Spring 2016 Student Features

David Spirache

  • Hometown: Reading
  • Theme: "California Fusion"
  • Date: Wednesday, February 24

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: My grandfather was a maitre d' in Romania, and my father came here and opened his own restaurant.

Culinary inspirations: My father and all the chefs at Italian Garden

Future: I hope to open my own small fine-dining restaurant with a capacity of about 50 people.

About his menu: The appetizer will be a lobster, shrimp and oyster cocktail. We will have a mushroom soup and an eggplant garlic soup. Salads will be a fig or veal sausage. Our entrees will be broiled halibut, scallops francaise, veal, and fried chicken with mac and cheese. Desserts will be prepared by our pastry chefs.

Paul Herceg

  • Hometown: Chalfont
  • Theme: "Chesapeake Bay"
  • Date: Wednesday, March 02

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: The endless amount of food and meeting new people

Culinary inspirations: My teachers at Middle Bucks Institute of Technology, Mike McCombe and Mark Gage, and my current chefs at William Penn Inn, Jeff Bell and Joann Reber

Future: I would like to be managing a kitchen when I get out of school.

About his menu: We have the famous crab cake and the classic seafood chowder. Then for starters, a pear and blue cheese salad and an artichoke and arugula salad. Finally, for entrees, we have rotisserie pheasant, flounder francaise, grilled tuna loin, and crabby chicken. With dessert made by our pastry chef and other students.

Jonathan Rickards

  • Hometown: Greeley
  • Theme: "Irish-American"
  • Date: Wednesday, March 16

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: A cooking club I joined in fourth or fifth grade

Culinary inspirations: Guy Fieri, Rachel Ray

Future: I plan to get some work experience out in the real world. I would like to work in a casual or family-style restaurant that can be busy to help with learning what it's like to be busy with no reservations.

About his menu: For our appetizers, guests get a cured lamb and salmon sample. Four soups, they have a choice of smoked finnan haddie or onion with stout and Cheddar cheese. For our salads, they get a choice of grilled liverwurst salad and pepper slaw. For entrees, they get two choices of corned beef and cabbage, baked cod, Irish lamb stew, and baked fillet of trout. Our desserts are prepared by our pastry chef.

Althea Swartz

  • Hometown: Mifflin
  • Theme: "New England"
  • Date: Wednesday, March 23

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: Because you can be creative and make healthy dishes.

Culinary inspirations: That would have to be my vo-tech teacher!

Future: I'd like to work in the trade and get some experience; then I want to work on a cruise ship.

About her menu: Appetizer is duck confit toast. Soups are New England clam chowder or cioppino. Salads are roasted red beet and goat cheese or watercress and Boston bibb lettuce. Entrees are grilled scallops, roasted lobster and veal cobbler, chicken and chestnuts, or lamb trilogy. Desserts are made by our pastry chef.

Arden Campbell

  • Hometown: Lebanon
  • Theme: "New Orleans"
  • Date: Wednesday, March 30

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: Cooking has always been something I've loved to do. Ever since I could look over the counter, I've had my nose in the kitchen.

Culinary inspirations: I have had many people inspire me to do my best in life across the board. When mixed with my passion for cooking, I feel as if there is nothing I can't do.

Future: After I'm finished with school, I would like to have already found an establishment that fits my style of cooking. Work there for a few years, then find another place. Continuously work around until I can afford to open my own restaurant.

About his menu: The menu we are presenting highlights some of what made New Orleans the hub of Southern cooking. Authentic, yet modern; you can still have your shrimp and grits, crawfish, and much more. So pack your bags and experience New Orleans with us here at Le Jeune Chef on the Penn College campus.

Stephanie Myers

  • Hometown: Catawissa
  • Theme: "Heartland"
  • Date: Wednesday, April 06

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I chose to become a chef because I have always enjoyed cooking, and I love to try new things.

Culinary inspirations: All of the wonderful chefs at Penn College

Future: After college, I would like to work as a line chef at a family restaurant in the Bloomsburg area for a few years. Eventually, I would like to own my won restaurant, as well.

About her menu: Starting out the evening, we will be serving Wisconsin Cheddar rarebit as an appetizer. Next you will get your choice of oxtail soup and barley or Nebraska borscht. Then for salad, you have the option of either the warm savory bread pudding or the Amish potato salad. Finally, for your entrees, you may choose from walleye, buffalo strip steak, pan-roasted pheasant breast or Minnesota fruit-stuffed pork loin.

Jessica Haynes

  • Hometown: Williamsport
  • Theme: "Southwest"
  • Date: Wednesday, April 13

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I decided on a culinary career because I love food.

Culinary inspirations: The chefs at the school have really piqued my culinary interest ever since I started the program. I've learned so much from my previous labs, and there is still much more to learn.

Future: After college, I plan on gaining more experience at jobs where I work, then either open up my own restaurant, become a personal chef or be a food critic.

About her menu: For the appetizer, we have lamb barbacoa tacos. For the soup, there is a choice of roasted poblano and potato or chilled avocado. For the salad, there is a choice of smoked Texas game-bird or prairie field salad. For the entrees, there are choices of chili broiled sea scallops, puerco en mole, corn-crusted blue marlin, wood-oven roasted duck Monterey. The dessert will be prepared by professional pastry chefs, students and faculty.

Desiree Rios

  • Hometown: Williamsport
  • Theme: "Deep South"
  • Date: Wednesday, April 20

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I have a deep passion for food.

Culinary inspirations: My mother and grandmother

Future: I'd like to work as a sous chef in a restaurant and one day open my own catering/in-house eatery in Las Vegas.