'Zest for Life'

Published 02.27.2024

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Chef Charles Niedermyer II's "Zest for Life" is explored in the latest episode of the Tomorrow Makers podcast, and like a baklava or mille-feuille, the conversation sinks deep into delicious layers.

The nationally recognized baking and pastry chef has more than 25 years of experience, including more than 18 years on the faculty at his alma mater, Pennsylvania College of Technology. Chef Charles shares his passion for the craft and love of mentoring new cooks. ("All high school students are welcome to visit for a shadow day and attend class with us," he notes.) He also talks about how he stays fresh and inspired. ("The students continue to surprise me, delight me, inspire me," he raves.)

From his teen years of washing dishes in a bakery to working at The Ritz-Carlton to shepherding Penn College students to the Kentucky Derby, the wide-ranging discussion covers a lot of ground.  

"Everything was given to me very freely ... (and) when the students enroll, they get 400 of my best formulas day one," Chef Charles shares. "And sometimes they're like, 'Wow, wow, this is amazing!' I'm like, 'There's no secret recipe. The secret is: Get up every day and do it exceptionally well. You figure that out, you're going to be a superstar.'" 

Inspiration is served! 

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