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Students’ Pursuit of Passion Evident in Sparkling Hospitality Events


In a matter of days, students in hospitality majors produced two eye-popping events that showed off their food artistry. On April 24, the Penn College community – along with high school groups – were invited to Penn’s Inn, where seniors in the culinary arts and systems bachelor-degree major cooked live, offering up free samples of an entrée and a dessert while being judged by industry representatives according to American Culinary Federation standard rules. Also on display were the final projects of students in Advanced Patisserie Operations, Cakes and Decorations, Principles of Chocolate Works and Classical and Specialty Dessert Presentation courses, which were also judged. Chef Frank Priore, executive chef of the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre; Chef Drew Kendall, store chef for Wegmans in Williamsport; and Christopher R. Grove, ’08, a dining services manager for Penn College, judged the culinary entries, while Chef Callie L. Proctor, ’04 and ’08, bakery manager for Weis Markets; Chef Michael Davis, executive chef for Susquehanna Health; and Chef Samantha L. Liedtka Gundlach, ’10, owner of Samantha’s Kitchen in Lock Haven, judged pastry entries. On April 26, students in two sections of the Pastry Food Show and Buffet Presentation Concepts presented a “Grand Pastry Buffet” for scholarship donors and their recipients. The “Viva Las Vegas”-themed event represents a comprehensive finale to baking and pastry arts students’ college career, requiring skills gained throughout their coursework. Nursing student Julie H. Carr, a recipient of the Student Leader Legacy Scholarship, offered remarks. “I have received financial aid as well as numerous grants in order to pursue my education; however, there were still out-of-pocket expenses that my parents could not cosign a loan for,” Carr told the gathering. “The Penn College Foundation enabled me to finish school and pursue my dreams while still participating and being an integral part of the Penn College community. I cannot thank you and the entire faculty, staff and students enough for enabling me to finally pursue my passion of becoming a nurse and helping others.”

– Photos by Jennifer A. Cline, writer/editor-One College Avenue

Darren J. Layre, of Hatboro, prepares IPA braised lamb, parsnip and turnip pierogis from his “Taste the Season: Spring” menu (developed and prepared with event partner Patrick J. Kelly, of Muncy).
Darren J. Layre, of Hatboro, prepares IPA braised lamb, parsnip and turnip pierogis from his “Taste the Season: Spring” menu (developed and prepared with event partner Patrick J. Kelly, of Muncy).

A blue-ribbon restaurant dessert: deconstructed apple-walnut tart with maple custard, presented by Marissa R. Dimoff, of Mount Union.
A blue-ribbon restaurant dessert: deconstructed apple-walnut tart with maple custard, presented by Marissa R. Dimoff, of Mount Union.

A cake by Dylan H. Therrien, of Reading, receives honorable mention.
A cake by Dylan H. Therrien, of Reading, receives honorable mention.

Brianna R. Helmick, of Hershey, and Rachel A. Mertz, of Paxinos, stand ready to offer insight into their dishes: smoked duck with red beet mashed potatoes, and light-chocolate red beet sponge cake.
Brianna R. Helmick, of Hershey, and Rachel A. Mertz, of Paxinos, stand ready to offer insight into their dishes: smoked duck with red beet mashed potatoes, and light-chocolate red beet sponge cake.

A cake by Daryan M. Ficks, of New Columbia, receives third-place honors.
A cake by Daryan M. Ficks, of New Columbia, receives third-place honors.

Outdoor lovers all: event partners Victoria L. Zablocky, of Jersey Shore; Elizabeth M. Ball, of Phoenixville; and Brianna E. Bucklin, of Whitehall; serve up a fishing-and-camping themed menu.
Outdoor lovers all: event partners Victoria L. Zablocky, of Jersey Shore; Elizabeth M. Ball, of Phoenixville; and Brianna E. Bucklin, of Whitehall; serve up a fishing-and-camping themed menu.

Judges award “Best of Show” honors to Breanna N. Abbey, of Carlisle, for a Marine Corps graduation cake.
Judges award “Best of Show” honors to Breanna N. Abbey, of Carlisle, for a Marine Corps graduation cake.

Bradley M. Moriarty, of Clarence, and Jenna E. Haas, of Lancaster, dish samples of “speakeasy roasted clams with fettuccini” from their Roaring Twenties: Bonnie and Clyde-themed display.
Bradley M. Moriarty, of Clarence, and Jenna E. Haas, of Lancaster, dish samples of “speakeasy roasted clams with fettuccini” from their Roaring Twenties: Bonnie and Clyde-themed display.

A graduation cake for young bookworms earns second place for Sarah A. Brunski, of Mount Holly Springs.
A graduation cake for young bookworms earns second place for Sarah A. Brunski, of Mount Holly Springs.

Students in the Cakes and Decorations course skillfully fill a table with graduation-themed cakes.
Students in the Cakes and Decorations course skillfully fill a table with graduation-themed cakes.

Alexander R. Campolongo, of State College, adds samples of chocolate sponge cake to the table of “The Bean Grinders,” staffed by Campolongo and Kyle H. Abel, of Nazareth.
Alexander R. Campolongo, of State College, adds samples of chocolate sponge cake to the table of “The Bean Grinders,” staffed by Campolongo and Kyle H. Abel, of Nazareth.

A tantalizing display of advanced bread-shaping by students in the Advanced Patisserie Operations class beckons carb lovers.
A tantalizing display of advanced bread-shaping by students in the Advanced Patisserie Operations class beckons carb lovers.

A bite-sized sample of fried trout stuffed with smoked-trout mousse.
A bite-sized sample of fried trout stuffed with smoked-trout mousse.

Light-chocolate red beet sponge cake topped with red beet crisps.
Light-chocolate red beet sponge cake topped with red beet crisps.

Ashley R. Post, of Orwigsburg, explains to judge Christopher R. Grove, a Penn College dining services manager, why she and Zachary A. Mausteller, of Danville, chose a German menu.
Ashley R. Post, of Orwigsburg, explains to judge Christopher R. Grove, a Penn College dining services manager, why she and Zachary A. Mausteller, of Danville, chose a German menu.

A chocolate sculpture by Jenna Zaremba, of Pottsville, garners first place.
A chocolate sculpture by Jenna Zaremba, of Pottsville, garners first place.

A chocolate centerpiece by Marissa R. Dimoff, of Mount Union, receives honorable mention.
A chocolate centerpiece by Marissa R. Dimoff, of Mount Union, receives honorable mention.

Jessica N. Felton’s chocolate windmill and garden earn second place from judges. Felton is from State College.
Jessica N. Felton’s chocolate windmill and garden earn second place from judges. Felton is from State College.

A floral sculpture by Dylan H. Therrien, of Reading, takes third place.
A floral sculpture by Dylan H. Therrien, of Reading, takes third place.

An edible centerpiece recreates one of the icons of the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.
An edible centerpiece recreates one of the icons of the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

Vegas’ iconic neon signs inspire a sugar centerpiece by Marci L. Cohen, of Clarks Summit.
Vegas’ iconic neon signs inspire a sugar centerpiece by Marci L. Cohen, of Clarks Summit.

Bite-sized petit-fours play out the fun theme.
Bite-sized petit-fours play out the fun theme.

Another “sign” of the Paris Hotel: A translucent sugar Eiffel Tower.
Another “sign” of the Paris Hotel: A translucent sugar Eiffel Tower.

An attractive line-up of desserts awaits scholarship donors and recipients.
An attractive line-up of desserts awaits scholarship donors and recipients.

More Vegas icons, presented in edible fashion by Alivia L. Bollock, of Gaines.
More Vegas icons, presented in edible fashion by Alivia L. Bollock, of Gaines.

A headdress worthy of a Vegas stage, by Shayna L. Zerby, of Lock Haven.
A headdress worthy of a Vegas stage, by Shayna L. Zerby, of Lock Haven.

One of two impressive cakes – a whole-class project – graces the buffet table.
One of two impressive cakes – a whole-class project – graces the buffet table.

The 17 students responsible for the bounty of sweet treats and beautiful tablescapes.
The 17 students responsible for the bounty of sweet treats and beautiful tablescapes.

It wouldn’t be Vegas without a chapel and an Elvis impersonator.
It wouldn’t be Vegas without a chapel and an Elvis impersonator.

Macaroons masquerade as a beefy treat from a famous Vegas restaurant.
Macaroons masquerade as a beefy treat from a famous Vegas restaurant.

Feathers and masks adorn an intricate sugar centerpiece by Rachel C. Cooper, of Bangor.
Feathers and masks adorn an intricate sugar centerpiece by Rachel C. Cooper, of Bangor.

Pat Kaczmarek, of the Duboistown Garden Club, takes a photo with Samuel G. Bubb, a landscape/horticulture technology: landscape emphasis major from Williamsport, who received the club’s scholarship for 2014-15.
Pat Kaczmarek, of the Duboistown Garden Club, takes a photo with Samuel G. Bubb, a landscape/horticulture technology: landscape emphasis major from Williamsport, who received the club’s scholarship for 2014-15.

A bounty awaits.
A bounty awaits.

Chips and dice, artifacts of Las Vegas most-renowned pastime, by Autumn E. MacInnis, of Trout Run.
Chips and dice, artifacts of Las Vegas most-renowned pastime, by Autumn E. MacInnis, of Trout Run.

David T. Chavey, an automotive technology student from Hershey and the recipient of the Zachary C. Teter Memorial Automotive Scholarship, speaks with donor Brian Murray.
David T. Chavey, an automotive technology student from Hershey and the recipient of the Zachary C. Teter Memorial Automotive Scholarship, speaks with donor Brian Murray.

More Las Vegas neon by Marci L. Cohen, of Clarks Summit.
More Las Vegas neon by Marci L. Cohen, of Clarks Summit.

Tray upon tray of intricately presented desserts awaits the Sunday afternoon crowd.
Tray upon tray of intricately presented desserts awaits the Sunday afternoon crowd.

President Davie Jane Gilmour introduces student representative Julie H. Carr (right), recipient of the Student Leader Legacy Scholarship.
President Davie Jane Gilmour introduces student representative Julie H. Carr (right), recipient of the Student Leader Legacy Scholarship.

 

 

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