PA Preferred Culinary Connection

You'll always leave satisfied.


What? Eight days of locavorean paradise, featuring samples, displays, and cooking demonstrations by your favorite local chefs, media personalities and special guests.  Each day has a different theme, filling your plate with great ideas for enjoying the plentiful bounty of specialty crops and food produced in Pennsylvania.


When? January 4-11, 2014.

More Info>> The Event Schedule


Culinary Connection Cookbook


Where? The PA Preferred Culinary Connection Cooking Demonstration Stage in the Main Exhibit Hall at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, 2300 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110.




Who? From World renowed to local, see the best in action!


PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY

Pennsylvania's premier technical college and an affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University offers degrees in more than 100 career fields ranging from manufacturing, design, transportation, construction, and natural resources to hospitality, health, business, and communication. Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology's Culinary Arts Technology major are training for food preparation and supervisory positions in hotels, resorts, and restaurants. .

 

 

NADIA G.
Chef, Author and Host of Cooking Channel's "Bite This with Nadia G"

Nadia's focus is on accessible haute cuisine, fresh organic ingredients and a hands-on approach that will inspire hip audiences of all ages to Rock the Kitchen!Nadia G. has received accolades and awards such as next Media's Interactive award for the ‘Hottest Emerging Digital Brand in Canada,’ and the 2007 Wave Award for favorite mobile comedy series beating out Conan O’Brien.

 

 

JOHN MOELLER
Chef, former White House Chef to three First Families, including President George
H.W. Bush, President William Jefferson Clinton, and President George W. Bush

Chef Moeller grew up in the heart of Amish country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He served in the White House from September of 1992 until 2005—one of the longest tenured chefs across three Administrations. During his tenure, he helped create and prepare meals for the First Families, for world leaders like Tony Blair and Nelson Mandela, for famous guests like Julia Child and Sophia Loren, and for holiday parties and trips to Camp David.

Throughout his career, John has developed his signature style of cuisine, based on innovative menus that take advantage of fresh seasonal produce and creating first class presentation of the finished dish.

 

 

BETH STARK
Registered Dietitian
Weis Markets

Beth Stark has been a registered dietitian at Weis Markets for four years. In this role, she manages the Weis Healthy Bites™ consumer nutrition education and marketing program which includes editorial content development for Healthy Bites magazine, in-store radio, and Weis circular ads. She also develops all recipes featured in the magazine and strives to make cooking at home easy and appetizing for Weis custom- ers. Stark writes scripts for and appears in recipe “how-to” videos that are posted to the Weis Markets You Tube channel and social media platforms. She also contributes content to the Healthy Living section of the Weis website and their recently launched It’s in the Bag blog. Stark also conducts cooking demos, nutrition presentations and supermarket tours in the community and at store level.

 

 

RON CANADY
Executive Chef
Char’s – Tracy Mansion
Harrisburg, PA

Ron Canady earned an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management from York Technical Institute in 2001 before working as a Line Cook at The Marriott Hotel. In 2002 Ron became a Sous Chef at Char’s Bella Mundo and then Executive Chef. Ron is looking forward to creating new and innovative menu items, not only with the entrees, but also with the new “Small Plate” offerings.

 

 

TRAVIS MUMMA
Executive Chef
Café Fresco
Harrisburg, PA

A graduate of the Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing, NJ, Travis began cooking at Felicita Resort in Harrisburg. Eventually Travis was promoted through the ranks to head chef, overseeing all kitchen productions for the resort's 3 restaurants, along with all wedding & banquet functions. In 2005 Travis was hired as the Executive Chef of the newly opened Café Fresco Center City in Harrisburg and has competed in 10 “Iron Chef Style” competitions winning awards in 8.

 

 

SPENCER MUNDY
Corporate Chef
SYSCO Central PA

A graduate of the Art Institute of Colorado Culinary Arts Program, Chef Mundy has served as the Executive Chef for Sodexo Food Service for five years. He has received a Silver medal in an Iron Chef competition and won 1st place at the ACF BBQ throwdown beef category in Harrisburg. Chef Mundy currently serves as the Vice President of Harrisburg’s ACF Chapter and Chair of the Occupational Advisory Committee for the Culinary Vo-tech of Reading, PA.

 

 

STEVEN ECKERD
Former Chef de Cuisine
Le Bec Fin
Philadelphia, PA

After graduating from Culinary Institute of America in NY, Steven joined the kitchen at the word renowned Daniel in NYC where he trained under Executive Chef Jean Francois Bruel and Chef de Cuisine Eddy Leroux. Steven has had the privilege of working at some of the Philadelphia’s best restaurants such as Osteria and Vetri and most recently – the legendary Le Bec Fin. As Sous Chef and now Chef de Cuisine, Steven networked with the region’s best, sustainable farms to produce an unparalleled dining experience.

 

 

DAVID TADDEI
Assistant Foodservice Director/Executive Chef
DelGrosso’s Amusement Park, Inc. and Marianna Foods, Inc.

Joining the DelGrosso companies in early 2012 as the Assistant Foodservice Director / Executive Chef, Chef Taddei oversees food production and the staff of both Marianna’s Fundraisers and DelGrosso’s Amusement Park, working closely with Head Chef John McCracken. Chef Taddei has over 30 years of culinary experience, formerly serving as the Executive Chef at The Allegro Restaurant and Scotch Valley Country Club, both in Altoona, PA.

 

 

WALTER STAIB
Owner & Executive Chef
City Tavern, Philadelphia, PA

Chef Walter Staib is an author, Emmy Award winning TV host, James Beard-nominated chef and culinary historian. As founder and president of Concepts By Staib, Ltd, Walter Staib has opened more than 650 restaurants worldwide. Walter Staib has made numerous appearances on local and national cooking shows, such as the Today show, 60 Minutes and the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” and “Iron Chef.” He is the host of A Taste of History, which received four Emmy awards.

 

BARRY CRUMLICH
Executive Chef
PA Governor’s Residence

Barry Crumlich joined the staff at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence in March of 2002 as Executive Chef. He previously was employed for ten years at the West Shore Country Club, and spent a few years working and apprenticing at Central Pennsylvania’s finer restaurants. Chef Crumlich is a graduate of the Culinary Arts Program of the Mount Joy Vocational School and has completed numerous courses at the Culinary Institute of America.

 

 

HELMUT FRANZ JOSEF HOLZER CMC, WGMC
VP/Corporate Executive Chef
Gourmet Foods International

A native of Austria, Helmut holds the title of Kuchen Meister (European Master Chef) and Kontidor Meister (European Master Pastry Chef). He is one of 65 Certified Master Chefs in the United States. In 2008, he earned the World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WACS) title of Global Master Chef (WGMC), making him one of only 11 chefs in the U.S. with that credential. He has earned prestigious Culinary Olympics awards & numerous World Cup titles in culinary artistry, ice sculpting, and pastry presentations.

 

 

NATASHJA SZORTYKA
The “Quick Meal Queen”
Marketing Manager, Quaker Maid Meats, Inc.

Natashja Szortyka became an Independent Food Consultant after graduating from Stetson University as a theater major. While in college, rather than purchasing her school’s meal plan, she preferred to cook meals for herself and her friends, earning the nickname “Quick Meal Queen”.

 

 

JASON C. PLONA
Value Stream Manager, East Coast Fresh Cuts

Jason Plona worked for the Cheesecake Factory in numerous capacities for a decade. He served as a travelling support manager to help improve underperforming restaurants and conducted operational and financial analyses of different restaurant operations along the east coast. After Cheesecake Factory, he served as the Assistant Executive Chef at Founding Farms in Washington, D.C; he also aided in the recruitment and opening of their Potomac location. He now is the Value Stream Manager at East Coast Fresh Cuts.

