Executive Chef Mark Kowalski

Executive Chef

Executive Chef Mark Kowalski

Mark developed a love of the food industry early in his life as he grew up in Nanticoke, PA. He worked in his family's retail bakery for many years, which led him to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. After completing his bachelor of science degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management at East Stroudsburg University, Mark attended the Culinary Institute of America, which included an internship at Penn State. During the 18-week internship, Mark worked in most of the campus dining commons, the bakery, and assisted in catering during home football games. Prior to his current position at Penn State, Mark was a sous chef at Starwood Hotels Caesars Brookdale on the Lake, a 92-room family resort. While working at Brookdale, the smallest of the Pocono resorts, Mark was promoted to sous chef at Caesars Pocono Palace, which has 189 rooms and a 9-hole golf course.

He reports to Corporate Executive Chef Bill Laychur and is involved in the key areas shown below.

Recipe and Product Testing

  • Tests all prospective products
  • Tests and develops all recipes

HACCP Coordination

  • Involved in administration and inspections of all food service areas at Penn State

Training and Education

  • Trains culinary staff
  • Conducts and coordinates culinary programs and seminars
  • Educates student customers via demonstration cooking classes in the dining commons


  • Provides support to Corporate Executive Chef Laychur in all areas
  • Assists food service managers in creation of new concepts, menus, and recipes

Contact Information

Executive Chef Mark Kowalski
18 Housing and Foods Service Building
University Park
Phone: 814-867-0314