Oktoberfest - NIU - Ellington's

Fall 2013 Management Teams


Thursday, October 10 and November 7, 2013


Ashley Ferrante, Lauren DeFries, Stephanie Schwarz, Amanda Sperzel

Amanda Sperzel

My name is Amanda Sperzel, and I am a senior here at NIU in the nutrition and dietetics program. I am the marketing manager at Oktoberfest at Ellington’s, where we serve an authentic German cuisine. It is very exciting to me to be able to show off my culture, and give everyone a taste of what I grew up with entire life. I currently work full time, and attend school full time, and at times my life can be a little crazy. I love cooking, but really never had anyone to show me all the ins and outs, so I am thankful for this opportunity to attain some real life skills that I can apply to my everyday life. All in all, as a team, we worked very hard on perfecting all of our recipes, and I am very excited for what’s all to come this semester.

Ashley Ferrante

My name is Ashley Ferrante and I am currently a senior here at NIU, in the hospitality program.  I am the GM and the Dining Room Manager at Oktoberfest at Ellington’s, where we bring to you an authentic German cuisine. I would consider myself a “foodie” because I love to eat and try different foods.  It was really exciting to put together a German menu and venture into something that was somewhat new to me. In all, our team has work hard behind the scenes perfecting our menu and we are excited to bring Oktoberfest to NIU.

Lauren DeFries

Hello! My name is Lauren DeFries, and I am the Sous Chef for Oktoberfest. I am a junior here at NIU, and I major in Nutrition and Dietetics. I currently work as a Student Manager in Neptune dining hall, and I hope to learn more about the managerial aspect of Nutrition from this course. I have kitchen experience from working in the dining halls for two years and at Subway for two years, along with volunteering in a hospital over the summer. I have a German background therefore I am closely linked to Oktoberfest’s cuisine. I am thrilled to serve our traditional yet contemporary German menu to customers to create an un-forgettable meal.

Stephanie Schwarz

My name is Stephanie Schwarz and I am the Executive Chef of Oktoberfest at Ellington’s. I am a senior majoring in Hospitality Administration, as well as minoring in Business Administration. In the upcoming year I hope to successfully complete an internship within the food industry, while gaining pivotal knowledge and experience about my desired career tract. In the future I strive to manage restaurants or specialty shops, with the long term goal of owning my own business. I am thrilled with the opportunity of hosting Oktoberfest at Ellington’s, due to my German heritage and personal connection to German food. My hope is to engulf diners in a lively German atmosphere, all the while providing the comforting flavors of Germany that I was lucky enough to grow up on.