Students to cook for thousands at Kentucky Derby

Published 04.04.2019

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Pennsylvania College of Technology will again be part of the hospitality team for the running of the historic Kentucky Derby on May 4.

Twenty-eight students, 10 alumni and a faculty member are set to spend a week in Louisville, Kentucky, where they will join a legion of culinarians from Levy Restaurants, the food purveyor for Churchill Downs.

While there, the students learn to produce high quality cuisine in mass quantities.

“Our students continue to be instrumental in the production of premium food service, working with some of the top chefs in the country, plus celebrity chefs,” said Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, who will accompany students to the Downs for the 12th time.

During Derby Week 2018, Pennsylvania College of Technology students, from left, Bridget M. Callahan, of Pottsville; Bailey L. Frey, of Watsontown; Bethany R. Taylor, ’18, of Moosic; and Stephanie C. Myers, ’18, of Catawissa, step away from the kitchens at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., to take in the facility’s world-famous track. Twenty-eight students and 10 alumni will again join the hospitality team for the 2019 Kentucky Derby on May 4.Those top hospitality professionals include Chef David Danielson, executive chef of Churchill Downs, who previously held executive chef positions at Rockefeller Center and the United Nations Plaza Hotel.

Danielson and Jennifer Cooper, director of human resources for Levy Restaurants at Churchill Downs, visit Penn College each winter to interview students for Derby Week positions.

Those selected will work long hours to produce literal tons of food for the facility’s premium dining venues. Last year’s Kentucky Derby drew more than 157,000 fans.

Churchill Downs continues to add such venues, catering to the celebrity appeal of the Derby. New for 2019 is a 20,000-square-foot Rooftop Lounge and garden on top of the Starting Gate Suites, where 500 guests get a panoramic view of Louisville and access to several upscale bars and food offerings. The Starting Gate Suites, which added 32 luxury suites, opened in 2018.

In addition to students who will work in the kitchens, hospitality management students have been recruited to work in the “front of the house,” where duties include seating guests and answering questions, preparing dining rooms for service, and handling inventory.

Penn College students and alumni selected to serve at the Kentucky Derby are:

Applied management student
Jacqueline R. Dull, of Mohnton

Baking and pastry arts students
Gloria F. Boronow, of Denver; Sadie C. Bower, of Lewisberry; Amanda M. Brandt, of Etters; Sarah A. Bryan, of Bellefonte; Dane S. Druckenmiller, of Hellertown; Bailey L. Frey, of Watsontown; Tyler C. Geer, of Williamsport; Sabrina R. McClintock, of Mechanicsburg; Autumn L. Schabener, of Reading; Claudia M. Walling, of Williamsport; and Alexis N. Youse, of Pottstown

Culinary arts and systems students
Janelle R. Becker, of Fort Loudon; Chad R. Biichle, of Watsontown; Bridget M. Callahan, of Pottsville; Hailey R. Dunn, of York Haven; Nolan S. Lester, of Perkiomenville; Abbey R. Mefferd, of Boyertown; Jacob W. Parobek, of Seltzer; Austin R. Phillips, of Hanover; Christopher J. Schreckengost, of Cadogan; Noah E. Siegle, of Milesburg; Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport; and Aaron Timmons, of Greencastle

Culinary arts technology students
Jacob G. Clarke, of Wilmington, Del., and Alexa D. Scatamacchia, of Fleetwood

Hospitality management students
Ireland Q. Hastings, of Shippensburg, and Mallory A. Hoffman, of Pottsville

Magdalen C. Bennett, ’18, culinary arts and systems; Sarah A. Brunski, ’17, culinary arts and systems; Amber R. Depew, ’10, culinary arts technology; Christine L. Faherty, ’08, culinary arts and systems; Wyatt E. Fink, ’16, culinary arts and systems; Benjamin A. King, ’14, culinary arts and systems; Victoria Kostecki, ’16, applied management, and ’14, baking and pastry arts; Alyssa J. Morales, ’17, culinary arts and systems; Marco G. Romano, ’11, culinary arts and systems; and Kori A. Treaster, ’18, applied management, and ’16, baking and pastry arts

To learn more about baking, pastry and culinary arts degrees at Penn College, call 570-327-4505 or visit the School of Business & Hospitality.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.