Fall 2016 Student Features

Tessa Stambaugh

  • Hometown: Hanover
  • Theme: "Southwest"
  • Date: Wednesday, September 14

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I am addicted to grocery shopping. I also got inspired by visiting different restaurants and exploring menus. I could read about and look at food all day. The next step is making it!

Culinary inspirations: Growing up, I watched Food Network with my mom every Saturday morning. Bobby Flay has always been my favorite. Weekends I would spend in the kitchen with my dad making family dinners.

Future: I'd like to move to a big city and become a personal chef. I would love to work at or near a beach: Los Angeles or Florida would be my first choice, but I am open to working anywhere. Hopefully I can travel.

About her menu: Having the theme be Southwest and serving a five-course dinner, there are plenty of options. From lamb barbacoa tacos and chilled avocado soup to "puerco en mole" and wood-oven roasted duck Monterey, these foods represent the Southwest. Some main food components that depict this region are corn, beans, avocado, tomato and chili, and they are dispersed throughout the menu.

Dylan Williams

  • Hometown: Bellefonte
  • Theme: "Fourth annual Oktoberfest at the Millheim Fire Co."
  • Date: Saturday, September 24

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I like to make people happy, so I chose a career that does that every day.

Culinary inspirations: Chef Timothy Beckenbaugh (chef-instructor at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology) and Chef Gordon Ramsay

Future: I would love to work in a fine-dining restaurant.

About his menu: Homemade Bratwurst, sauerkraut fritters and many other delicious items made fresh from local ingredients. *This is an off-premise event in Millheim, Centre County. Dylan and his classmates will work with Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks, which sponsors the event to benefit the Millheim Volunteer Fire Co.

Donald Hanson

  • Hometown: Hughesville
  • Theme: "California Fusion"
  • Date: Wednesday, September 28

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I discovered that I love to cook food and create new things.

Culinary inspirations: My Lycoming Career & Technology Center instructor, Brian Anstadt

Future: I would like to own my own catering company or work in a test kitchen making new foods.

About his menu: My menu includes some of the great tastes of California. We have dishes that contain nori, which is a seaweed wrap. We have a savory mushroom cappuccino. We have a classic, as well: fried chicken and mac and cheese, a mushroom-stuffed chicken with a side of Asiago mac and cheese.

Somer Safford

  • Hometown: Port Allegany
  • Theme: "Hawaiian Islands"
  • Date: Wednesday, October 05

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: It runs in my blood. I have always been drawn to the kitchen. Cooking is a major aspect of my family. Many of the women in my family are cooks.

Culinary inspirations: My great-grandmother, may she rest in peace, Bobby Flay and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto

Future: I plan on getting involved in cruise ships to travel. Then I hope to someday own my own establishment and have my own TV show.

About her menu: There are many traditional dishes, from oven-roasted wahoo to succulent lomi lomi, a traditional salmon dish. There is also some delicious seared tuna. There is also a trio of duck with squash risotto.

Paige Cooke

  • Hometown: Wayne
  • Theme: "Floribbean"
  • Date: Wednesday, October 12

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: Cooking with my mom and grandma and watching "Parts Unknowwn"

Culinary inspirations: Anthony Bourdain

Future: I would like to open a food truck.

About her menu: Fried lobster sticks, Cuban black bean soup, conch chowder, grapefruit salad, Caribbean tuna seaweed salad, mango and yucca-crusted mahi mahi, Jamaican-American jerk chicken, Cuban hanger steak salad.

James Hall

  • Hometown: Bellefonte
  • Theme: "Heartland"
  • Date: Wednesday, October 26

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I've always loved cooking; I figured I should try to get better at it.

Culinary inspirations: Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay

Future: I'd like to travel and try cooking in a couple of different states until I find the job I can't give up.

About his menu: I've never cooked any of the items before, so I am excited to make new food.

Melyce Kenyon

  • Hometown: Canton
  • Theme: "Chesapeake Bay"
  • Date: Wednesday, November 02

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: While working for I.H.S. Pizza & Sandwich Shop during high school, I realized how much I enjoy cooking, serving and running a food service business. I loved going to work each day, because there was always something fun and exciting happening. I then decided to pursue a career in the hospitality industry.

Culinary inspirations: My former employer, Dustin Harper (a 2003 Penn College culinary arts alumnus)

Future: I would love to open my own catering business and also do special-event cakes.

About her menu: I chose this menu selection because it was entirely new to me, and I was ready for a new challenge and learning experience. I'm excited for this opportunity!

Bridget Callahan

  • Hometown: Pottsville
  • Theme: "Deep South"
  • Date: Wednesday, November 09

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I always loved cooking while growing up, and I can't imagine doing anything but this.

Culinary inspirations: I think every chef that has come before us has laid some groundwork for us and has made the industry what it is today, but I think people who cook at home for fun are the ones who inspire me most.

Future: I would like to go into catering and travel around. I don't have any specifics yet, but as long as I like going to work every day, this was all worth it.

About her menu: The region I have is Deep South. I have never really worked with anything from that area before, but I wanted something that I was going to have to do some research on and learn about. I'm excited to work with some new ingredients and taste great dishes.

Arielle White

  • Hometown: Chambersburg
  • Theme: "New England"
  • Date: Wednesday, November 16

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I absolutely love food, and I love making people happy with the food I prepare for them.

Culinary inspirations: One of our culinary teachers, Chef Craig Cian, really inspired me to dream big and try hard for what I truly love.

Future: I'd love to work with children and teach them how to cook the basics, including giving them health and nutrition lessons, and inspiring a new generation to appreciate the wonder of food.

About her menu: We have some duck confit, the classic New England clam chowder, some beautiful lamb and, of course, some delicious lobster. There are, of course, other choices, as well.