'You're the Chef' Web Site Honored in WebAward Competition

Published 10.02.2003

Faculty & Staff

"You're the Chef," Pennsylvania College of Technology's award-winning and Emmy-nominated cooking series on public television, has garnered another honor, this one for its Web site.

The site which was designed by Penn College's Information Technology Services' Web Development Team earned a "Standard of Excellence" award in the Web Marketing Association's 2003 WebAward competition.

The WebAwards, which are in their seventh year, judge Web-site development against Internet standards and peer industry sites. The "'Standard of Excellence WebAward' recognizes the standard of excellence for which all corporate web sites should strive," according to information on the competition's Web site.

More than 1,000 sites from 19 countries were evaluated in 80 industry categories for the 2003 competition. Entries were judged on seven criteria: design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, navigation and ease of use. Judges included members of the media, advertising executives, site designers, content providers and webmasters.

The Web Development Team at Penn College that designed the "You're the Chef" site consists of Judy Fink, manager; Tina Miller and Robin Carey, designers; and Nancy Cochran, programmer. Also part of the team are Penn College students Daniel R. Little of Beacon Falls, Conn., and Jon J. Costello of State College. Little and Costello are enrolled in the Computer Information Technology-Data Communications and Networking Concentration major and are employed part-time at the College.

Tom Speicher, co-host /co-executive producer for "You're the Chef," maintains the Web site.

"Judy and the Web Development Team did a remarkable job of not only implementing the vision for the new 'You're the Chef' Web site, but also shaping that vision," Speicher said. "I would put their work and the 'You're the Chef' site against any other cooking-show destination on the Web. The honor they received is richly deserved."

"We are proud to achieve such a respected international award," Fink added. "This recognition reflects the hard work and dedication of our Web Development Team, and the new site complements the award-winning 'You're the Chef' television series nicely."

Other Web sites to receive the same Standard of Excellence award earned by the "You're the Chef" site include The Washington Post, Tribune Interactive, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, The Food Network, CBS Sports, Sony Electronics, and Home and Garden Television.

"You're the Chef" begins its sixth season on Saturday. It has aired on public television stations in nearly half the country, including the top five markets.

The series features the culinary expertise of School of Hospitality faculty member Chef Paul Mach, a recipient of Penn College's Master Teacher Award, and the cooking-neophyte inquisitiveness of Speicher, who represents the average viewer by asking questions about the dish of the day. The hosts dispense practical cooking advice, and the recipes feature readily available ingredients.

The series began as a cable-access program in Williamsport in 1996. Two years later, the College collaborated with WVIA-TV, the PBS member station for Northeastern Pennsylvania, to mold the series into a public television cooking show. "You're the Chef" became a staple on the schedules of other Pennsylvania public television stations in 1999, and the National Educational and Telecommunications Association began feeding "You're the Chef" to public television stations nationwide in 2001.