 

MICHAEL BRENFLECK
2013 PA Pork Producers Taste of Elegance 2nd Place Winner
Executive Chef Sligo, Media, PA

Chef Michael Brenfleck, a graduate of Northampton Area Community College’s Culinary Arts program with a B.S. from Pennsylvania State University’s School of Hospitality Management. Chef Brenfleck has competed three times in the Pennsylvania Taste of Elegance Pork Competition, culminating in a win and a trip to the CIA at Greystone. He worked as Sous Chef at The Savory Grille in Macungie and Chef de Cuisine at La Calaca Feliz. He is currently the Executive Chef at Sligo.

 

 

ANDREW AHO
Executive Chef
POUR Lancaster, PA

Pour is the collective collaboration of proprietors Brian and Carolyn Kepner and general manager Eric Garman. Executive Chef Andrew Aho joined the team shortly before Pour’s doors opened, developing the current, but ever-rotating, avant-garde menu. Aho explains his dishes as small batch artistic endeavors that use only the freshest ingredients during peak growing seasons which are procured through Aho’s daily trips to Lancaster Central Market and a reliable network of local farmers.

 

 

BRIAN PEFFLEY, CEPC, CCE, AAC
Culinary & Pastry Arts Instructor, LCCTC

Chef Peffley holds certifications from the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Executive Pastry Chef and Certified Culinary Educator. He attained his training from the Hotel Hershey Apprenticeship Program and Penn State University. He brings over twenty years of experience to the program, having worked for the Boca Raton Hotel and Club, Boca Raton, Florida; Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, Arizona; Dingeldein Bakery, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania and having served as the Executive Pastry Chef for the Hotel Hershey.
Chef Peffley received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Culinary Management from the International Culinary School at the Art Institute. Chef Peffley is also certified by Penn State University with a Vocational II Certificate and has his Pennsylvania State Professional Certificates in both Pastry and Culinary Arts. He is certified by the National Restaurant Association in Sanitation.
Chef Peffley serves on the Board of Directors for the Central Chapter of the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association, Education Committee and is on the Pastry Advisory Board for Pennsylvania College of Technology, Harrisburg Area Community College, and the Milton Hershey School Culinary Program. He is an active member of the Harrisburg Chapter of the American Culinary Federation and served as President and Chairman of the Board, as well as the Retail Baker’s Association and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars.
Chef Peffley’s honors include: Who’s Who Among American Teachers, The Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce (Excellence in Education) Award, the 2006 Wal-Mart teacher-of-the-year award, induction into the 2008 Lebanon County Educational Honor Society, and the Penn State University award for an Exemplary Program. His program is also the first secondary Pastry Arts program in the country to receive ACF certification. Chef Peffley was selected to a position on the board for the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation for Secondary Programs, specializing in Baking and Pastry Art programs. Chef Peffley was recently inducted into the American Culinary Federation's American Academy of Chefs.

 

 

DAWSON FLINCHBAUGH, “Chief Chili”
Co-Owner
Flinchy's Restaurant
Camp Hill, PA

Known as “Chief Chili” for organizing and running the International Chili Society’s PA State Championship for over 20 years, Chef Flinchbaugh has cooked chili competitively for over 25 years, and is also known for organizing and cooking the Guinness Book of World Record’s Largest Pot of Chili. Since Flinchy’s opened its doors in November 2003, enthusiastic customers have been treated to memorable dining experiences inspired by exotic locations around the globe.

 

 

KASEY KIRK
Executive Chef
Centerplate
The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex

Chef Kasey Kirk has been with Centerplate Corporation, formally Boston Culinary Group since September, 2009. During his time with Centerplate, he has worked with the Governor’s and Mayor’s inaugural balls, the first annual Sturgis’ Road Show, and the PA Preferred® Reception. Chef Kirk’s awards from the South Central Taste; include “Stick to your Ribs; The Chili Cook-off (grand champion for four years in a row); Share our Strength, Chocolate Festival.

