Alumni perspective advantageous to hospitality students
Chef Brian W. Doyle, a 1994 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology's culinary arts major and today the owner of Café Avalaun in Cleveland, returned to campus last week to lend insight to students.
Doyle, who has been praised in Cleveland media for reinvigorating several popular restaurants with his innovative cuisine, has also spent time as a personal chef, has owned a gourmet food products company and a catering service, and has served his community by founding a Chili Cookoff for Autism and volunteering for Autism Speaks Celebrity Chef Galas in both Cleveland and New York City.
He opened Café Avalaun – a gluten-free café, bakery and crêperie that specializes in organic, local food – in 2015. The café is named for his mother, and its gluten-free focus derives from his family’s dietary needs.
At Café Avalaun, Doyle’s creative process is spurred by listening to his customers: hearing what foods they miss eating while following dietary restrictions and developing gluten-free recipes to fill that gap.
“That’s always been my style: ‘Let’s try to figure out how to make something crazy,’” he said, recalling days in Penn College’s culinary kitchens.
While on campus, Doyle shared his journey and lessons learned with students in the Careers in Hospitality course – from challenges leading a restaurant kitchen inside a Marriott Hotel and writing recipes that could be used with consistent results in any Marriott kitchen without knowing exactly what equipment other chefs might have, to developing menu items to make his own café stand out from others, and from writing business plans to attaining financing. The Careers in Hospitality course is taught by Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts.
Doyle then visited the evening Cakes, Pastries & Desserts lab, where he led students through several gluten-free recipes, including cinnamon rolls, brioche, cream puffs (with dairy-free pastry cream), strudel and croissants. Cakes, Pastries & Desserts is taught by Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts.
The Careers in Hospitality class also made a recent visit to Chef Mark Strous, owner and operator of Gunzey’s Hot Sausage, a popular food attraction at county fairs for more than half a century. Strous graduated from Penn College with a degree in food and hospitality management in 1995. Students visited Strous at his year-round location inside Bald Birds Brewing Co., just outside Jersey Shore.
More alumni visits are on tap for the class this spring, with expected returns to campus by Chef Jennifer (Mast) Burgos, ’07, a room chef for Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, and Chef Melyce E. Kenyon, ’17, owner of MK Bubble Drinks.
– Photos by Jennifer A Cline, writer/magazine editor;
and Chefs Mary G. Trometter and Charles R. Niedermyer
The lineup of gluten-free ingredients for the evening’s production includes rice flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum and potato starch.
Student Carter P. Gordon adds ingredients for brioche. Gordon is from Lancaster.
Doyle prepares to demonstrate how to roll dough for a cinnamon roll …
… followed by a laminated dough …
… used for croissants (and later, strudel).
Chef Mark Strous, ’95, owner of perennial hit Gunzey’s Hot Sausage, shows Careers in Hospitality students his operations in Jersey Shore.
Careers in Hospitality students join Strous at his Gunzey’s Hot Sausage location at Bald Birds Brewing. Gunzey’s is a destination for fairgoers in Pennsylvania.
A tableful of gluten-free goodness, produced by students under Doyle’s guidance.
A Cleveland culinary rock star joins future stars of the industry in the college’s baking and pastry arts lab, where all got their formal start in the hospitality industry.
- LIB, Rm. 343
- 1.877.PCT.ALUM (toll-free)
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