Italian-American Cuisine on Menu for UNH Gourmet Dinner Nov. 30 and Dec. 1

Italian-American Cuisine on Menu for UNH Gourmet Dinner Nov. 30 and Dec. 1

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Authentic Italian-American cuisine is on the menu for the next gourmet dinner hosted by the Department of Hospitality Management, and for the first time, the dinner will feature the pop-up restaurant concept.

A new trend in the hospitality industry, pop-up restaurants appear in surprise locations and offer guests access to delicious new foods and restaurant experiences.

The pop-up restaurant VentiQuattro – Italian for 24 and representing the number of students participating in the gourmet dinner class -- will open its doors at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1, at Stillings Hall. Guests will enjoy a cocktail hour of passed hors d’oeuvres, beer from Smuttynose Brewing Co., and wine from E & J Gallo Winery.

Highlights of the gourmet dinner include pear and ricotta ravioli, roasted beef tenderloin, and truffle-infused mashed potatoes. “The food is going to be bold, flavorful, and diverse in its origin. The menu’s inspiration stems from a variety of sources; the pear ravioli is something I first tasted while studying abroad in Florence, Italy, last fall. It was so delicious that I felt I had the obligation to recreate it for this dinner,” said student Nicholas Thimm, who is serving as the class executive chef for the dinner.

Michael Rozzi, professional executive chef at The Palm Restaurant in East Hampton, N.Y., is the consulting chef for the dinner. A native of the Hamptons, Rozzi has more than 20 years of cooking, baking and kitchen management experience, specifically focusing on high-volume fine dining. He previously worked at Della Fermina Restaurant in East Hampton, where he held both the chef de cuisine and executive chef positions. He holds his culinary arts degree from Johnson and Wales University and a graduate degree in occupational education from New York State Institute of Technology. He has extensive experience mentoring younger chefs and students.

Gourmet dinner tickets are $60 a person and can be purchased at Seating is limited. For more information, contact Donna Stickney at