Visiting Chef Series Dinner at Penn College to Feature Travis Dale

Published 02.20.2002


Travis Dale, executive chef of the Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton, Ind., and a gold-medal-winning ice sculptor who helped to create ice-carving displays for the Winter Olympics, will showcase his talents at Pennsylvania College of Technology on March 16-17 for the Visiting Chef Series dinner and the College's Open House 2002 event.

For the Saturday, March 16, dinner, Dale will be accompanied by Gregg Flisiak, pastry chef at Sand Creek Country Club. The dinner begins at 7 p.m. at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, which serves as a practical laboratory for students in the School of Hospitality at Penn College.

At the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Dale and seven others carved more than 400 blocks of ice for displays for the opening ceremonies and sponsors.

For the Penn College Open House 2002 event on Sunday, March 17, Dale will present two ice-carving demonstrations. He'll offer a single-block demonstration at 11 a.m., followed by a multiple-block demonstration at 1 p.m. Both events will be held in Bardo Gymnasium.

Dale became executive chef at Sand Creek Country Club in October 2001. Previously, he was executive chef at the historic Erie Club in Pennsylvania, chef de cuisine at Sand Creek Country Club, and sous chef at the Fort Wayne Country Club and the Orchard Ridge Country Club, both in Fort Wayne, Ind. Dale attended Purdue University for hotel and restaurant management and completed a chef apprenticeship at the Park Place Grill in Fort Wayne.

While at Sand Creek, Dale became a member of Culinary Team Heartland and participated with a team of chefs from Indiana who competed in the prestigious Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany, in October 2000.

A gold-medal-winning ice sculptor, Dale is active with the National Ice Carving Association, serving as national vice president. He is also an active member of the American Culinary Federation's Chefs of Northwest Indiana chapter and is the chapter's culinary salon chairman.

Flisiak, a Chicago native, oversees all pastry production at Sand Creek, including plate presentation, banquet sweets and wedding petit fours. Previously, he was pastry chef at Park Avenue Cafe and the Doubletree Hotel in Chicago. He has also been head chef at Un Grand Cafe, The Cottage and Mansion Grille in The Windy City.

Flisiak credits his mentor, Jean Joho, for the hours of hands-on training he received at Maxims and the Famed "Everest Room," atop the John Hancock Building in Chicago. He has also taught pastry and cooking classes for Williams-Sonoma in Lake Forest, Ill., and Oakbrook, Ill..

Since its inception in 1992, the Visiting Chef Series has become one of the most prestigious fine-dining events in Pennsylvania, attracting world-renowned chefs to the kitchens of Penn College and Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. The series offers students in the School of Hospitality the privilege of working side-by-side with leading chefs. The gala fund-raising dinner is prepared by the visiting chefs, the School of Hospitality faculty, and students in the Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Dietary Manager Technology majors at Penn College.

Proceeds from the series' activities, including the fund-raising dinner and public cooking demonstrations, benefit the scholarship fund for students in the School of Hospitality. Seats for the dinner may be reserved by calling the Special Events Office at (570) 320-5229.

The menu and wines for the Visiting Chef Series Dinner are as follows:

Aperitif Chateau Frank Celebre Champagne

Appetizer Roesti Potatoes with Citrus-Cured Great Lakes Salmon, Lemon and Tarragon Cream, Three-Olive Tapenade, Micro Herb Salad

Durney Vineyards Chardonnay 1999, Carmel Valley California

Soup Cream of Limestone Bibb Lettuce, Shiitake and Fire-Roasted Red Peppers, Chive Flan

Jos Meyer Pinot Blanc 1999, Wintzenheim Alsace France

EntreesTuscan Style Pork Tenderloin, Indiana Goat Cheese Soft Corn Polenta, Baby French Beans, Warm Tomato and Grilled Scallion Relish, Balsamic-Chianti Pan Jus, Crispy Basil

Val Di Suga, Brunello di Montalcino 1995, Montalcino Tuscany Italy

SaladBaby Lettuces with a Sherry Wine Vinaigrette, Warm Amish Bleu Cheese, Walnut and Roasted Pear Purse

Louis Sipp Riesling 2000, Ribeauville Alsace France

DessertBittersweet Orange Chocolate Jewel, Praline Center, Orange Sabayon Sauce

Nivole Moscato D'Asti 1999, Michele Chiarlo, Calmandrana Italy