Penn College hospitality students to cook at Kentucky Derby

April 04, 2016

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Twenty-five Pennsylvania College of Technology students will trek to Louisville, Kentucky, the first week of May, where they will join the Churchill Downs culinary team in preparing food for more than 170,000 guests at the Kentucky Derby.

The students — all enrolled in hospitality-related majors — were interviewed on campus by Churchill Downs Executive Chef David Danielson, who remained at Penn College for several days to mentor students in preparing an elegant Visiting Chef Series dinner.

The 2016 Kentucky Derby, scheduled for May 7, marks its 142nd running. The tradition-steeped event attracts the largest crowd in sports, including red-carpet celebrities.

To prepare, students will spend the week at Churchill Downs helping to mix, chop and cook thousands of pounds of ingredients that they’ll serve to guests in suites and luxury boxes throughout the facility.

In addition to cooking for the main event, several students will prepare food for “Dawn at the Downs,” a popular Louisville tradition that gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy breakfast in Millionaires Row while watching the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders conduct morning workouts. Students will be accompanied by Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts.

Students working at the Kentucky Derby and their majors are:

Baking and pastry arts (associate degree)
Amanda R. D’Apuzzo, of Morganville, New Jersey; Victoria R. Krauter, of Royersford; Brittany L. Mink, of Allentown; Christina M. Ohlin, of Dillsburg; Alyssa T. Rummel, of Ephrata; Krista A. Swinehart, of Northumberland; Dylan H. Therrien, of Reading; and Kori A. Treaster, of Lewistown.

Culinary arts and systems (bachelor’s degree)
Magdalen C. Bennett, of Erie; Amy M. Decker, of Halifax; Sarah B. Fiedler, of Lock Haven; Wyatt E. Fink, of Cogan Station; Katlyn J. Hackling, of Williamsport; Cy C. Heller, of Milton; Randall C. Janowitz, of Westminster, Maryland; Rebecca L. Klinger, of Cogan Station; Zachary A. Knol, of Annville; Lyndsay E. Maynard, of Fleetwood; Alyssa J. Morales, of Williamsport; Stephanie C. Myers, of Catawissa; Dallas A. Tyree, of Stillwater; and Robert E. Wood, of Montoursville.

Culinary arts technology (associate degree)
Kathryn R. Knause, of Catawissa; and Arielle E. White, of Chambersburg.

Applied management (bachelor’s degree)
Victoria L. Kostecki, of Center Valley

Inaugurated in 1875, the Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in North America and the first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown series. Also known as “The Run for the Roses,” it is the most attended horse race in the nation, with more than 170,000 attendees in 2015.

To learn more about baking and pastry arts, culinary arts and hospitality management majors at Penn College, call 570-327-4505 or visit

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, visit, email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Last Updated April 05, 2016