2008 Gourmet Night at UH Under the Spell of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

34th annual student-run dinner showcases skill and knowledge of the hospitality industry

What revels are in hand? Magic and merriment at the 2008 Gourmet Night at the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Shakespeare's endearing play of love and fairy mischief, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," is the inspiration for this year's event, which showcases students' skills in culinary arts, food and beverage service, event planning and fundraising. The annual dinner and silent auction begin at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 12 at the Hilton University of Houston Hotel with proceeds benefiting the programs and students of the college. "Our ballroom will be transformed into the magical forest where King Oberon and Queen Titania preside," John Bowen, dean of the college, said. "Only this forest will be filled with gourmet foods, wine pairings and decadent desserts, all created by our students."

It takes a year to plan the event, which is executed entirely by students. A student general manager and a team of 16 student directors plan, strategize, coordinate and lead a service team of nearly 300 student volunteers. From theme to budget to menu and logistics, students are in charge. Lance Fegen, chef and co-owner of Heights' bistro Glass Wall, will serve as guest chef for the event. Cathy Cheatham, executive assistant manager of the South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center and an alumna of the college, will be the guest emcee. Since 1974, Gourmet Night has served as the annual black tie culmination of student learning at the college, showcasing their skill and knowledge of all aspects of the hospitality industry. Students interview for positions as directors and associate directors of logistics, procurement, kitchen, service, wine and silent auction. A student general manager heads the team. This signature event also is the primary fundraiser for the college. For more information about the UH Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, visit www.hrm.uh.edu.

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.