Culinary class caters memorial brunch for faculty retiree

Published 03.02.2022

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Catering students put theories about planning and a successful buffet to the hands-on test, using recipes developed by the late Chef Judy Shimp for popular Le Jeune Chef brunch buffets.Students Nick S. Matthews (left), of Alpharetta, Ga., and Lance P. Bierly, of Centre Hall, staff an “action station.”A buffet’s ideal layout – not to mention delivering delicious edibles – is among the lessons practiced by catering students.The Location-Based Catering class recently gained dual experience in planning and preparing buffets and brunches when they catered a memorial for Chef Judy Shimp.

Shimp, who died in 2021, was a faculty member in the college’s culinary arts majors from 1984 until her retirement in 2011 and taught a breakfast and brunch buffet course.

Memorializing a mentor“It was a good experience to do a brunch,” said catering course instructor Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts. “It was also good to revisit some of Chef Judy Shimp’s old recipes and ideas. She really built up a following with her brunch class. We got to incorporate some of the things we learned in the classroom about ‘successful buffets’: the planning, the layout, the ideas behind it.”

The memorial was held by Shimp’s family on Sunday, Feb. 13. Proceeds from the brunch were donated to Gift of Life: Transplant Foundation. Many Penn College culinary arts alumni were among those in attendance.

Students in the catering class learn the theory, execution and food preparation for on- and off-premise catered events. Topics include administration, planning, marketing, selling, showmanship, communication and leadership skills. The class provides hands-on experience in managing people, equipment and food, and applying efficient and economic strategies.

Photos courtesy of Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts