Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

March 5, 2007

Contact: Marisa Ramirez
713.743.8152 (office)
713.204.9798 (cell)

Annual Student-Run Event Features Seven-Course Meal, Silent Auction

HOUSTON, March 5, 2007—A fantastic “Wonderland” of epicurean delights, fine wine, music and dancing are on the menu for the 33rd Annual Gourmet Night at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

“Alice In Wonderland” is the theme of this year’s event, planned for Saturday, March 31 in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton-University of Houston-Hotel. A reception begins at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. A silent auction will run from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is black-tie optional.

“Gourmet Night not only showcases the college and its amenities, but also our eager and talented students,” said John Bowen, dean of the college. “This prestigious event demands the attention of the ‘who’s who’ in the hospitality industry, as it has for more than three decades.”

Serving as guest chefs for the evening are Claire Smith and Jeb Stuart of Shade Restaurant, a highly reviewed Heights establishment. The students are tight-lipped about the menu for the seven-course meal that also features expert wine pairings. Last year’s Gourmet Night featured everything from foie gras to edible gold.

“Specific dishes are being kept a secret under direct orders from the Queen of Hearts herself,” explained Nicole Fabian, student director of kitchen for Gourmet Night 2007, “but our guests are guaranteed that our menu and wine selections will leave them smiling like the Cheshire Cat!”

Since 1974, Gourmet Night has served as a venue for showcasing the knowledge and talents of UH hospitality students as they study for careers in culinary arts, event planning and wine and hospitality management. Students run every aspect of the event, from planning the theme and creating a budget, to ordering china, creating the menu and serving the meal. This signature event also has been as a primary fund-raiser for educational programs and scholarships.

Planning this event is a year-round affair. Students interview for positions as directors and associate directors of logistics, procurement, kitchen, wine, service and silent auction. A student general manager heads the team, which includes a service group of 300 student volunteers.

“Gourmet Night provides a unique opportunity to work with a group of creative individuals with a passion for this industry,” said Robin Jass, student general manager of Gourmet Night 2007. “It’s a chance for students to gain real-world industry experience they can take with them upon graduation.”

For more information on Gourmet Night 2007, please call Erin Oeser, executive event director and faculty mentor for Gourmet Night, at (713) 743-9482.

For more information on the UH Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, please visit

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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.

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