WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Student chefs at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport are gearing up for a trip to the Bluegrass state. These students will be catering for thousands of people attending the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby during the first week of May.
"We are going down there to help the Levy team and produce tons and tons and tons of food. It is very exciting and also nerve-wracking," said Moira Smith, a student chef.
Twenty students and five alumni will head down to Kentucky on Monday, May 2, and on Tuesday, they will hit the ground running and begin to cook.
Charles Niedermyer is a chef instructor. He says the culinary arts program has been catering for the derby for more than a quarter of a century.
"We will be prepping all week for all the premium food service. The students will help feed about 25,000 over the course of three days," said Niedermyer. "We will have over 300,000 people on the property that week."
Students will get to cook in many different settings, from catering for board members of the Kentucky Derby to working at many of the various eateries located on the grounds.
"I am excited to get experience and learn what it is all about, excited to work in different bakeries and restaurants, and get that experience," said Caleb Stemler, a student chef.
For some students, this will be their second or third time cooking at the Derby.
"This is just a lot of quantity. It teaches you how to do a lot of quantity but with quality," said Madison Cooper, a student chef.
Penn College is one of just a few culinary programs that get this opportunity each year. Each student had to go through a grades review and interview process before being accepted. The Kentucky Derby will take place on May 7.
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