 

 

JASON VISCOUNT
Executive Chef
BRICCO
Harrisburg, PA

A graduate of the Restaurant School in Philadelphia, Chef Viscount first took a position as a Chef at the Yorktown Hotel, followed by a stint at Hotel Hershey’s Circular Dining Room and eventually an eight-year run as Chef de Cuisine at Harrisburg Hilton’s Golden Sheaf. Now at BRICCO, Viscount is the Executive Chef. In 2007, Harrisburg Magazine readers named BRICCO “Best New Restaurant” and in March 2008 Viscount was named Chef of the Year by the Hershey Harrisburg Tourism and Convention Bureau.

 

 

CHARLIE GIPE
Executive Chef of the Hershey Entertainment Complex
Hershey, PA

Charlie has been with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts since 1998, first as Executive Chef of HERSHEYPARK, and now as the as the Executive Chef of the Hershey Entertainment Complex. Gipe founded the PA 181 Harrisburg Chapter of the American Culinary Federation and currently serves as chairman of the board, past President, and board member of the Central Chapter of the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association. Gipe was also inducted into the Prestigious American Academy of Chefs Society.

 

 

WES TROUT
District Sales Manager and Product Trainer for BSH Home Appliances

Wes is the District Sales Manager and Product Trainer for BSH Home Appliances − the makers of Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau appliances. Prior to working for BSH he spent 12 years as a chef in the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Central Pennsylvania areas. When not selling appliances Wes enjoys cooking for family, friends, and catering small events.

 

LEBANON COUNTY CAREER & TECHNOLOGY CENTER
District Sales Manager and Product Trainer for BSH Home Appliances

The Lebanon County Career & Technology Center Culinary & Pastry Arts programs are the First Dual Certified Secondary Program in the country by the American Culinary Federation. The programs run a retail restaurant and Pastry shop that are open to the public Tuesday through Friday during the school year. The programs have received numerous awards from Skills USA and are ranked as one of the best high school hospitality programs in the country.

 

 

MARIO STANZIONE
Executive Pastry Chef
Hollywood Casino @ Penn National Race Course
Grantville, PA

Mario graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in NY with an AOS in Baking and Pastry Arts. He has worked as a pastry chef for Short Hills Hilton, Hyatt Hotels, Grand Hyatt Tampa and Saddlebrook Resort in Florida. He is currently the Executive Pastry Chef at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Mario enjoys being able to create a wide variety of items utilizing fresh local products and strives to create dishes that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are delicious.

 

 

MATTHEW STALLINGS
Executive Chef
Home 231
Harrisburg, PA

In December of 2012, Chef Matthew Stallings took a position as the Executive Chef at Home 231, a comfortably stylish restaurant that serves seasonal American food inspired by the farm and the garden. Chef Stallings graduated from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute and previously held positions as Executive Sous Chef at the Hilton Harrisburg and Bricco.

 

 

ROBERT DACKO
Executive Chef
The Federal Taphouse
Harrisburg & Lancaster, PA

After two years as Sous Chef at Empire Restaurant and Bar in Carlisle, PA, Rob began a nine year stint with the Starr restaurants. Starting as a line cook at the award winning Mediterranean restaurant Tangerine, Dacko worked his way up the ranks at Starr Restaurants. First as a Sous Chef at Tangerine, and ending as the Executive Chef of Butcher and Singer Steaks and Chops. Rob has worked as Executive Chef of Home 231 and in 2013 became the Executive Chef at the Federal Taphouse.

 

 

JOHN REIS
Corporate Executive Chef
The Hilton Harrisburg
Harrisburg, PA

Born and raised in Portugal, Chef Reis served as the Corporate Chef at the Hilton in Charlotte, N.C. before moving to Harrisburg to open the Harrisburg Hilton and Towers in 1990, and has been recognized numerous times for his outstanding level of expertise, including being named the American Culinary Federation Chef of the Year in 2003.

