What opportunities are at Walnut Hill College?

By Steven Benton

Here at Walnut Hill College, there are many opportunities for students to engage in fun and career-related extracurricular activities, whether it’s our clubs on campus or the many internship opportunities that the College has to offer.

What opportunities are at the College?

Our college is different from many other colleges. We have many clubs that offer opportunities for you to learn skills for your professional career, like Healthy Cooking & Baking Club and Cocktail Club. These clubs give you the chance to learn about different cooking techniques and different drinks that you can create for your business, respectively. Get more information about our clubs by clicking here!

Other opportunities include the internships that each student must complete to earn their degree. The College can help you find an internship site that suits your major from among the hundreds of sites that have been approved by the College. Get more information about internships here!

Who can help you find opportunities?

Many of the instructors here at the College can help you find opportunities in your professional career. But one person who can help you a lot is Mrs. Bonner, the Career Development Coordinator. She is the person you talk to about your internship as well as job placements after graduation. She can help you find and, hopefully, obtain an internship at a reputable hospitality business in the Greater Philadelphia area.

How can I use those opportunities?

The opportunities you get here at Walnut Hill College can help you wherever you go in the hospitality field. Whether it is in your personal life or your professional career, any opportunity here at the College can help you.

Opportunities can be found all over this College; you just have to be willing to look for them.

Steven Benton, Student Leader
Restaurant Management, Class of July 2018

Celebrity chefs judge cooking contest for area high school students at Walnut Hill College

On Saturday, May 6, six celebrity chefs served as judges during the annual Culinary Competition here at Walnut Hill College. The competitors, all top students from high schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, competed for scholarships to the College.

Imagine the excitement of the day: you are a high school student in a culinary course and have been practicing for months to compete in the popular scholarship competition. Now, six of the area’s most celebrated chefs are looking over your shoulder and tasting your dish while posing a few choice questions and, hopefully, selecting you for a much-treasured college scholarship.

Every year, two dozen of the best high school culinary students compete at Walnut Hill College for an advance in their culinary careers. Each student initially competed at their own high school, which earned them a spot in the College’s competition with the support of their families and teachers. Once in our kitchens, students were separated into two divisions, high school and vocational-technical school, and were tasked with putting their own spin on a chicken dish and presenting a plate that was delicious, eye-catching, and creative. Both divisions awarded scholarships to three winners in the amounts of $6,000, $3,000, and $1,800 to be used toward tuition at Walnut Hill College. The high school of the first-place winner in each division also received $500 for its Family and Consumer Science Department or Culinary Arts Program.

In the high school division, 1st place went to Tess H. of Rockville, MD, representing Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School, also in Rockville; 2nd place went to Qyideera P. of Philadelphia, PA, representing Frankford High School, also in Philadelphia; and 3rd place went to Queenie J. of Edgemoor, DE, representing Mount Pleasant High School in Wilmington, DE. And the vo-tech division awarded 1st place to Sierra W. of Harrisburg, PA, representing Dauphin County Technical School, also in Harrisburg; 2nd place to John M. of Williamstown, NJ, representing Gloucester County Institute of Technology in Deptford Township, NJ; and 3rd place to Renee S. of Bayville, NJ, representing Ocean County Vocational Technical School in Brick, NJ.

The celebrity chefs included Georges Perrier, founder of Le Bec-Fin, which was one of the top restaurants in the United States for 42 years; Walter Staib, TV host, cookbook author, and owner of The City Tavern; Asian celebrity chef Joseph Poon; Gerard  Caronello of the renowned La Bonne Auberge; Robert Parker, WHC alumnus and Executive Sous Chef at Brantwyn Estate at the DuPont Country Club; and Nunzio Patruno of the award-winning  Nunzio Ristorante Rustico. As an added bonus for the competitors’ family and friends, TV host and cookbook author Christina Pirello presented a special cooking demonstration.

Check out the competition photo album! And for more info on our competitions, scholarships, and other high school initiatives, please visit our High Schoolers page.


How can a seasonal, locally grown tomato make you and the planet Earth happier?

By Kenan Rabah

The fruit and vegetable section in any supermarket is definitely my favorite section. The wonderful, shiny vegetables and fruits are always perfectly arranged with the same color and size, and some of them are even cut, boxed, and ready for you to eat or cook right away. Furthermore, you can find all different varieties available for you at any time of the year, regardless of their season. Brussels sprouts in the summer and berries in the winter? HOW CONVENIENT! But is it really as good as it seems?

