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This Year's Celebrity Chef Andy Husbands Here April 11

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
April 4, 2007

Andy Husbands, the Bostonian chef-restaurateur known for his unique take on American cuisine, brings his talents to UNH next week with dining services’ annual Great Chefs on Campus series.

He’ll start out giving cooking demonstrations at Stacy’s Buffet in Cole Hall on Tuesday, April 10. Later, Husbands will help the Thompson School restaurant management students prepare and serve lunch.

Then on Wednesday, he’ll give a lecture to WSBE students in McConnell Hall. From 5 to 9 p.m., the Seattle-raised Husbands will be at Holloway Commons with a camera crew from NECN’s T.V. Diner. Billy Costa, host of T.V. Diner and a KISS 108 morning show, will be on hand as well.

Husbands owns the South End restaurants Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel, which is located right next door. Recipes from Tremont 647 will be featured in all three dining halls on April 11. Dinner is open to the public and costs $11.50.

The special menu for the day includes a spicy mussel stir-fry, flank steak and fresh mozzarella salad, corn, turkey and tomato quesadilla, lobster macaroni and cheese, Tremont 647 oyster chowder, coconut seared Thai tuna and, for vegans, sweet potato and rice cakes, eggplant and squash chutney, and whole wheat pasta.

As a salute to Tremont 647’s renowned pajama brunch, dining services decided to include their own version of the fun with a pajama party-themed dinner. Anyone who wears pjs to dinner has a chance to win a prize and participate in a pajama contest.

At 6 p.m., Husbands will sign copies of his first cookbook, “The Fearless Chef.” A pie eating contest featuring his signature banana cream pie will follow.

His appearance continues a long tradition of bringing talented, well-known New England chefs to UNH.

“We bumped into Andy and were impressed with what he does,” says Jon Plodzik, associate director of dining services. “We like to try to find folks of notoriety in the area for our series and Andy fit right in.”

Plodzik says Husbands’ cooking style is described as “on the edge of American cuisine but with a twist.”

Husbands began cooking when he was 14 at an after-school job. A graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, he honed his skills while working in a number of Providence restaurants. In 1992 he was hired as a sous chef at the East Coast Grill in Cambridge, Mass., where he trained under James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Schlesinger. He was named executive chef the following year.

Husbands opened Tremont 647 in 1996 with his high school friend Chris Hart. Among the restaurant’s signature dishes are Tibetan momo dumplings and sea bass wrapped in a banana leaf.

“At one point he owned four restaurants,” Plodzik says. “He’s very involved in his community. His philosophy is: Make sure you take care of each other. And he’s a hands-on chef. If you go into his restaurants, you can find him behind the line.”

Husband co-chairs Boston’s Taste of the Nation, an annual fundraising aimed at ending childhood hunger, and serves on the advisory board of Operation Frontline, a hunger-fighting program that has chefs teaching low-income families how to cook nutritious meals.

“We hope Andy will bring a real excitement to our guests as they get the chance to engage with him,” Plodzik says.

Past participants in the Great Chefs on Campus event include Mary Ann Esposito, Martin Yan, Sylvia Woods, Ken Hom, Joan Harlow and Kevin Roberts.

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