Free tasting samples, made with ingredients available on-site, will be cooked and served at the Williamsport Growers Market on Oct. 26 by students in culinary arts and hospitality management majors at Pennsylvania College of Technology.
The students are enrolled in a catering course taught by Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management and culinary arts.
The class annually visits the Growers Market as part of the market's customer appreciation event.
The students will demonstrate their dishes - all made with ingredients donated by vendors at the market - and serve up samples beginning at 8 a.m.
In addition, several students will offer a competition-style pumpkin-carving demonstration at 9:30 a.m., with judging and an award to be presented by the Williamsport Growers Association at 11 a.m.
The visit to the Growers Market provides students not only a chance to practice their skills in planning a menu and ordering and organizing supplies for an off-site event, but it also provides them a chance to interact directly with food producers and work with the freshest, most nutritious ingredients.
In addition to the Growers Market, the Catering class has prepared food this fall at Oktoberfest in Millheim; at the Hunt Country Harvest Festival at Hunt Country Vineyards in Branchport, N.Y.; and at a home game in Penn State's Beaver Stadium, where they worked with Chef Ken Stout and staff from the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.
The Williamsport Growers Market is open every Saturday, providing locally grown and locally made products, ranging from fruits, vegetables and meat to baked goods, soaps and other handcrafted items.
Eighty percent of the items brought to the market must be produced by the marketer, and only Pennsylvania-grown items are sold.
Through November, the market operates in the parking lot between Hepburn Street, Pine Street and Little League Boulevard. From December to April, the market will be held inside.
To learn more about the Growers Market, visit www.will iamsportgrowersmarket.com.
The School of Business and Hospitality at Penn College is a longtime supporter of Pennsylvania's Buy Fresh Buy Local initiative, and the school's Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, a learning lab for students in related majors, uses locally sourced products.