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On Saturday, May 7, The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College hosted yet another of its annual scholarship events for high school students, this time the 2016 Culinary Competition. We were excited to have 20 students hailing from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware come to our Philadelphia campus to show us their cooking chops for the chance to earn partial tuition!
The Culinary Competition challenged students to compose a chicken dish with an array of ingredients that they didn €™t know about until they arrived in our kitchens. This surprise element to the competition forced the students to think on their feet and really brought out the creative cooking ideas we love to see! In fact, the judges were so impressed that they awarded top prizes in the high school and vo-tech divisions to seven students instead of the usual six, with two students tying for third in the vo-tech division! All of the students walked away with a $500 scholarship to attend Walnut Hill College, so the day was an overall success for everyone who participated.
We’d like to thank all of the students for competing as well as their instructors and parents for supporting them during contest prep. Of course, a huge thank you goes to our esteemed chef judges–some of whom are alumni–Marcie Turney, Evan Turney, Rocco Cima, and Todd Braley!
Please enjoy the photo album from our 2016 Culinary Competition.
On Saturday, April 30, The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College hosted its 20th annual Chocolate Competition for high school juniors and seniors. This event showcased the talents of rising pastry professionals and gave the young competitors the chance to earn scholarships to attend the college in the program of their choice. Over 20 students from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland descended onto our Philadelphia campus to vie for the top prize in their respective division: high school or vocational-technical school.
For the competition, all of the students had to bake a chocolate cake prior to arriving on campus. What set each cake apart was the extraordinary design work that each student put into his or her confection on competition day! Whether they chose to make a simple but elegant cake or go all out with a multi-colored, multi-layered masterpiece, the students were encouraged to be creative. Judging the students €™ cakes were Kathy Gold, Executive Chef and Owner of In the Kitchen Cooking School, Nancy Miller, Executive Chef at Villanova University €™s Donahue Court, and Jill McClennan, Food Technologist at Campbell Soup Company.
All of the competitors went home with a $500 scholarship to attend our school, while the top three winners in both divisions also won scholarships in the amount of $6000, $3000, and $1800. Congratulations to all of the students who competed!
Friday, March 18marked WHC €™s Freshman Showcase, during which our campus was turned into a wonderland of food, drink, and decor. Upon arrival, guests received a “passport” directing them through different cultural experiences for the palate. The red carpet was rolled out and guests were invited to walk through the restaurants, kitchens, and classrooms to sample sweet and savory morsels and assorted beverages–including wine for those of age! Cheers to our wonderful freshmen and all of the faculty and staff who helped to make Friday night so delectable!
Freshman Showcase was a truly delightful display of how hard each student has worked so far in their career at Walnut Hill College. Culinary, pastry, and management skills were crucial in pulling off such a large and amazing event. Guests were treated to delicious seafood, some Italian staples, a chocolate fountain, and many other themed savory treats! Every aspect of our newest students’ knowledge was put to the test for their family, friends, and even future colleagues, as some incoming students attended to see what they have to look forward to later this year. The freshmen have already expanded their knowledge in their short time at the college, and Friday €™s event certainly reinforced all of their hard work and proved they have the passion to showcase their technical skills and creative expertise. Families and friends were undoubtedly impressed with the visual presentation and, of course, all of the food upon which they feasted! Hats off to the freshman class at Walnut Hill College. Keep up the beautiful and tasty work!
Sunday, March 13 marked graduation at Walnut Hill College. Although it was rainy, bachelor and associate students donned gowns and decorated graduation caps for the momentous occasion. Family, friends, faculty, and staff gathered at the University of Pennsylvania to celebrate the newest members of the working force. Several awards were granted, including one in recognition of those who very impressively maintained perfect attendance throughout their degree programs.
Students and their guests enjoyed two keynote speakers, one a fellow graduate of WHC. Following eloquent and engaging speeches from the valedictorian of each degree program, Dean Morrow announced the names of his “newest colleagues” as students crossed the stage with pride and received medals, degrees, and congratulations from President Liberatoscioli and Executive Vice President Karl Becker. The ceremony concluded and the grads tossed their beautifully decorated caps in celebration. Cheers to the newest graduates! The WHC community is so proud and cannot wait to see what you’ll do next!
