The next installment of the Visiting Chef Series at Pennsylvania College of Technology will bring a taste of Maine, as chefs Brian O'Hea and Shanna Katherine Horner O'Hea mentor students to prepare an elegant benefit dinner.
The O'Heas are the chefs and owners of Kennebunk Inn and its restaurant, Academe Maine Brasserie & Tavern, where the couple, who bought the facility in 2003, use contemporary culinary creativity to transform the 18th-century dining room.
The Visiting Chef Series provides students pursuing associate and bachelor's degrees in baking and pastry arts, culinary arts and hospitality management with an opportunity to work alongside renowned chefs. Under the visiting chefs' guidance, the students produce a grand meal that raises money for scholarship funds. The spring 2014 Visiting Chef Dinner will be held Feb. 21.
Shown are chefs Brian O’Hea and Shanna Katherine Horner O’Hea, who will mentor students during the next installment of the Visiting Chef Series at Penn College.
Both Brian and Shanna O'Hea are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America and have worked as private chefs. Shanna studied under Michel Boulard, former chef to the king of Belgium, developing classical pastry skills that have led to the unique dessert offerings at Academe. She also has held a marketing position with Starbucks in Seattle and worked as a line cook at a Maine wharf restaurant. Brian previously worked at 5757 Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York, as an executive chef for Aramark and at a Greenwich, Conn., country club.
The couple has participated in culinary events around the world. In 2014, the O'Heas will appear on Oceania Cruise Lines' "Cruising With the Chefs" program, presented by Bon Appetit magazine.
Academe's signature Lobster Pot Pie, an item on the Feb. 21 Visiting Chef Dinner menu, has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine; on Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate;" and on Travel Channel's "Food Paradise." "Food Paradise" also featured the restaurant's Lobster White Truffle Pizza. The pizza also made the "O List" in O, The Oprah Magazine.
Tickets for the five-course Visiting Chef Dinner, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the college's Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, are on sale. Net proceeds from the dinner will be used for annual scholarship awards. To reserve seats, call the special events office at Penn College at 570-320-5229 or email specialevents @pct.edu.
The menu and wines for the Feb. 21 dinner are:
Eggplant caponata: Roasted eggplant with garlic, cherry tomatoes, raisins, parsley, capers, olives, lemon and mint, finished with panko-crusted fried goat cheese.
Tons de Duorum, White Meritage, Douro, DOC, Portugal, 2012.
Maine lobster pot pie: Poached lobster, including tail, knuckle and claw meat; peas; corn; potatoes; and hand-rolled puff pastry.
Steele cuvee, Chardonnay, California, 2010
Braised chicken and roasted butternut squash strudel: Arugula, spiced walnuts and cranberry whole grain Dijon.
Tacora Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenere, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 2011.
New England "chowder": Pan-seared diver sea scallops with potato and pork ravioli, finished with clam cream, bacon lardoons, pickled celery, chive oil and celeriac chips.
Wairau River Family Estate, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2006.
Cake and ice cream: Chocolate financier cake, mint chocolate chip ice cream, raspberry compote and almond brittle.
Graham's "Six Grapes" Reserve Ruby Port.
To learn more about the academic programs offered by the School of Business and Hospitality at Penn College, call 570-327-4505 or visit www.pct.edu/BH.