Penn College students to help staff kitchens for Kentucky Derby

Published 04.19.2022

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A crew of students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s hospitality majors is set to help feed the tens of thousands expected to attend the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 7.

The Kentucky Derby, often called “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” is the longest continually held sporting event in the United States and typically draws about 155,000 guests.

Penn College students, pursuing degrees in culinary and baking and pastry arts, will help prepare the fine food that is served throughout Churchill Downs’ premium dining areas: the venues that host celebrities and other VIPs. Last year, that included several students being selected to work in the brand-new, state-of-the-art kitchen for the sixth-floor Matt Winn’s Steakhouse.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students help to provide food service at the 2021 running of the Kentucky Derby. Twenty Penn College students will return to Churchill Downs in early May to again facilitate high-end dining at the iconic event.In addition to individual venue kitchens, students serve in the Downs’ Main Kitchen, where the volume of ingredients is in the tons.

Students were selected for paid, Derby Week internships during on-campus interviews with staff from Levy Restaurants at Churchill Downs. In addition to the Kentucky Derby, students will prepare food for the week of races and festivities that lead up to the final contest.

During Derby Week, the students will not only gain experience in high-volume, high-end food service, but will also work alongside – and learn from – chefs from around the nation who join the effort to create a memorable event for guests.

“The Derby experience teaches our students about quality food service on a grand scale, one that we can’t replicate here on campus,” said Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, who leads the student contingent each year. “Additionally, it pushes students to solve problems in real time as they navigate a dynamic mega event. We are grateful for our partnership with Levy Restaurants to offer this experience to culinary, baking and business students at Penn College.”

Penn College students slated to complete Kentucky Derby internships, listed by major:

Professional baking: Hannah C. Regester, of Bedford.

Baking and pastry arts: Corrina C. Blose, of Coplay; Dane S. Druckenmiller, of Hellertown;  Larissa J. Ealy, of Jonestown; Josephina R. Hanzel, of Wellsville; Patrick E. Hufnagle, of Antes Fort; Emily P. Jones, of Ephrata; McKenna J. Morgan, of Mar Lin; Moira A. Smith, of Aaronsburg; Caleb J. Stemler, of Jersey Shore; and Alexis N. Youse, of Pottstown. Blose, Druckenmiller, Hufnagle, Morgan and Youse are pursuing additional bachelor’s degrees in applied management.

Culinary applications: Nick S. Matthews, of Alpharetta, Ga.

Culinary arts technology: Bryan Aguilar, of Reading; Zoie B. Boyer, of Watsontown; Madison Y. Cooper, of Harrisburg; Kelsyn M. Hart, of Linden; Kassidy J. Kalbach, of Berwick; Aaron Timmons, of Greencastle; and Kayla M. Wilson, of Williamsport. Cooper and Wilson are also pursuing degrees in applied management, while Timmons is pursuing additional degrees in applied management and baking and pastry arts.

Business administration: Kylee P. Albert, of Boyertown.

Penn College offers three-semester associate degrees and 12-month certificates in culinary arts, as well as baking and pastry arts. All can be continued toward a bachelor’s degree in business administration or applied management. To learn more, call 570-327-4505.

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