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Students Take Turns at Management in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant


On Fridays during the spring semester, students taking courses in culinary arts at Pennsylvania College of Technology will help manage the kitchen in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant a live-learning lab for School of Hospitality students.

The students, who are enrolled in the Regional American Cuisine course taught by Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, are assigned a region that represents the country’s varied food cultures.

On the night their region’s menu is featured, they serve as sous chef to Ditchfield, helping to manage their classmates in the kitchen and taking charge of staff distribution and various opening and closing procedures. In preparation, they estimate costs for the evening, standardize recipes, and research the culture, geography and climate that influence the foods eaten in the region.

Because the restaurant is open to the public, the students get a real sense of a professional, fine-dining kitchen, Ditchfield said.

On Feb. 9, Daniel M. Eissenstat, State College, will manage a “Susquehanna River/Pennsylvania Dutch” menu. He said the menu will include chicken and waffles, sweetbreads and other Pennsylvania Dutch foods.

On Feb. 16, Derek Richards, Lititz, will serve “New Orleans.” “For this style of New Orleans (cuisine), we will most definitely make sure that we have that great spice kick, but we will be sensitive to those of finer taste,” Richards said. “For example: blackened redfish, Cajun chicken cordon bleu and, of course, gumbo.”

On Feb. 23, Erin E. Brown, Lock Haven, will manage a “Pacific Rim” meal. “The entrees include pan-seared halibut with apple compote, venison with a cherry sauce, salmon and oysters, pork tenderloin, and braised short ribs,” Brown said.

On March 2, Ronnie E. Lindsay, Bowie, Md., will present “Chesapeake Bay” with a menu that he said will “provide gourmet food that traditionally comes from the Chesapeake Bay region.”

On March 23, Jessica N. Williams, Towanda, will present a “California Fusion” menu. “We will have a variety of dishes with lots of flavor and color,” she said. “It should be exciting for our guests.”

On March 30, Benjamin B. Smith, Allentown, will serve a menu from “New England,” featuring “regional delicacies showcasing the cuisine of New England, such as scallops, lobster and, of course, New England clam chowder,” he said.

On April 13, Timothy C. Wright, Honesdale, will serve food from the “Heartland.” “My menu consists of some traditional favorites with an elegant twist sure to please everyone,” he said.

On April 20, Kayla L. Stabley, Jersey Shore, will offer a meal from the “Deep South.” “The regional menu has authentic Southern-style foods, such as collard greens and grouper,” she said. “The menu consists of six courses and includes desserts provided by the professional pastry chefs. The area represented ranges from Louisiana to southern California and is apparent in all of the selected menu items.”

On April 27, Angela L. Hess, Williamsport, will manage a “Southwest” menu. “This menu is full of spice, color, flavors and textures,” she said.

Reservations for the multicourse Regional American Cuisine meals are recommended. Call (570) 320-CHEF (2433). More information about the meals and schedule is available by calling or by visiting the restaurant’s Web site. For more information about the academic programs offered by the School of Hospitality, call (570) 327-4505, e-mail, or visit the school’s Web site.

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