Baking and Pastry Arts Students Transport Guests to 'Wonderland'

Published 05.19.2006


Baking and pastry arts students created a giant cake replicating the Mad Hatter's top hat to serve as a centerpiece for the 'Alice in Wonderland'- themed Grand Pastry Buffet and Scholarship Reception.Baking and pastry arts students at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently presented a striking display of fine desserts a final skills-competency test and, for most, one of their last projects before graduation during an "Alice in Wonderland"-themed Grand Pastry Buffet.

The Grand Pastry Buffet was held recently as part of the Penn College Foundation's sixth annual Scholarship Reception.

The May 5 event on the college's main campus brought together students who have received scholarships with those who have established scholarship funds at Penn College both individuals and representatives of businesses and organizations. The event offers recipients the chance to express their thanks to those who have assisted them with their college costs. Thanks to those donors, Penn College presents nearly 400 scholarship awards annually.

The baking and pastry arts students, all enrolled in a capstone Pastry Food Show and Buffet Presentation Concepts course, chose the theme for this year's event. The course, taught by Monica J. Lanczak, instructor of food and hospitality management/culinary arts, prepares students to arrange events like the Grand Pastry Buffet. Students planned the event and developed its menu. The desserts the students prepared represented the skills they have learned in all of their baking and pastry classes.

Each student chose a character from the Disney adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland," including the Mad Hatter, Alice and the White Rabbit, and created several centerpieces for the display some sugar and some molded of chocolate.

The sugar centerpieces were created in a Sugar Art course, while the bulk of the pastries and desserts for the buffet were made during the last two weeks of the semester in the students' Baking and Pastry Arts Application course. A favorite of the evening was a flambe station, where students prepared the traditional Bananas Foster.

The students designed and participated in the creation of the Mad Hatter centerpiece cake that was the focal point of their buffet design. Students from a Floral Design class, taught by instructor Christine A. Fink, created outstanding floral centerpieces to complement the theme. Their work was a final competency for the class.

New this year was the addition of the Principles of Chocolate Works class' presentation table of seascape-designed chocolate centerpieces. The students in this class will present the Grand Pastry Buffet in the fall of 2006. The class is taught by Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts.

Baking and pastry arts students who planned and prepared the Grand Pastry Buffet are: Ashley L. Carls, Bradford; Hyda S. Clough, Williamstown; Hayley C. Granacher, Phoenixville; Angela L. Hess, Lewisburg; Ann C. Kelly, Muncy; Annie M. Kinney, Milton; Janet L. Masters, New Albany; Terra L. Phillips, Paxtonville; Rebecca L. Spencer, Luthersburg; and Katlyn D. Stupar, State College.

For more information about the academic programs offered by the School of Hospitality at Penn College, call (570) 327-4505, send e-mail or visit online .