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Students to Prepare Food at Williamsport Outdoor Growers Market

Students in the Catering course offered by Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Hospitality will prepare dishes using fresh ingredients provided by the vendors of the Williamsport Outdoor Growers Market Association on Saturday, Sept. 6.

The event, now in its fifth year, will take place from 8 a.m. to noon. The Outdoor Growers Market is located in the parking lot adjacent to Pine Street United Methodist Church, 441 Pine St., Williamsport.

Michael J. Ditchfield, an instructor of food and hospitality management/culinary arts at Penn College, will supervise the students.

“This is live-event learning at its best,” he said. “This is our first event of the season and the first time these students will work together as a class. We develop menus based on donations from the growers. We get the products from the growers, brainstorm, create back in the kitchen, and then turn around the next day and prepare food for the customers at the market. This event provides some real-world scenarios and gives our students a chance to think on their feet and problem-solve.”

The Catering class students who will participate in the event are: David F. Anoia, Lebanon (lab assistant); John C. Blackwell, Williamsport; Wendy A. Mazur, Williamsport; Adam Milcoff, Spring Grove; Joshua E. Moat, Muncy; Amelia C. Pedraza, Philadelphia; Tasha M. Pick, Williamsport; Nathan E. Prough, Lock Haven; Vincent J. Sestili, Blakely; Brian L. Stefan, Wall, N.J.; and Stacy J. Womer, Bloomsburg.

“The best part is that the students get to be part of a fun community event,” Ditchfield added. “We’ve done this five years in a row now. The students get to work with the freshest and finest products available, and they get a new appreciation for food and the people who grow and raise it. The students get immediate response from consumers, too. The customers and the grower have a great time when the Penn College students are there. All good recipes begin by saying, ‘start with quality ingredients,’ and the Growers Market is a great place to start.”

The Williamsport Outdoor Growers Market Association vendors sell produce and other food items each Saturday, mid-June through the end of October, at the Pine Street location.

For more information about Penn College’s culinary programs, call (570) 327-4505, send e-mail or visit on the Web.

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