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Celebrated Restaurant Owners Discuss Food and Memory April 26 at UNH

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
April 20, 2011

Writer and sommelier Dedrie Heekin and her chef and husband Caleb Barber.

UNH welcomes two celebrated New England restaurant owners who will present a lecture about locally influenced businesses, travel, and food writing, and the relationship between food and memory.

The lecture with writer and sommelier Dedrie Heekin and her chef and husband Caleb Barber will be held Tuesday, April 26, 2011, from 12:40 to 2 p.m. in McConnell Hall, Room 208. The lecture will focus on Heekin���s new collection of essays, ���Libation: A Bitter Alchemy.��� The lecture is free and open to the public.

For many years, Heekin has been creating an unusual wine archive of rare and traditional Italian varietals at Osteria Pane e Salute, the Woodstock, Vt. restaurant and wine bar she shares with Barber. Self-taught in the world of Italian wines, Heekin is well recognized for her fine-tuned work with scent and taste, and her ability to pair wines and food in unexpected yet locally influenced ways.

In her latest collection of essays, Heekin explores the curious development of her nose and palate, her intuitive education, and her arduous attempts to make liqueurs and wine from the fruits and flowers of her own land in northern New England. 

���It is natural for us to categorize our experiences with food, wine, or other items as either enjoyable or dangerous. For example, my grandmother made this really special meal every Sunday. It was a Southern tradition. After she passed, others in my family would make the same dish and once I smelled it as I approached their home, it brought back so many warm memories,��� said Nelson Barber, associate professor of hospitality management at UNH.

���Food is what binds us together as humans through our culture. It is more than just for nutritional value. It represents symbolism. Food can say a lot about who you are and where you are from,��� said Barber (no relation to Caleb Barber).

In addition to the public lecture and reading, the chefs will conduct a cooking demonstration for students and a tour of the kitchen facilities at the Thompson School.

The event is sponsored by the Center for the Humanities; Department of Education; Department of Hospitality Management; Sustainability Academy; Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures; and the Thompson School.

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