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'Iron Chef' Competitor, Washington Post Food Editor Special Guests at Gourmet Dinner

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WSBE students learn about grinding pork and making charcuterie at the When Pigs Fly Pizzeria in preparation for the spring gourmet dinner. Pictured, left to right are, Benjamin Hasty, executive chef of When Pigs Fly, and UNH Hospitality Management students Rebecca Rothman, Brittany Welch, Michelle Wong, Erin Norton, and Kelly Giller.

UNH may not be home to the famed kitchen stadium of the Food Network’s “Iron Chef” competition, but a Seacoast-area chef who competed on the popular television show will pull out all the stops as he works side by side with students from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics (WSBE) at the next gourmet dinner April 27 and 28, 2012.

The  WSBE department of hospitality management welcomes Benjamin Hasty, executive chef at When Pigs Fly and “Iron Chef” competitor, as the guest chef for the dinner, and Joe Yonan, the two-time James Beard award-winning food and travel editor of The Washington Post and the author of “Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One.”

"Working with Ben and Joe has been such a privilege for the gourmet dinner team. They both have been more than willing to share their experiences and ideas throughout the process, which has consistently pushed the class to exceed the potential of this dinner," said Yolanda Tselepidakis, marketing director for the spring gourmet dinner.

The six-course gourmet dinner “Tracing Roots” will incorporate regional cuisines of the United States using local and seasonal ingredients. The menu includes handmade charcuterie, oysters on the half shell, chicken-fried short ribs, and ginger-peach hand pie. Attire is formal.

As the guest chef for the dinner, Hasty has been working closely with the UNH students organizing the event. Hasty attended culinary school at the Atlantic Culinary Academy in Dover and apprenticed with Thomas Keller at The French Laundry in Napa Valley, Daniel Boulud in his Manhattan establishments, and Rob Evans at Hugo’s in Portland.

Benjamin Hasty, executive chef at When Pigs Fly, is the guest chef for the gourmet dinner.

Born in Georgia and raised in Texas, Yonan moved to Boston after college to work in newspapers. He was a food writer and travel section editor at The Boston Globe before moving to Washington in 2006 to edit the Washington Post’s food section. His work from the Boston Globe and Washington Post has appeared in three editions of the “Best Food Writing” anthology.

The dinner begins at 5 p.m. at Stillings Hall, 20 Ballard Street, Durham, with a cocktail hour, which will consist of passed hors d’oeuvres, signature drinks, and a book signing with Yonan. During dinner from 6 to 9 p.m., Yonan will read an excerpt from “Serve Yourself.”

Dinner tickets are $60 per person. Seating is limited. Purchase tickets here. For more information or questions about the dinner, contact Donna Stickney.