The seasonal, local ingredients trend has become more popular nowadays, and it is mostly associated with the farm-to-table movement, which is a social movement that promotes serving local foods in restaurants and food operations. Since the 2000s, the number of farm-to-table operations has grown rapidly in America, and according to the National Restaurant Association in 2015, “four of the top ten trends [were] related to local foods.” So we can see that the culinary scene is driven toward seasonality and locality with regard to ingredients; but how does this improve our experience as customers or chefs, and what about the environment?

It is cheaper: When produce is in season locally, the relative abundance of the crop usually makes it less expensive. Moreover, local produce doesn’t need to be shipped long distance, and that will save so much money and will certainly lower the cost of the ingredients.

It is more flavorful: For chefs and customers, I think the flavor of the ingredient is as important as the cost, if not more so. When food is not in season, it is either grown in hothouses or shipped from different places around the world, and both affect its flavor. Forcing food to grow out of season will definitely affect the flavor because it won’t get the energy needed from nature to grow and develop properly. Transporting crops requires early harvest and refrigeration so they don’t rot during transportation, and this will definitely result in a lack of flavor compared to when crops ripen in their natural environment.

It is healthier: The early harvest and transportation of the crop will affect its nutritional value. First of all and as mentioned before, vegetables and fruits are best when they are fully developed in their natural environment, so early harvest will prevent the development of full flavor and nutrients in the crops. Furthermore, transporting food might require further processing like irradiation (zapping the produce with a burst of radiation to kill germs) or preservatives (like wax) to protect the produce, and while this might not have a serious effect on bodily health, it’s most certain that food is safer without these treatments.

It is also looking after the planet: Purchasing local foods and eating in season helps to protect the planet, because you are reducing the number of miles the food needs to reach you and, therefore, reducing the amount of fuel needed to transport it, and this obviously helps reduce the pollution caused by burning fuel in the air. Furthermore, eating in-season foods will minimize the human impact on the natural cycle of growing foods, and the less technology we use to grow foods, the less polluting energy sources will be used.

Eating in season from local suppliers is much healthier for you and for the planet, and with regard to all of the facts mentioned before, the earth provides us with amazing foods and produce that are perfect just the way they are, so why do we need to make an extra effort to produce things that won’t be as good as if they were natural? Take advantage of nature as is.

Kenan Rabah, Student Leader
Culinary Arts, Class of March 2018

Sweets & scholarships presented at the 2017 Walnut Hill College Chocolate Competition

The 21st annual Walnut Hill College Chocolate Competition took place on Saturday, April 29, with 16 aspiring bakers vying for the chance to win scholarships to attend the hospitality college. The talented competitors were all juniors and seniors hailing from high schools in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware.

For many of the students, the competition began before they stepped foot in the kitchens of the University City campus. Earning a spot in Saturday’s bake-off required them to go head to head against peers at their own high school, showcasing their pastry prowess and bringing them one step closer to a coveted scholarship award. Once accepted into the Walnut Hill College competition, all of the students were tasked with baking a chocolate cake at home prior to the big event. What set each cake apart was the extraordinary design work that each student put into their 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.

Students competed in either the high school division or the vocational-technical division (for those who attend schools with specialized training in baking and pastry arts). In the end, six exceptional students won scholarships to attend Walnut Hill College. From the high school division, 1st place was awarded to Victoria B. from Hamilton, NJ, representing Hamilton High School West in Trenton, NJ; 2nd place to Jordyn F. from Yeadon, PA, representing Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School in Midland, PA; and 3rd place to Madison H. from Honey Brook, PA, representing Twin Valley High School in Elverson, PA. And in the vo-tech division, 1st place went to Danielle S. from Willingboro, NJ, representing Burlington County Institute of Technology in Westampton, NJ; 2nd place to Jacob W. from Elkton, MD, representing Rising Sun High School in North East, MD; and 3rd place to Noah B. from Levittown, PA, representing Bucks County Technical High School in Fairless Hills, PA. Both divisions awarded scholarships for $6,000 (1st place), $3,000 (2nd place), and $1,800 (3rd place). The high school of the 1st place winner in both divisions also won $500 for its Family and Consumer Science Department or Culinary Arts Program.

Judging this year’s Chocolate Competition were Sam Nahhas, Executive Chef at Normandy Farm and the American Culinary Federation’s 2015 Pastry Chef of the Year, Angela Sticco, Walnut Hill College alumna and Head Chocolatier at John and Kira’s, Chris Berardi, Director of Culinary Compliance at Nutrition Management Services Company, and Gunther Heiland, Certified Master Pastry Chef and Fellow of the American Academy of Chefs. Additionally, guests of the competitors were treated to a special cooking demonstration by Christina Pirello, a beloved chef instructor at Walnut Hill College as well as a TV host and cookbook author.

Check out our full photo album of the competition, and visit our High Schoolers page to learn more about our competitions, scholarships, and summer programs for high school students.