 

HARRISBURG AREA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

The Benjamin Olewine III Center for the Study of Culinary Arts and Food Service Management at HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, provides distinctive educational options to become professionals, including associate degree, certificate and diploma programs. They also have supervised on-the-job experiences through Bricco, a commercial restaurant venture forged by the Olewine Center and Harrisburg Hotel Corporation, managing partner of The Hilton Harrisburg.

 

 

CHEF AUTUMN PATTI
Chef Instructor, Special Events Coordinator
Harrisburg Area Community College

Chef Autumn Patti, a graduate of HACC, is a Chef Instructor for the Benjamin Olewine III Culinary & Pastry Arts Programs at Harrisburg Area Community College. In addition, she is the Kitchen Manager, Purchasing Agent, and Events Coordinator for the Hospitality and Tourism Department. She has been working with the students at HACC for the last 12 years and a participant of the Farm Show Culinary Connection for the last 11 years.

 

 

ALLAN RUPERT
Executive Chef
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
Grantville, PA

Chef Rupert has graduated from the AOS Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He has worked as a Chef at Caesars Palace, Caesars Lake Tahoe, LaJolla Beach & Tennis Club, and Sky City at the Needle in Seattle. He is currently the Executive Chef at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Chef Rupert describes himself as a husband, father and all around a great guy.

 

 

NICK JONES
Restaurant Chef
The Final Cut Steakhouse, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
Grantville, PA

Chef Nick Jones graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in NY with a degree in culinary arts and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Business Management from Cornell University. After graduating, Chef Jones worked at prestigious restaurants all over the country and even Japan. Chef Jones helped open the new Hollywood Casino in Toledo, working in the Final Cut Steakhouse, achieving Forbes Four Stars. Currently, he serves as the Restaurant Chef at the Final Cut Steakhouse at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

 

CHRISTINE GREIG

Christine Greig is wife to Secretary of Agriculture for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, George Greig.
Christine lives on a 650-acre family farm in Linesville, Crawford County, with her husband where they continue to grow and market corn and hay for feed and soybeans for biofuel. Together, they have six children and three grandchildren.
In her free time, Christine loves cooking and trying new recipes.

 

FIRST LADY SUSAN CORBETT
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Susan Manbeck Corbett became the 44th First Lady of Pennsylvania when her husband Tom Corbett, was sworn in as Governor of Pennsylvania on January 18, 2011.
Susan was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and grew up in Pine Grove, Schuylkill County. Susan met Tom Corbett in 1968 while attending Lebanon Valley College. After dating for several years, Tom and Susan married in 1972. Susan began her career at Northern Lebanon School District where she taught Senior High English for one year before moving to San Antonio, Texas. She then worked as a legal secretary while Tom earned his degree from St. Mary’s Law School. After her two children, Tom and Kate, were born, Susan dedicated several years to staying home and raising a family. Her compassion and commitment to those she loves is what make Susan such a supportive wife, nurturing mother and genuine friend.
Susan resumed her professional career in 1990 as a special projects manager for the President’s Office at Carnegie Museums and the Director’s Office of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. She served as Assistant Producer and then Executive Director of Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures, a nationally-recognized literary arts organization. From 2006 to 2010, Susan served as Vice-President for Programs and Development for the Gettysburg Foundation, a nonprofit partner of the National Park Service that works to preserve Gettysburg National Military Park and to enhance the preservation understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg.
She is currently the Chair of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a trustee of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, an ex officio member of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Board of Trustees and a commissioner of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Susan also serves as the Honorary Chair of the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary Celebration and as the Honorary Chair of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition Annual Conference.
The Corbetts have been married for 38 years. They enjoy the company of their two Airedales, Penny and Harry. In her spare time, Susan enjoys gardening, cooking and reading.