eileen N. Harrington, of Springfield, Va.; and Molly J. Lorenz, of McAlisterville.

Technology management (bachelor’s degree)
Danica C. Mazzotta, of Tyrone; and Alisha M. Miley, of State College.

For more about Penn College, which is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2014, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Related Stories

Penn College culinary and baking and pastry arts students celebrate a week of long hours and invaluable industry experience in the kitchens of Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby Week by watching the headline race from the rooftop.
Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts

Students join fans in return to iconic Kentucky Derby

Read more
Tomato gels, made in Chef Frank Suchwala’s Modernist Kitchen class at Pennsylvania College of Technology, used innovative culinary techniques and were formed in a nylon mold produced by manufacturing engineering technology student Mark T. McCorkle, of Natrona Heights.
Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts

Cross-campus collaboration helps students to innovate

Read more
Among 27 Pennsylvania College of Technology students who received Innovation Engineering Blue Belt certification through the Innovation Engineering Institute, part of the Eureka! Ranch, are (from left): Andrew J. Goth, an industrial design student from Emmaus; Nolan M. Hickok, an industrial design student from Troy; and Harrison Wohlfarth, of Midlothian, Va., who earned a degree in building construction technology and is pursuing degrees in concrete science technology and applied technology studies.
Business & Hospitality Management

Students earn Innovation Engineer Blue Belt credential

Read more