The spirit of New Orleans was alive and well in Philadelphia at our annual Walnut Hill College Mardi Gras celebration. The Mardi Gras parades are known all over the world for their bright colors, bold costumes, and over-the-top festivities, and our students and staff pulled out all the stops to recreate some of the drama of this popular holiday!
Today €™s party literally included all the bells and whistles of a traditional Mardi Gras celebration, as members of our Hospitality Engagement Club paraded through the Courtyard donning masks and using noisemakers to rally their fellow students. Beads rained down from our rooftop deck into the crowd, another tribute to the New Orleans celebration that made the day all the more exciting! And of course, our clubs featured everything from freshly-made pierogies straight from our kitchens to Mardi Gras inspired mocktails. Thanks to all of our students and staff for an awesome turnout and some amazing food, beverages, and memorably good times!
On Monday, the Walnut Hill College family got together for yet another exciting event: our annual Chinese New Year celebration! As always, the Student Activities Department put together a festive display in our Courtyard and several of our clubs came out in full force to celebrate 2016, the Year of the Monkey.
Students took part in a Chinese tea tasting and tea trivia game courtesy of the Foodie and Yearbook clubs. Cocktail Club delighted the masses with Orange Blossom mocktails, while our Arts Appreciation Club invited students to design and create their own pieces of artwork to commemorate the occasion. To top it all off, our Hospitality Engagement Club treated everyone to an amazing display and tasting of homemade fortune cookies! It was truly a fantastic event and we can €™t wait to top it next year!
For the launch of our new website, The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College teamed up with Iron Knife Films and Properpix for what turned out to be our most amazing video and photo shoot yet! Preparation began early in the morning with the arranging of lush flowers, dramatic candles, and fine place settings in our Italian Trattoria as part of a fantastic tablescape scene featuring some of our Management students. Lights and cameras adorned just about every corner of every kitchen and dining room to capture our talented students in action as they prepped, cooked, and plated an eclectic array of dishes.
We didn €™t want to miss a single moment of the amazing work our students created, so our shoot went on well into the evening, wrapping just after midnight! It was hard work, but we are truly proud of the final product and are excited to share it with everyone. Thank you to all of the teams at Iron Knife Films and Properpix as well as all of the students and staff members who played a part in today €™s shoot.
During the month of January, our graduating associate students all went on once-in-a-lifetime international trips as part of the tuition-paid travel opportunities at Walnut Hill College! First up, our A.S. in Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts students embarked on an eight-day exploration of France. Their adventure began in the Champagne region, where they discovered one of France €™s luxury champagne houses. Then they traveled to Burgundy, Dijon, Beaune, Auxerre, and finally Paris, all while enjoying action-packed days of tours and tastings in each city. Every afternoon, students took advantage of free time for shopping, dining, and discovering the special charms of France.
Here in the states, our A.S. in Restaurant Management and Hotel Management students escaped the bitter cold on a cruise and resort trip to Florida and the Bahamas. While on their trip, students received an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Disney €™s hospitality suites and visited other Florida resort destinations, including Saratoga Springs, Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood at Universal CityWalk, Disney €™s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, and Arnold Palmer €™s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. On their way to the Bahamas, students enjoyed an amazing getaway on Carnival Cruise Lines that culminated in a stay at the breathtaking Atlantis Paradise Island Resort. All of our students who went away this month returned with unbelievable memories and experiences that they are sure to carry with them as they continue their studies at Walnut Hill College and beyond in their future endeavors.
Today we recognized the best and brightest of our student body at our Student Life and Learning Awards ceremony. We encourage our students to get involved on and off campus in a variety of activities that serve not only the Walnut Hill College community but also the Greater Philadelphia area. Students receive what are known as Student Life and Learning Points for their efforts and, at the end of every term, the students who receive the most points are invited to a ceremony where we celebrate their outstanding school spirit and service work. Given pineapple pins, a symbol of hospitality, and official certificates, we hope they are all proud to share their achievements with everyone. Congratulations to all of today €™s winners!