Penn College's 'You're the Chef' Begins Sixth Season Oct. 4

Published 09.24.2003


Pennsylvania College of Technology and its School of Hospitality will be satisfying appetites nationwide with a unique, tasty recipe a fresh season of the public television cooking series, "You're the Chef."

The sixth season of the Emmy-nominated and Telly Award-winning "You're the Chef" begins in Northeastern and Northcentral Pennsylvania on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 12:30 p.m. on WVIA Public Television, the producing station for the series.

Distribution of the new season to public television stations nationwide also will begin on that date, thanks to the National Educational Telecommunications Association, a major distributor of how-to programming.

Since "You're the Chef" went national in February 2001, the series has aired in nearly half the country, including all five of the nation's top markets. The show also has been broadcast outside the continental United States in Guam and Puerto Rico and internationally in Japan.

"In a very enjoyable manner, 'You're the Chef' provides a wonderful education for all at home interested in the culinary arts," said Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, Penn College president. "While extending the resources of the College's renowned School of Hospitality to viewers across the country, the series also plays an important role in the education of our own hospitality students, who have an integral role with the series. We are quite proud of 'You're the Chef' and excited to offer a new season."

The sixth season will include a variety of practical recipes made with readily available ingredients, the program's hallmark. Delectable appetizers, sumptuous entrees and sweet desserts dot the menu crafted by "You're the Chef" hosts/producers, Chef Paul Mach and Tom ("I'm not a chef") Speicher.

"For this year, I tried to include cooking methods that we haven't used as much in the past," said Mach, an assistant professor at the College's School of Hospitality. "Steaming, roasting, caramelization, simmering and breakfast cookery are showcased. These concepts are included in foods and dishes we eat everyday. Understanding them will make us better home cooks."

Featured dishes include Fontina and Tomato Tart, Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup, Churrasco Steak, Herb-Infused Roast Chicken, Cedar-Plank Salmon, Chocolate Cheesecake, and Sour Cream Apple Pie.

"Chef Paul's dishes were so good, even I enjoyed them," said Speicher, a notoriously picky eater who serves as a broadcast media specialist at the College. "I didn't have to fake enjoyment; not that I've done that in the past."

The unique combination of Mach, a recipient of the College's Master Teacher Award, and Speicher, a cooking novice, distinguishes "You're the Chef" from the glut of national cooking series. The fun banter generated by Mach's expertise and Speicher's natural inquisitiveness serves a culinary education with a smile.

"Laughter is a key ingredient to all of our dishes," noted Mach. "We use laughter liberally, along with good technique and wonderful products. The recipes reflect the enjoyment we shared this year!"

According to Speicher, the sixth season represents the best of "You're the Chef."

"The variety of tastes and practical recipes will really resonate with viewers," he said. "We even feature some viewer recipes this season. Plus, we added a few new wrinkles to keep the show fresh."

Those new wrinkles include segments taped outside of the series' kitchen at Penn College's main campus in Williamsport. Mach and Speicher along with "You're the Chef's" director/editor Kris Hendrickson, a four-time Emmy nominee shot footage at a growers' market, an apple orchard and a grocery store. In addition, two grilling shows were taped at a College courtyard. All 14 sixth-season episodes were produced over a four-week span during the summer.

"This promises to be a truly exciting year for 'You're the Chef,'" said Mark Thomas, vice president of television at WVIA. "I am sure viewers will enjoy the new recipes and fun from Chef Paul and Tom. After six years on the air, I believe 'You're the Chef' is one of the best cooking shows, a show that is not afraid to combine food and fun."

"You're the Chef" also mixes valuable educational opportunities with its food and fun.

School of Hospitality students Errol L. Bell of Milton, Elizabeth M. Brown of Sayre and Rachel S. Hall of Altoona served as "You're the Chef" interns, assisting Mach with cooking procedures and taking turns introducing each episode and hosting 45-second "Cooking Key" segments related to the day's featured dish. A fourth student, Mark A. Blanchard of Watsontown, a Graphic Communications Management major, worked as a show researcher and digital photographer.

"Student attitude is really important for the success of 'You're the Chef,'" said Mach. "Our interns must be upbeat and willing to learn. That is what Errol, Elizabeth, Rachel and Mark brought to the table with this season's shows. Their efforts are a big reason why 'You're the Chef' will be even better this year."

"You're the Chef's" roots date to 1996 as a cable-access program in Williamsport. Two years later, Penn College collaborated with WVIA-TV, the PBS member station for Northeastern Pennsylvania, to mold the series into a public television cooking show.

An instant ratings winner for WVIA, "You're the Chef" became a staple on the schedules of other Pennsylvania public television stations in 1999. During the fall of 2000, the decision was made to take the series national. In February 2001, NETA began feeding "You're the Chef" to public television stations nationwide.

"To think where we started and how far the show has progressed, it is mind-boggling," Speicher said. "Today, we share College resources and recipes with viewers, not only throughout the country, but internationally as well. At the same time, 'You're the Chef' serves as an educational medium for Penn College students. Being a part of this series is truly an honor."

Support for the sixth season of "You're the Chef" is provided by Wegmans Food Markets, the exclusive food provider; DuPont Surfaces/C.H. Briggs, donor of Corian product; Steelite International, donor of tableware; and Clear Channel Williamsport and SusCom, advertising/marketing donors.

The complete list of the sixth-season episodes and recipes follows. More information on "You're the Chef" is available at its award-winning Web site.

# 601 "Cheesy Beef" Saut饤 Tenderloin of Beef with Herbed Blue Cheese Crust Brown Stock Anna Potatoes Saut饤 Mustard Greens

# 602 "Bayou Breakfast" Plantation French Toast with Strawberry & Mint Syrups Bayou Shrimp Scrambled Eggs

# 603 "Sweet Tooth Sensations" Chocolate Cheesecake Emily?s Famous Strawberry-Glazed Cheesecake Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

# 604 "Down with Duck" Roasted Duck with Rosemary & Orange Sauteed Duck Breast with Fruit & Vegetables Wild Rice Pilaf

# 605 "Tasty Tarts" Zucchini Saga Blue Tart Fontina & Tomato Tart Toasted French Bread with Brie & Fruit

# 606 "Fisherman's Special" Sauteed Trout with Red Lentil, Garden Vegetable & Bacon Ragout Steamed Halibut with French Garlic Vegetable Stew Braised Lentils

#607 "Lumberjack Cookout" Cedar-Planked Salmon Churrasco Steak, Chimichurri Sauce Quinoa Salad with Herbed Papaya

# 608 "Fiesta Time" Drunken Fiesta Sabayon with Fresh Fruit

# 609 "Chef Paul's Prized Poultry" Herb-Infused Roast Chicken Mushroom Risotto Garlic Rosemary Roasted Vegetables

# 610 "Simmering Soups" Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup Pinto Bean Soup

# 611 "Classic Casserole" Cassoulet of Lamb, Duck, and Sausage with White Beans Braised Curly Cabbage and Leeks

# 612 "Amazing Apple Pies" Three-Apple Pie Sour Cream Apple Pie

# 613 "Spectacular Stuffed Pork" Roast Pork Loin Stuffed with Sun-Dried Yellow Tomatoes Collard Greens Confetti Barley

# 614 "Chef Paul Burgers" Chef Paul's Hamburgers Grilled Scallop Kebabs Forbidden Rice Salad