Chef Matt Highlights Frozen Treats to Enjoy During the Dog Days of Summer

August 1, 2022

The dog days of summer are well upon us. Nothing helps beat the heat more than a cool frozen dessert.

There is a large variety of frozen treats to choose from. What exactly constitutes a frozen dessert? Technically, it is a dessert made by freezing flavored liquids, sometimes with solids added for texture. This month, I will highlight and explain some of the more popular dishes you can enjoy on a hot August day.

Ice cream

Ice cream is easily the most popular variety. Ice cream is a dairy based dessert that contains between 10 – 16% butterfat. The high butterfat and air whipped into it gives that familiar smooth, creamy texture we all love

Frozen custard

This dairy-based frozen dessert that also contains egg yolks for added richness. Less air is incorporated during freezing which creates a rich, dense creamy texture.


I think of ice cream that is a little richer and denser, often flavored with fruit purees

Frozen yogurt

This is a a low-fat alternative to traditional ice cream. Expect a tangy flavor profile!


This frozen dessert has no dairy at all--just sugar, fruit puree, water. A smooth fine texture is the result of churning while freezing.


Granita is a crunchy frozen dessert made with sugar, water, flavoring liquid. Granita’s have a crunchy texture due to large ice crystals that form during the freezing process.

Snow cones

This summertime classic consists of shaved ice flavored with syrup.

Try one style or all while the heat of summer is here. Enjoy!

Meet Chef Matt and Discover His 20+ Years of Culinary Expertise!

Executive Chef of The Village at Penn State, Matt Lambert, has a long history in culinary arts. With a passion for food and cooking since childhood, Matt certainly knows his way around the kitchen. “My interest in cooking began at home. My mom, and my dad were pretty enthusiastic cooks and we had a family dinner every night. By the age of 12, I knew how to cook dinner on my own,” he recalls.

Years later, Matt began pursuing his degree in culinary school. “I got a degree in Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island,” he says. From there, Matt worked in a series of independent, fine-dining restaurants and hotels throughout New England, and about 20 years ago made his way to where he lives now in Central Pennsylvania.

It was there where he began working at Penn State University’s School of Hospitality Management. With his wide variety of experience, Matt decided to open a large dining hub in the small city of Mifflinburg, PA where he worked for five years. Here, Matt ran into Duane Leitzell, director of dining services at The Village.

“Duane and I worked together nearly 20 years ago at Penn State,” he explains. “We bumped into one another and he was looking to replace a chef and I was looking to make a career move, and here I am,” Matt says proudly.

Beginning his role as Executive Chef at The Village in November of 2019, Chef Matt says that what he enjoys most about his profession is getting to know the residents and listening to their feedback. “When I first started here I didn’t realize what a major part of their social life the dining experience is,” he explains.

It’s amazing how you can make a resident’s day simply by providing a great meal with great service. That’s what makes this job so rewarding.

Executive Chef of The Village at Penn State, Matt Lambert

Matt explains that the dining team’s ultimate goal at The Village is to exceed residents’ expectations. “It doesn’t matter if we’re serving filet mignon or a hamburger, we do everything we can to put forward the highest quality food and ingredients.” Matt also says that part of what makes The Village’s dining program so successful is their dedicated team who give residents an outstanding dining experience each day.

Each day, residents look forward to fresh, local ingredients and five-star menus with a variety of options for soups, salads, entrees, and dessert. “Each night’s menu is different,” Chef Matt affirms. He also adds that The Village’s Bistro is a resident favorite for a more casual dining experience. “We make a lot of lighter fare here with fun appetizers. We also have a wood stone pizza oven so we make lots of wood-oven roasted sandwiches and personal pizzas,” he describes. Another feature residents love is the al-fresco dining right alongside the beautiful Palmer Park.

With so many amenities to enjoy and delicious cuisine served every day, residents at The Village live their retirements to the fullest. And Chef Matt looks forward to creating new recipes that continue to satisfy the people of this community.

Nobody gets you closer. Nobody gives you more. Nobody treats you better.