Fall 2015 Student Features

Chase Kehr

  • Hometown: York
  • Theme: "Southwest"
  • Date: Friday, September 18

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I love food; I love making what I serve look good while also being delicious. My father was always the person who made dinner frequently. It rubbed off.

Culinary inspirations: Any chef who has started from nothing and worked their way to a respectable position.

Future: Graduate, gain some industry experience while saving money, open my own food truck and hopefully end up opening my own family restaurant. I'd like to work in a moderate-size kitchen with much business.

About his menu: There is a variety of flavor profiles and meats in the menu, ranging from game bird, all the way to scallops. There are a lot of smoked or roasted items on the menu, as well, giving a true Southwest feel.

Daniel Horst

  • Hometown: Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Theme: "Southwest"
  • Date: Friday, September 18

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I love taking my passion and getting instant gratification from it. I need the intensity of the kitchen.

Culinary inspirations: Anybody who started from nothing and made their passion a lifestyle.

Future: I would like to master all cooking methods under the wing of different chefs, learn the business side of things under somebody else's dollar, and eventually own and operate my own business.

About his menu: Southwest region style of cooking. We offer a wild selection of game birds with different cooking methods and flavor profiles. It is going to be a very exciting menu.

Kathryn Knause

  • Hometown: Catawissa
  • Theme: "Penn College Foundation Dinner (private event)"
  • Date: Friday, September 25

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: My love of food

Culinary inspirations: Guy Fieri on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives"

Future: I would like to work in catering. I would like to start in another business and then have my own.

About her menu: For this closed event, we will serve a Deep South menu

Maggie Bennett

  • Hometown: Erie
  • Theme: "Penn College Foundation Dinner (private event)"
  • Date: Friday, September 25

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I love making food that makes people happy.

Culinary inspirations: Alton Brown

Future: My end goal is to run and own a food truck in Erie that serves food from around Erie.

About her menu: For the Penn College Foundation Dinner & Auction, which is a closed event with a Deep South menu, we will serve a scallop and pork-belly BLT, along with foods like barbecue short ribs with cheesy grits.

Cody Knarr

  • Hometown: Williamsport
  • Theme: "California Fusion"
  • Date: Friday, October 02

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: Working in a restaurant for three years

Future: My plans following completion of my degree would be to work at a restaurant for a while and then open or manage my own in North Carolina, somewhere near Raleigh.

About his menu: The menu items range from scallops to fried chicken.

Tyler Kresge

  • Hometown: Clarks Summit
  • Theme: "California Fusion"
  • Date: Friday, October 02

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: My mom was a cook in the Army; I grew up around food, and I love to cook.

Culinary inspirations: Chef Gordon Ramsay has inspired me to pursue a culinary degree.

Future: My plan for after graduating is to obtain a significant job to pay off my college loans and slowly make it to a head or executive chef.

About his menu: Our menu is California fusion, containing classic Western-region foods such as virgin Mary cocktail with seafood, fried chicken with mac and cheese, to sauteed veal.

James Culp

  • Hometown: Northumberland
  • Theme: "Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner (private event)"
  • Date: Friday, October 09

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: My love for food and cooking

Culinary inspirations: Chef Emeril Lagasse

Future: After college, I would like to move to North Carolina and work my way up in a restaurant/start paying off my college bills. I want to own/operate my own restaurant.

About his menu: This closed event features a Deep South menu. Some items are shrimp and grits as the appetizer; arugula, pear and walnut salad with shaved Parmesan; and chicken saltimbocca (checken breast braised in white wine with sausage, prosciutto, new potatoes and vegetables).

Peirce Connelly

  • Hometown: Northumberland
  • Theme: "Pacific Northwest"
  • Date: Friday, October 23

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: Every job I've ever had was in the industry.

Culinary inspirations: Chef Travis Mumma

Future: Continue to learn and secure a job that continues to push the limits of my ability. I would like to work in a small "mom and pop" restaurant.

About his menu: Pacific Northwest brings the best of Oriental and American flavors into one cuisine. Explore flavors like miso as you embark on this Asian-American menu.

Vincent Mass

  • Hometown: Staten Island
  • Theme: "Chesapeake Bay"
  • Date: Friday, November 06

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: My high school culinary teacher, Chef John Harkness

Culinary inspirations: Jiro Ono, David Chang, John Harkness, Juan Mari Arzak

Future: I would like to work in some kind of American fine dining. Eventually, I would like to be able to run a sustainable-fare restaurant out West - Colorado or Utah.

About his menu: For my menu on Nov. 6, we have a menu filled with food from the Chesapeake Bay region of the U.S. We will have fresh crab cakes, a rich chowder (recipe from Visiting Chef Robert Kinkead) as well as a duck soup with parsnip won-tons. For the salads, we will have a fresh Bosc pear with toasted walnuts and an aged balsamic, as well as a watercress and Jerusalem artichoke salad. Entrees include grilled tuna, crab-stuffed chicken, a rotisserie pheasant and a flounder Francais. Desserts will be made fresh by our own pastry chefs and students.

Alex Korbich

  • Hometown: Sunbury
  • Theme: "New Orleans"
  • Date: Friday, November 13

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I've always loved cooking, and I wanted a career doing what I love.

Culinary inspirations: I take inspiration from different culinary movements as a whole, such as molecular gastronomy, and from different cuisines around the world.

Future: I'd like to use the skills I've learned at Penn College as a starting point to travel the world learning different cuisines in kitchens scattered across the globe.

About his menu: We have some Cajun classics alongside some modern twists. We're going to have a Creole appetizer sampler with home-smoked duck, andouille sausage, blackened shrimp, and spicy wings. Next will be your choice of either a classic Creole-style gumbo or an updated cream of chicken soup, which will have artichokes blended into it. After that will either be a chilled jambalaya rice salad or a Caesar salad with blackened redfish. This year, we're experimenting with offering your choice of two different scaled-down entrees out of four. These will include a pecan-crusted chicken breast served over a bed of dirty rice with a tasso ham cream sauce; the perennial favorite shrimp and grits; stuffed, chicory-glazed quail; and a slow-braised pork shank served with a persimmon and fig demi-glace.

Nate Schell

  • Hometown: Nescopeck
  • Theme: "New England"
  • Date: Friday, November 20

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I like cooking and being able to make people happy with food.

Culinary inspirations: When I was younger, my mother helped me cook and made it fun.

Future: I would like to open a restaurant/bakery with my girlfriend, who goes here for baking and pastry arts.

About his menu: I have New England, and the menu has a good selection of seafood with a game-meat incorporation and combines that with fresh greens and ingredients for a nicely cooked meal.