Hospitality students plan 'Big Cheese' tasting event fundraiser

Students in the hospitality management program will hold a tasting event fundraiser next week featuring recipes from alumnus John Schlimm’s critically acclaimed new cookbook, “The Cheesy Vegan.” 

            The event, “The Big Cheese” will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in the KOA Speer Electronics Lobby of Blaisdell Hall. Tickets are $25 and include a copy of the cookbook. Proceeds benefit the hospitality management program.

            Students from classes in Food Preparation, Professionalism in Hospitality and Food Management planned and organized the event in conjunction with Schlimm, a prolific author with nine food- and drink-related books to his name, including “Grilling Vegan Style” and “The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Cookbook.”

            The Food Preparation class chose and prepared hors d’oevres for the event. The Food Service Management class marketed, designed invitations and determined the evening’s schedule, timeline and budget. Members of the Professionalism in Hospitality class also helped with invitations and will act as hosts of the event.

            “The learning process for the students has been a series of successes and challenges,” said Jennifer Forney, instructor of hospitality management. “The students have had real-life, hands-on experience applying skills like planning, leadership, marketing, time management, creativity, problem-solving and teamwork.”

            Schlimm, named one of the “Vegan Men We Love” by VegNews magazine, is an activist, educator, artist, and an international award-winning author. He is a member of one of the oldest brewing families in the United States (Straub Brewery) and the son of a former butcher and meat-processing business owner.

Schlimm’s cookbooks and appearances have been heralded by the vegan and mainstream media and readers alike, including The New York Times, NPR’s “The Splendid Table,” Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food and Publishers Weekly. Most recently, he delivered the keynote address at the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Caucus on Capitol Hill.

“It has been such a thrill for me to work with these talented Pitt-Bradford students, who built this great tasting event from the ground up,” Schlimm said. Any time we can bring real-world experience into the classroom through partnerships like this, the world moves ahead in a positive and fun direction.”

Reservations can be made at

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